Sklar Technology Partners - February 2021


7462 Old Hickory Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111


5 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL ACQUISITION Don’t Make the Same Mistakes I Did!

Two years ago, I acquired a small business in a handshake deal. I’d known the owner of the company for 15 years and considered him a friend. So, when it was time to make things official, I found a cheap, downloadable contract online and we wrapped things up quickly. I never dreamed that he’d go back on his word.

mistake. Some of those “announcements”apparently never went out, and it took me years to discover that many of my new clients thought he was still running the show. By cutting the seller out immediately, you can take control of the narrative and your new accounts, cutting off any opportunities for a double-cross.

Step 4: Reach out personally to your new clients.

You can probably tell where this story is going. It wasn’t long before my “friend” started reaching back out to his old clients and signing them up for new projects. When I found out he’d broken our agreement, I was upset.

Once you ensure the company is entirely yours, reach out to your new clients and introduce yourself. You can do this over email, but a phone call is even better. It’s okay to be nervous. I promise your efforts will pay off. A personal introduction will clarify where you stand, show that you care, and get your new business relationship off on the right foot.

It was a real learning experience for me. This wasn’t my first acquisition, but looking back, I dropped the ball in a few crucial ways. Now I know better, and I want to save you from falling into the same trap. If you plan to acquire a company this year, take these steps to make sure you come out on top. Step 1: Hire a good lawyer. No matter how well you know the person you’re dealing with, get a legal professional in the room. Yes, it costs money, but not nearly as much as you’ll have to spend if the deal goes bad. Step 2: Craft an airtight contract. Don’t do what I did and spend $100 for a form online. Let your lawyer take the reins and create something that’s extra airtight and covers you for years into the future. If the person you’re dealing with is going to breach their noncompete, they’ll probably do it after 18–24 months. That’s about how long it takes for an ex-CEO to get nostalgic or run out of money. Step 3: Cut the previous owner out completely. When I acquired the company from my “friend,” he asked if he could be the one to announce the deal to his old clients and I agreed. This turned out to be a big

Step 5: Stay in touch and build a relationship. It’s not enough to call a client one time. You must stay in touch with emails, phone calls, and other communications — like this newsletter you’re holding! Don’t take your new clients for granted. Acquisitions are complicated, but overall, they’re worth the effort. Even with the mistakes I made, acquiring my “friend’s” company turned out to be a smart investment. As an entrepreneur, you never know when a golden opportunity like this will come along, and I don’t regret jumping on it. Going forward, I don’t want to miss out on another big win, but I do want to be prepared — and so should you! If you get the opportunity to make a life- changing purchase this year, keep these steps in mind when you go for it.

And most importantly, remember that a great contract could very well save your longtime friendship from going bad.


Well, That Was Fast

Do you remember the last time someone verbally attacked you? Maybe a family member started a drunken argument on Christmas or your spouse griped about your schedule. These things happen to everyone, but here’s the real question: How did you react? When we come under attack, our instinct is to defend ourselves and/or attack back — which can be summed up in three words: complain, blame, explain . This is a natural reaction, but it won’t end the argument or break the cycle of negative emotions that your attacker is stuck in. There’s a better way to do that, and it starts with courage. As you can see in the diagram below, there are two paths you can take in a conflict: the selfish path or the selfless path . When someone attacks you, it means that they’re stuck in the selfish path. There was something they wanted, but they didn’t get it and that pushed them to confront you (taking action) with pride. If you don’t intervene — or if you complain, blame, explain — they’ll slide into shame, guilt, apathy, regret, and fear, then start the cycle all over again. Worse, you’ll wind up there with them! But if you DO intervene, you can correct their course and set them on the selfless path toward acceptance, understanding, and joy. THE SMART WAY TO RESPOND TO A VERBAL ATTACK How to Break the Cycle of Selfish Decision-Making

Advertising in the Time of COVID-19

Almost a year ago, most of the United States entered a period of lockdown in an attempt to thwart the spread of COVID-19. For marketers facing an economic crisis, this presented a conundrum unlike any they’d seen before. On the one hand, it was likely that spending would drop, although the increase in nationwide unemployment payouts helped mitigate that. On the other hand, they now had a “captive audience” like never before, with people streaming movies and television from home at a record rate.

The lifestyles of those consumers had changed dramatically — could advertisers meet the challenge?

Two Paths Selfish

They certainly tried.

For retailer Carvana, the virus was almost a boon. The Tempe, Arizona- based auto seller had already gained fame for its “car vending machines” in several large American cities, but it had yet to crack the national market. As their ads put it, they wanted to be a coast-to-coast solution for new car sales, and our newly confined circumstances meant many more Americans were interested in Carvana than before. The company dumped money into its streaming ads, and the results speak for themselves: Bottoming at $30 million in March, their stock was valued at more than $200 million just a few months later. Some advertisers settled for merely reflecting the new norms of remote life and work in their advertising, with mixed results. If we weren’t tired of the Zoom-focused Progressive ads featuring Flo and cohorts back in spring 2020, we’ve surely grown tired of their hard-to-parse antics by now. No matter who’s doing the advertising, studies done as early as April 2020 found that many consumers were tired of being reminded of the pandemic every time they sat down to watch TV. With national anxiety at an all-time high and mental illness spiking during the pandemic, that’s no surprise. People didn’t want to face the reality of the virus every 10 minutes due to advertisements. On the other hand, some businesses were just hampered by circumstance. Carnival and Norwegian Cruise lines both ran aground with their streaming ads focused on spring and summer getaways. These seemed especially tone-deaf given that cruise ships made headlines at the time as vectors for massive COVID-19 spread.


















Here’s how: Next time someone verbally attacks you, gather your courage and say, “You’re right. I should try harder, and I’m going to. Will you help me?” This will turn their shame into surrender. It might not feel like winning, but it’s the smartest response for your mental health and theirs. Later, you can reconsider your relationship privately and decide whether their selfishness (or yours) is holding you back. In last month’s newsletter, Randy wrote about three ways to embrace optimism this year. To continue those steps toward increasing positivity and reducing conflict in your life, give this strategy a try.

2 • .................................................................................... Security. Availability. Support. But the true loser of 2020 advertising was Corona beer. The poor beverage company never stood a chance.

HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR SPINE? 4 Exercises to Prevent Back Problems

2. The Standing Back Arch For this stretch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and put your palms on your lower back. Then, bend your upper body backward and hold that pose for five seconds, taking deep breaths. Return to your starting position and repeat. 3. The Back Extension This position is also called the Superman stretch! To do it, lay on your stomach with your arms in front of you and lift your chest and feet off the ground. You can slip a rolled up towel or pillow under your stomach for an easier version. Stretching this way extends and strengthens your spine. 4. The Seated Figure-4 Stretch This easy stretch can be done from your office chair, but it does a great job working the muscles in your hips to prevent lower back pain. To try it, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Then, raise one leg, bending the knee and crossing your ankle over the knee of your other leg to form a figure-4 shape. Push down gently on your raised knee to stretch your hip.

Last summer, Randy’s back pain reappeared with a vengeance. He was pinned to the couch for weeks and visited doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors for help. At first, it was tough for him to visualize the problem with his spine. Then, one helpful chiropractor put it in perspective. “He pulled out a 3D model of the spine and showed me what was actually going on,” Randy remembers. “He explained the blood flow to my disks, how the spine gets nutrients, and what I could do to expedite the healing process.” Randy is on the mend, but we don’t want you to end up in his position! To keep your spine safe in 2021, practice these four chiropractor-approved exercises that he learned along the way. 1. The Knee-to-Chest Hamstring Stretch Did you know that tight hamstrings can be a source of back pain? To keep them limber, lay on your back with one foot on the ground and your knee bent. Then, bring your other knee to your chest, wrap your arms around it, and squeeze to stretch your hamstring. Repeat the stretch on both sides of your body.

Zucchini Noodles With Turkey Bolognese Inspired by

Ingredients •

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1 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 tbsp garlic, minced 1/2 cup onions, diced small

1/2 tsp pepper

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2 tsp sugar

3 medium zucchini

1 lb ground turkey

Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

Directions 1. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm 2 tbsp olive oil.

2. Add garlic and onions and stir constantly until garlic is golden and onions are translucent. 3. Increase heat to medium and add ground turkey, break apart, and cook thoroughly. 4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally. 5. Using a spiralizer, mandolin, or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into noodles. 6. In another large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add remaining olive oil and zucchini noodles, tossing constantly for 2 minutes until slightly wilted. 7. Plate the zucchini noodles, top with the turkey Bolognese, and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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7462 Old Hickory Drive Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-730-2628


Inside This Issue

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5 Steps to a Successful Acquisition

Lockdown Ads: Have You Seen These Ones?

The Smart Way to Respond to a Verbal Attack


4 Exercises to Prevent Back Problems

Zucchini Noodles With Turkey Bolognese


High Quality Relationships Lower Blood Pressure

Love Boosts Your Immune System and Lifespan

for a long period of time contribute to many health benefits. But how does it improve your immune system? That’s a bit of a mystery to researchers. So far, women

It doesn’t take a scientist to tell us that a healthy, loving relationship can lessen our stress — but did you know it also boosts our immune system’s response and could help us live longer? Multiple studies have shown that couples in happy, loving marriages tend to have lower blood pressure. Marriage itself isn’t the key to a healthier life — the love is, researchers find. How do researchers define a loving relationship? To put it simply, it depends on the couples’ own opinion. Married couples with a high quality (aka loving) relationship showed significantly lower ambulatory systolic blood pressure than singles. However, happily married couples and singles had lower blood pressure than people in low quality marriages. Which means, at least in terms of your health, it’s much better to be single than unhappily married. How does it help your blood pressure exactly? Well, when positive events occur, the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin interact with your dopamine reward system. Vasopressin in particular helps control blood pressure. Of course, getting into a new relationship can be a little stressful! Cortisol, the stress hormone, initially rises when you fall in love. However, it quickly drops in a long-term, stable relationship. Those low cortisol levels sustained

in love have shown changes in their gene regulation of immune cells compared to women not in love.

Some theorize that this is in order to prepare for pregnancy. Unfortunately, we still don’t have conclusive research on whether men in love better fight flu and other viruses, too. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” since it has no symptoms, but it will steadily degrade your health over time, significantly increasing your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease. And while love is certainly not the only way to lower blood pressure, it’s comforting to know our loved ones can boost our health for a longer, happier life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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