“This interview with Stephen Roseman, president of Spy Optics, includes a quote from Stephen in which he says ‘Build a house you want to live in.’ Meaning, build a strong business with a sound foundation,” states Sam Thompson, a Minneapolis business broker and president of Transitions In Business. “Oftentimes business owners will glossy up a business right before they plan to sell. Buyers will see through this and will lose interest. A strong business that continues to invest where needed will draw multiple buyers.”
The action sports business is fuelled by big brands which is why, when SPY Optics built a style popular with irreverent teens, eyewear behemoth Bollé decided they had to own them.
This episode of Built to Sell Radio features SPY’s president and major shareholder Stephen Roseman who described what he did to beef up SPY’s value prior to Bollé’s acquisition. This interview includes a number of important insights for value builders such as:
Invest Cash In What Drives Your Value: one of Roseman’s first moves as a SPY shareholder and its president was to jettison the factories SPY owned in Italy. He reasoned SPY could contract with a manufacturing plant to make their lenses elsewhere, while selling the factories would free up the cash to invest in building their brand.
Find Multiple Sources of Supply: Roseman knew becoming too dependent on one supplier for his lens would undermine any value he created by getting out of the manufacturing business, so he was sure to set up relationships with multiple manufacturers capable of making SPY products.
Do Something Different: SPY came up with their “Happy Lens” technology which lets a spectrum of light through which apparently improves the mood of whoever wears them. The Happy Lens technology and brand served to further differentiate SPY and make its brand durable in the face of fickle consumers.
There are many more pearls of wisdom in this conversation with Stephen Roseman.