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Acquiring Minds

Author: Will Smith

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Buying a business is an amazing path for many successful entrepreneurs. Learn how to buy a business from the entrepreneurs who have already done it. 2x per week: stories, insights, & valuable advice about acquisition entrepreneurship. Hosted by Will Smith, who is on his own path to acquire a business.

Also on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@AcquiringMinds

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245 Episodes
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Reid Tileston bought a business that relied on $800k trucks, capex he came to love for the fat margins they produced.Topics in Reid’s interview:Working on the business instead of in itWriting a book about acquisitionPeople are the worst and best part of businessPower of feedback and relationships for business ownersThe company’s slow temp-to-hire processGetting his CDL to be hands-on Moving paper processes to the cloudPros and cons of an Employee Stock Ownership ProgramPersonally testing field service management techRisks of informing employees of a business saleReferences and how to contact Reid:LinkedInTwitterGrit It Done by Reid TilestonWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSRafael Quinn shares the story & principles behind buying 3 businesses in Panama then raising $28m to buy more in the US.Topics in Rafael's interview:Selling everything on Craigslist to move to PanamaBuying his first business Panama from a billboard adHow to buy a business with an operatorHow he decided to build a holdcoSelf-identity as investor vs. entrepreneur3-year dry spell not buying any businessesBeing in "search mode" your whole careerBreaking his own rule by buying a restaurantWhy he turned his sights to the USHow to raise $28m & structure a holdcoWhy buy a furniture retailerReferences and how to contact Guest:TwitterLinkedInAthens PizzaHickory ParkAlternative HoldingsGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
The construction services business Christian Bateson bought will do $7.5m in 2024. It also rescued him from the depths.Topics in Christian’s interview:His front row seat to the 2008 financial crisisQualities of a top salespersonBusiness acquisition as a way out of a miserable careerShopping around for an SBA loanChoosing to play to his strengths and outsource his weaknessesDifficulty in hiring for constructionBouncing back and growing after Covid lossesRed flags he ignored when acquiring his second businessHow his finance background benefited himHis $100 million goalReferences and how to contact Christian:LinkedInResolute ServicesWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSPatrick Norris bought a small trash business doing $625k. Five years later and 4.5x bigger, a strategic got interested.Topics in Patrick’s interview:Why acquiring a trash business is easier than starting oneIntricacies of trash disposal pricingNiches within trash servicesCompetition and cooperation in trash servicesThe first question you should ask when considering a trash businessWhy he regrets not hiring a managerHiring for dangerous, strenuous jobs4xing revenue through customer service and Google adsThe cycle of building and selling a trash businessBuying a business without an MBAReferences and how to contact Patrick:LinkedInGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Only after Matt Jackson bought a roofing business in the hurricane state did he realize just how big the opportunity is.Topics in Matt’s interview:His experience with AcquiraKeeping the seller as an employeeWhy he likes roofing despite drawbacksHow he satisfied his licensing requirementMoats around spray foam roofingStanding out in the roofing industryHis vision for organic growthHow insurance companies drive demand for new roofsUsing ROBS for financingWhy he won’t buy the ROBS ownership interest back from his 401kReferences and how to contact Matt:matt@usiroofing.comLinkedInUSI RoofingThe MLS-style site with for-sale businesses in FloridaLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSAt age 63, Maurice Thomas wasn't ready to retire, so he bought an electrical contractor with $1m in earnings instead.Topics in Maurice’s interview:Buying a business after age 60Learning the right amount of diligence to do before submitting an LOIImportance of a target statement for searchersHis values-first approach to businessImportance for searchers to “know thyself”Politics and religion in the workplaceGratifying work of coaching employeesHis succession planChallenge of hiring lead electriciansCreating incentives that align with company goalsReferences and how to contact Maurice:LinkedInMaurice@MainLineElectric.netMain Line ElectricalWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
How Andrew Stordeur bought a 25-year-old furniture manufacturer in Alberta without having to use any of his own capital.Topics in Andrew’s interview:Taking a startup to an IPOCompetition in the wood furniture spaceFinancing without the SBAAdvice for Canadian searchersGetting a 35% seller noteHis 100% financed dealHis plan to increase direct-to-consumer salesBeing the sole breadwinner for a family of 6Deciding not to buy with a partnerHow his company ships faster than AmazonReferences and how to contact Andrew:LinkedInTwitterAll Things CedarVillage WellthLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
The Birth of a Roll-Up

The Birth of a Roll-Up

2024-03-2501:24:21

Register here for the webinar, Working Capital 101https://bit.ly/3IGEZWQGet $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSStephen Olmon & Collin Trimble set out to roll up the alarm industry in Texas. Alarm Masters is their first acquisition.Topics in Stephen and Collin’s interview:All about the alarm, fire, & security industryTheir roll-up strategyMoats in the form of risk and licensing requirementsValuation based on monthly recurring revenueEducating their lenders on industry practicesUsing a holdback to mitigate attrition riskChoosing to offer both installation and serviceThe supply of technicians in this industryThe value of Collin’s sales skillsStrategic questions they asked during due diligenceReferences and how to contact Stephen and Collin:Stephen Olmon TwitterStephen Olmon LinkedInCollin Trimble TwitterCollin Trimble LinkedInAlarm MastersWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Register here for the webinar, Working Capital 101https://bit.ly/3veZaYPAlan Lochridge left a career in consulting to buy a 20-year-old $5.5m hardscaping contractor with strong fundamentals.Topics in Alan’s interview:Years of searching before acquiringUnderstanding the ROBS financing strategyReiterating company values weeklyHis day-to-day role as ownerRestructuring to do more with fewer peopleEmbracing digital marketing and CRM toolsWhy he’s so comfortable with project-based revenueAdvantage of a negative cash conversion cyclePros and cons of using subcontractorsGetting his general contractor’s licenseReferences and how to contact Alan:LinkedInalan@stonemanrocks.comThe Stone ManGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Register here for the webinar, Working Capital 101https://bit.ly/3IFObuBGet $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSDespite an overwhelming transition, today Dan Tagliatela has 17x'd his initial investment and delegated the day-to-day.Topics in Dan’s interview:His background in investingWhat margins indicate about a businessReturn on assets as a quality metricAcquiring a pavement sealing companyGeographic density advantage of the businessHis goal to double volume over 10 yearsReplacing the antiquated robocall machineStress of learning and upgrading at the same timeBuying a window cleaning companyThe Goldilocks approach to managementReferences and how to contact Dan:LinkedInCompetitive Strategy by Michael PorterCompetitive Advantage by Michael PorterGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
John Wilson bought & grew a very small plumbing business 26x over the last 7 years, and today has plans to reach $100m.Topics in John’s interview:Growing up in his family’s home services businessTaking over the business at 23Acquiring a turnaround to grow his businessHis first time doing layoffsUsing CertainPath’s model to growTripling his ad spend during CovidWhy he believes in buying smallHis take on installing an operatorHis plan to get to $100MThe taxonomy of blue collar businessesReferences and how to contact John:Owned and Operated (his podcast)The Wilson CompaniesTwitterJohn’s tweet thread breaking down homes services businessCertainPathWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSDanny Fields & Steve Reis bought a decades-old utility supplier seemingly ripe for growth. It was harder than it looked.Topics in Danny and Steve’s interview:Their shared background in the militaryEducating their investors about oil and gasDramatically increasing their cold outreach response rateBuying a business with $1M+ in revenue per employeeDelaying growth to build relationshipsThe pros and cons of having a workforce near retirementAcquiring product lines and building a manufacturing companyDaily stress of running a businessImportance of buying a growing businessThe future of renewable energyReferences and how to contact Danny & Steve:Danny Fields' LinkedInSteve Reis' LinkedInHolland Supply CompanyGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Bought Tiny, Grew to $4m

Bought Tiny, Grew to $4m

2024-03-0701:39:29

SBA lender Chad Fondriest got the itch to get in the game himself & bought a couple's hobby business doing just $150k.Topics in Chad’s interview:Keeping his W-2 while running the businessQuadrupling revenue in 2 yearsGetting listed on WayfairTradeoffs of selling on AmazonHigh importance of inventory management Explosive growth during CovidHow he estimated market sizeDifficulty of competing in ecommerceForecasting trends a year in advanceGrief and joy of managing creativesReferences and how to contact Chad:Darby Creek Tradingchad@darbycreektrading.comTwitterLinkedInGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSTato Corcoran packed a lifetime of learning (and tears) into 18 months when she left tech & bought a tiny manufacturer.Topics in Tato’s interview:Connecting with sellers through direct mailHer “Say yes and figure it out later” approachDifficulty in hiring unskilled laborHow she solved her labor issueBeing a single woman in a male industryLearning Spanish to communicate with her employeesHemorrhaging money the first 8 monthsRaising prices 40% without losing customersThe difference between good growth and bad growthDoubling top line revenueReferences and how to contact Tato:LinkedIntatohomes@gmail.comThe direct mail piece Tato used to reach business ownersLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabWork with an SBA broker who focuses exclusively on helping entrepreneurs buy businesses:Matthias Smith of Pioneer Capital AdvisoryConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
The Front Lines of a Crisis

The Front Lines of a Crisis

2024-02-2901:37:22

14 months ago, Russ Hadlock bought an auto glass business with $2.3m in sales. Today he is struggling to keep it alive.Topics in Russ’s interview:Inventing the Peloton handlebar trayHis life-changing exit from his companyLooking for stability and safety through acquisitionFear of buying a company that was too big to operateExpenses skyrocketing after transitionImpact of asset purchase on rent and insurance costsLayoffs and belt tighteningRenegotiating his SBA loanConsolidating locations as a Hail MaryNeed to get a job while still owning the businessReferences and how to contact Russ:TwitterLinkedInAutoGlass Clinic & Mobile RadioGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamBook your free tax strategy session for business buyers today:Steed - book your free sessionConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Ben Rizzo bought an unprofitable, 4th-generation elevator business then stabilized, doubled, and sold it within 2 years. Topics in Ben’s interview:His wife-funded search in PittsburghSourcing deals through lawyers and accountants vs brokersAcquiring an elevator repair business in distressQuickly making changes after transitionPouring his own money into the company to stay operationalSurviving the challenges of CovidDoubling the business and selling to private equityCalculating the risk of buying a turnaroundBuying a healthy business for his next ventureCompeting with private equity for acquisitionsReferences and how to contact Ben:Hartwood PointLinkedInGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Nathan Gregory left the music industry to buy Autobody News, a business that could benefit from his experience in media. Topics in Nathan’s interview:Building and exiting a beer koozie brandManaging brand partnerships for pop starsEducating himself on business acquisitionPivoting away from home servicesBuying a media company with a partnerWhy print media isn’t dead His audience-first approachCommitment vs passion for the industryServing a hybrid workforceThe business model for trade publicationsReferences and how to contact Nathan:LinkedInTwitterAutobody NewsAcquiraGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRBook your free tax strategy session for business buyers today:Steed - book your free sessionConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Register here for the webinar, How to Raise Equity to Buy a Businesshttps://bit.ly/3SUJhzQGet $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSPeter deBaptiste bought a 35-person plumbing business with 2 very technical, hands-on owners 1 hour away from his house.Topics in Peter’s interview:Building operational skills in a start-upAcquiring Joe Cole PlumbingHis disappointing first day as ownerBuying from 2 co-ownersSurprises in employee turnoverLosing clients to a former employeeWhat he likes about the plumbing businessThe complexities of working capital in constructionWhy he recommends holding off on strategyUnderestimating his salary needsReferences and how to contact Peter:LinkedInTwitterJoe Cole PlumbingEpisode with Peter's friend, Morgan McCauley:Taking the Plunge into Extreme OwnershipLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Register here for the webinar, How to Raise Equity to Buy a Businesshttps://bit.ly/3uwHx6yWill Wright bought a big event rental business in December 2018. When Covid hit, he turned crisis into opportunity.Topics in Will’s interview:Benefits of a traditional search fundFeeling like a “wartime president”His brutal first year as ownerValue of a strong company cultureScrambling to fulfill contracts after a large warehouse fireLayoff and salary cuts during CovidBuilding and strengthening the business during CovidCreating an incentive strategy for employeesTexas as an attractive place for businessHow sailing prepared him for leading peopleReferences and how to contact Will Wright:Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj SisodiaLinkedInPeerless Events and TentsGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
Register here for the webinar, How to Raise Equity to Buy a Businesshttps://bit.ly/3SAWZXdAdam Borcz bought & unlocked growth in a niche-y, 35-year-old blue collar business, almost tripling earnings in 4 years. Topics in Adam’s interview:Adam’s experience working for a fundless sponsorPros & cons of having the federal government as a customerDoubling his work force in a “tough labor market”Why overhead doesn't need to scale with labor forceDoing nothing for the first six months as ownerWhy he invests in traditional search fundsPersonal risk and work involved in self-funded searchBeing on the right side of the SBA loanTying profit sharing to gross profitAdam's decision to hold the business indefinitelyReferences and how to contact Adam:LinkedInTwitterDelta Installation GroupGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabConnect with Acquiring Minds:See past + future interviews on the YouTube channelConnect with host Will Smith on LinkedInFollow Will on Twitter
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