SEARCHERS JOURNEY IN FINLAND – WHAT A MESS!
Scandinavians are reluctant to be entrepreneurs – they rather work in big companies or at the state. I am starting to understand why (again).
Percentage of women and of men declaring that they would rather take a risk and start a new business than work for someone else. This is how it looks like in Northern Europe.
Country Men Women Sweden 31 17 Finland 35 16 Denmark[redacted] 21
Where as in Canada, Ireland and China the eagerness to be an entrepreneur is double that of ours.
Ireland 59 42 Canada 61 56 China (People's Republic of) 61. 53
What does it mean? It means, that if you are willing to buy a company in Finland, there is less competition. And it’s a buyers marker, partially, in the smaller end, where the big boys & girls don’t play.
Currently I am searching to buy a company in the range or one to 1,5 million euros as the purchase price. If we get more investors, maybe from here, we can look for bigger targets. Please join our Refinery7 journey as an investor! Now I have been searching for half a year with my own money, which is running out. What have I found? The first time I did call a company and eventually drove there with my Avensis I was a bit nervous. What would they think? Who am I to go and ask, whether they would sell the company? Am I up to it? Can I get the funding together? Can I run the company? The first company ever that I visited personally as a searcher was in Rauma, a small town on the coast of Gulf of Finland. I drove there well in time and parked my car. The owner, one of them three, was dressed nicely and after the beginning tension our chat begin running. I thought, it is first time also for them, as often is the case. Second time I visited a company was easier. One gets used to it. Third time I already had a routine, what to say and ask. The fourth time I realized, that I could already make some surprisingly accurate perceptions by just walking through the premises and asking standard questions. I walked through the aluminium door manufacturing factory and thought how can you have 2.5 M€ revenue with just such a small factory? The reason was, that the price of aluminium is so much higher that the price of iron, that the factory was physically reasonably smaller than the next factory that used steel and iron as the raw material.
I get used to ask the same questions: how many employees, how long hours do you work, are you willing to sell and at what timetable, is the company in rented premises, what is your salary, do you take your real income as divident and if, so how many owners do the same. This was the reason why the first goal went blow ower. There were three partners who took their effektive salary as dividents. So the real gains were half of what the accounting showed. I bid so much lower than hwat they wanted to get, that the company broker got offended and now I don’t get any new targets from him at all. So many emotions are active and true in this business.
What next? We have bid on four companies so far, and none have gone forward. The reasons vary and the korona does not help. Usually also the owners are so attached to the companies, that they have trouble to let it go. Maybe a song would help?