Learn about NTY Franchise Company’s merger with Children’s Orchard in this quick read from forbes.com. Find out why Chad Olson and team decided to merge, how they did it and where the Children’s Orchard franchise is headed in the near future as a result.
Secrets to a Successful Small Business Merger
Every small business merger is unique, but they all share a few common challengers, from choosing the right partner, to managing the transition, to branding and post-merger management. Here’s how five small business owners pulled it off.
Building a Franchise
A longtime franchise veteran sought to turn his prototype children’s apparel resale shop into a national franchise by merging with Children’s Orchard, a recognized brand with 32 stores.
Olson’s prototype store, NTY Kids, needed a recognizable, trusted brand to grow. Children’s Orchard needed point-of-sale software to bring its stores into the 21st century—technology available through another business Olson owned.
Olson and his team moved slowly, announcing the merger to franchisees over the phone, and not making a single change to operations until they had met with each owner face-to-face. “It was all about building that relationship and credibility with the franchisees.”
A merger can be a frightening prospect for franchisees because it affects how they run their individual businesses. “These people are entrepreneurs. They’ve invested money. This has been their life and blood and livelihood for a lot of years.” Patience and empathy is vital.