Our company had just been acquired, and I was excited.
My business partners, Mark and Tom Losher, and I had spent years building L.M.L. Estate Management into a successful landscape design and estate management business. We were ready to level up alongside our new investor and partner. In fact, we had even begun acquiring other like-minded companies in the hopes of broadening our services and expanding our geographical reach.
But a year after we were acquired, our investor caught wind of news: Crane Group was gathering a collective of world-class companies in our space and creating a new parent company called Fairwood Brands. They were interested in L.M.L. Our investor encouraged us to check them out.
Introducing another investor into the equation such a short time after partnering with our original one was unnerving. Thankfully, we decided to take a leap of faith and explore the possibility.
For both parties, the next few months required several leaps of faith. But those leaps were the first of many clues that we had found a values-aligned partner.
After some initial research, our relationship with Crane Group began to quickly take shape. We were once again working through careful due diligence.
As we shared data and underwent asset tests, we were encouraged to discover Crane Group’s commitment to respect, family, and community, as well as its approach to partnerships. We love that they engage founders as true partners and invite them to the table every step of the way.
We eventually set a hopeful deadline and a date for a meeting, where we would gather face-to-face with Crane Group and the other companies under Fairwood Brands to celebrate our new partnership.
As that meeting drew nearer, it was clear our deal wouldn’t be 100-percent finalized, but all parties decided to meet anyway—another leap of faith. It was the first time in my professional life that I went in knowing not every “i” would be dotted, and yet I still felt confident.
I’m happy to say that confidence was warranted. With the acquisition complete and Fairwood Brands established, Crane Group has brought a reinforcement of priorities and a steady hand through the inevitable challenges that come with growing a business.
Fairwood Brands has a bright future ahead, thanks to a good bit of calculated decision making—and a few leaps of faith.
Scott Morris is a co-founder of L.M.L Estate Management, one of six companies that make up Fairwood Brands. Located in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana, L.M.L. offers garden and grounds maintenance, landscaping, interior decorating and more.