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If You Can't Beat 'Em...

When it comes to acquiring competitors, sometimes size does matter.

By David Worrell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As far as growth strategies go, buying up competitors can be aninexpensive shortcut to new revenue, new technologies and talentedpeople. Jennifer Floren, founder and CEO of Experience Inc., gotall those things when she acquired three competing onlinerecruiting companies. Floren, 34, was surprised, however, that theentrepreneurial spirit of her small Boston-based company wasactually an advantage when bidding on other small, entrepreneur-runbusinesses.

Floren knew that large media companies had scooped up dotcoms inher market only to shutter them a short time later, so heracquisition offers emphasized that Experience would keep theemployees and take care of the customers. In that light, all threecompanies decided that being part of another small company wastheir best option. "We had competition in all theacquisitions," says Floren. "The cultural fit made thedifference."

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