I purchased a profitable and growing business on my own through an SBA loan, seller note and personal equity. I’m now starting to consider bringing on equity partner(s) with access to growth capital, strategic/operating advice, and that can help me recapitalize my balance sheet (i.e., reducing annual debt service). I’ve started reaching out to a few industry partners to see what private equity connections they might have but it is slow going. I’d like to drive the process more instead of relying on others to make the connections down the road.

Without opening a can of worms, does anyone have recommendations on how best to go about this? Should I consider engaging an M&A banker or a broker at this size of company ($15-20m annual revenue / 8-10% EBITDA)? I’m hesitant to put it too much out into the world, out of concern of the wrong message getting to my team, key vendors and customers.