One of my best pieces of unconventional advice to any new searcher would be to stop acting corporate, consulting, Wall Street, MBA etc. and be yourself.
Drop the buzz words.
Stop trying to do diligence like it's a public company.
Don't overcomplicate analysis and decisions.
Shorten the legal docs.
Do the term sheet over dinner.
A core reason for our success over the past four years has been an ability to relate to owners.
From inception, we had a genuine care and empathy for owner succession desires and legacy.
Owners saw this and agreed to between 50% and 75% seller financing on our 8 deals to date.
However, it took a couple years to 'de-banker'. 7 years of investment banking was hard to shake off.
A colleague told me pretty directly one day: "you need to talk more like a tradesman".
If you are looking for businesses with $3M or less of EBITDA, it's unlikely the owner will relate to a "smartest guy in the room" approach white collar work teaches us.
Be plainspoken. Keep it simple. Get shit done.
We've made a ton of mistakes over the past four years. But we've also gotten a few things right.
If you want to benefit from our experience, check out our advisory services overview by clicking this link
Here's our sneak preview track record:
- -- 8 acquisitions closed in 4 years, all under 4x
- -- 100% close rate on signed term sheets
- -- 50-75% seller financing achieved
- -- Deal financial expectations largely met at 2 year point (no blow-ups to date)
- -- $9M of capital raised between equity and debt (private, bank and seller)
- -- Near perfect retention of customers and employees
- -- Reduced legal fees from $100K to ~$10K or less on deals 2-8