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Acquiring Minds

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Acquiring Minds

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 Sign up for episode summaries at: https://acquiringminds.co

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Recent Episodes of Acquiring Minds


Finding a Great Business in Cow Country

Finding a Great Business in Cow Country

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) system

References and how to contact Cody:

LinkedInTwitter/Xcody@splitmountaincapital.comSierra Dairy LaboratoryDino Sawaya

Work with an SBA broker who...

Episode 23 May 2024 1h, 27m and 43s


Art of the Roll-Up: 40 Businesses in 4 Years

Art of the Roll-Up: 40 Businesses in 4 Years

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 nationwide

References and how to contact Jeff:

LinkedInEnsemble Performing Arts

Learn more about Walker Deibel's do...

Episode 20 May 2024 1h, 25m and 8s


When a Restaurant Is a Great Business to Buy

When a Restaurant Is a Great Business to Buy

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 business

References and how to contact Jarett:

LinkedInLou’s Restaurantjarett@lousrestaurant.com

Get complimentary due diligence on y...

Episode 16 May 2024 1h, 30m and 13s


Building a $10m Platform from 2 Low-SDE Businesses

Building a $10m Platform from 2 Low-SDE Businesses

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 small

References and how to contact Scott:

LinkedInscott.walton@matrixmechanical.caHome Service Expert Podcast

Get a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your target business:

Contact mark@aspenhr.com or visit Aspen HR

Learn more about Walker Deibel's done-with-you buy-side advisory:

Th...

Episode 13 May 2024 1h, 36m and 4s


Holdco Origin Story: The Bumpy Road to $3m EBITDA

Holdco Origin Story: The Bumpy Road to $3m EBITDA

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 fraud

References and how to contact Guest:

LinkedInchandra@millermn.comMiller Utilities

Get a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review fo...

Episode 9 May 2024 1h, 42m and 14s


The Allure of Buying a Marketplace Business

The Allure of Buying a Marketplace Business

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 loan

References and how to contact Zach:

LinkedInTwitterAmerican Dental Care

Get complimentary due diligence on your acquisition's in...

Episode 6 May 2024 1h, 28m and 39s


How an American Bought a Canadian Business

How an American Bought a Canadian Business

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 job

References and how to contact Christi:

LinkedInRevenue AcceleratorNeil Bearden

Get a complementary pre-acquisition HR & PEO review for your...

Episode 2 May 2024 1h, 34m and 10s


Selling $100k of Dog Training… Per Day

Selling $100k of Dog Training… Per Day

Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:

https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDS


Garth 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 do...

Episode 29 April 2024 1h, 43m and


Rolling-Up to $15m EBITDA

Rolling-Up to $15m EBITDA

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 purchase

References and how to contact Robert & Aaron:

Episode #149 Home Care Business: How to Buy and 2x an Ag...

Episode 25 April 2024 1h, 44m and 37s


The Double Life of Owning a Business 2.5 Hours Away

The Double Life of Owning a Business 2.5 Hours Away

Get $200 off your ticket to the M&A Launchpad Conference in Houston on May 11th:

https://www.malaunchpad.com & enter code ACQUIRINGMINDS


John 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 co...

Episode 22 April 2024 1h, 31m and 10s

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