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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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255 Episodes
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Cody Agee thought food testing would be a good recession-resistant business to buy. 2 weeks later, one listed for sale.Topics in Cody interview:Bypassing business schoolCashing out his 401(k) without using ROBSBuying a food safety and testing labThe moat of licensing requirementsHis advantage over much larger competitorsAdjusting purchase price based on quality of earnings reportFinding investors on TwitterPersonally guaranteeing the seller noteHow he uses EBITDAR vs. EBITDAPutting in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) systemReferences and how to contact Cody:LinkedInTwitter/Xcody@splitmountaincapital.comSierra Dairy LaboratoryDino SawayaWork 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
Jeff Homer bought a small local music school as a fun side hustle. It turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime.Topics in Jeff interview:Switching from high finance to music schoolsBuying his first music school as a side projectRaising growth equity after first 2 acquisitionsAcquiring a music school every monthArtists’ negative predisposition toward sellingComparing profitability of music vs. danceImportance of general managers in scalingImplementing apps to streamline operationsOther industries with roll-up potentialRolling up 60+ music/dance schools nationwideReferences and how to contact Jeff:LinkedInEnsemble Performing ArtsLearn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:The Acquisition LabGet 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
Jarett Berke told his intermediary "no restaurants" but changed his tune when he saw what a great business Lou's was.Topics in Jarett’s interview:Finding a business through an accountantWhy restaurants are a tough businessComparing military service to running a restaurantBuying a restaurant with exceptional marginsLearning every job in the restaurantPivoting to delivery during CovidDoing a stock deal instead of an asset purchaseReinvesting by adding tables and renovating60% growth in 6 yearsWhat he likes about the restaurant businessReferences and how to contact Jarett:LinkedInLou’s Restaurantjarett@lousrestaurant.comGet 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
Scott Walton bought 2 barely-profitable blue collar companies, changed the culture, unlocked growth & hired a president.Topics in Scott’s interview:Acquiring with a partnerSolving their recruitment problemDoubling revenue in 18 monthsHis 3-step LOI strategyIncentivizing good customer serviceImproving their company cultureChallenges after acquisitionFinancing without the SBACreative deal structuringHis thoughts on buying smallReferences and how to contact Scott:LinkedInscott.walton@matrixmechanical.caHome Service Expert PodcastGet 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
4 acquisitions, 3 years after the first deal, and 2 dishonest sellers before Chandra Rao went full-time in his holdco.Topics in Chandra’s interview:Learning from due diligence mistakesLosing $300k in the first yearChallenges with payment terms and working capitalTrue value of a seller noteOne of his partners embezzled from the companyFpppChoosing a conventional loan over SBAThe electrical contracting and fiber optic cabling businesses6x growth in 4 yearsJuggling a roll-up and a W-2A seller who committed fraudReferences and how to contact Guest:LinkedInchandra@millermn.comMiller UtilitiesGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRWork 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
Zach Smith bought a 30-year-old membership business that connects patients with dentists to return it to former glory.Topics in Zach’s interview:His exit from UberDifficulty of starting a marketplace businessWhen spreadsheets meet realityBuying a shrinking businessGoing with a stock sale instead of asset saleCurrent problems with dental insurance plansHow American Dental Care differs from insuranceThe view from the bottom of the J curveHis plan to grow all sides of the marketplaceForgoing an SBA/bank loanReferences and how to contact Zach:LinkedInTwitterAmerican Dental CareGet complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's insurance & benefits program:Oberle Risk Strategies - Search Fund TeamLearn 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
Most first-timers shy away from buying across borders. Not Christi Loucks, whose Canadian acquisition did $550k of SDE.Topics in Christi’s interview:Buying a business for personal fulfillmentPainful broken dealsChallenges of buying a cross-border business in CanadaThe positive role emotions play in dealmakingLosing (and regaining) 55% of her clients after transitionThe line between cold outreach and spamConstant change in the tech industryUnexpected expenses after transitionPlanning for her maternity leaveHer husband’s return to a corporate jobReferences and how to contact Christi:LinkedInRevenue AcceleratorNeil BeardenGet 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 ACQUIRINGMINDSGarth Fasano searched part time for 5 years before finding a target with very sticky revenue & great business-buyer fit.Topics in Garth’s interview:Searching for 5 yearsBenefiting from the SBA looking at calendar-year financials (not TTM)Top Dog’s unique business modelWhy this business should be bought, not builtHis relationship to a dog training franchiseImpact of outcome-based pricing  Purposely hiring less-experienced sales peopleHow Top Dog differs from online marketingExpanding to industries outside of dog trainingHis passion project: ski hutsReferences and how to contact Garth:Garth@topdogsalescenter.comLinkedInTop Dog Sales CenterLearn 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
Rolling-Up to $15m EBITDA

Rolling-Up to $15m EBITDA

2024-04-2501:44:37

Robert Graham & Aaron Blick's first acquisition did $1.2m SDE. Four years later, their roll-up generates $15m in EBITDA.Topics in Robert & Aaron’s interview:Going from lifelong friends to business partnersImpact of private equity on industry roll-upsRunning their companies remotelyA competing business poaching employeesFinancial shocks after taking ownershipWhy they believe in buying bigNecessity of hiring presidents to operate their businessesCompany presidents guaranteeing the SBA loanBlending SBA loans with a roll-up modelHow buyer-seller power dynamics shift after purchaseReferences and how to contact Robert & Aaron:Episode #149 Home Care Business: How to Buy and 2x an AgencyEpisode #218 Taking the Plunge into Extreme OwnershipRobert Graham LinkedInAaron Blick LinkedInRobert Graham TwitterPillar Health GroupSIG PartnersGet a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HRWork 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
Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDSJohn Murphy pushed through divorce, $500k debt, and a bad broken deal to finally buy a 60-year-old business doing $8m.Topics in John’s interview:Losing a deal one week before closingValue of peer groupsHow real estate compares to business ownershipTaking over a company before the deal closedUnforseen transition expensesCarl Allen’s business buying courseLeaving his W-2 to search for a businessValue of joining industry associationsRestructuring his workforce to increase marginsBuying a company with a management layerReferences and how to contact John:LinkedInDave Cole DecoratorsJohn@dcd-inc.comLearn 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
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
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