Learn How to Buy & Own Businesses

Acquiring Minds is a media platform all about buying, owning, and operating small businesses.

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Upcoming Webinars

Jul 18
Thursday
Thursday
Jul 18, 2024
Search Investor Roundtable, State of the Market
3 search investors on what they're seeing in the self-funded, independent sponsor, and traditional search landscapes.
With
Niklas James, Tony Cappaert, Adam Borcz
Register Here
Jul 19
Friday
Friday
Jul 19, 2024
Purchase Agreement Fights: How to Avoid (or Win) Them
Come get all your legal questions answered by James David & Bill, whose entire practice is devoted to SMB acquisitions.
With
Bill Barlow, James David Williams
Register Here
Jul 25
Thursday
Thursday
Jul 25, 2024
How (and Why) to Choose a Franchise as an Acquisition Entrepreneur
Learn the merits of buying an existing franchise business & how to evaluate a franchise network from an ETA perspective.
With
Connor Groce
Register Here

Webinar Recordings

Jul 12
2024
Friday
Jul 12, 2024
Due Diligence Office Hours: Quality of Earnings 101
An intro to QoE plus due diligence questions answered by one of the most active diligence teams in the ETA ecosystem.
With
Max Lummis, Olya Lumelleau, Travis Sadler
Watch Recording
Jul 11
2024
Thursday
Jul 11, 2024
SBA Lender Roundtable: State of the Market
3 lenders in discussion about what they're seeing out there in the market right now, good & bad.
With
Lisa Forrest, Matt Dolsky, Brad Hettich
Watch Recording
Jun 27
2024
Thursday
Jun 27, 2024
How to Buy a Business & Hire an Operator at Once
How Matthew Saskin bought a $5m towing business and, at the same time, found & hired an operator to run the day-to-day.
With
Matthew Saskin
Watch Recording
Jun 11
2024
Tuesday
Jun 11, 2024
DO's and DON'Ts of the LOI
How LOIs can stand out both for good & bad reasons and what you can do to get a competitive edge and avoid pitfalls
With
Bill Barlow, James David Williams
Watch Recording
Mar 26
2024
Tuesday
Mar 26, 2024
Working Capital for Searchers
What accounts it's tied to, how to calculate it, how to include it in your LOI, modeling working capital needs
With
Sam Rosati
Watch Recording
Feb 29
2024
Thursday
Feb 29, 2024
How to Raise Equity to Buy a Business, Part 2
Writing the teaser & memorandum, offering a private placement without violating rules, documents & sequencing the raise
With
Sam Rosati, Kevin Henderson
Watch Recording
Feb 22
2024
Thursday
Feb 22, 2024
How to Raise Equity to Buy a Business, Part 1
Learn the process of raising money from investors, how to find them, market terms, writing a term sheet, & doc templates
With
Sam Rosati
Watch Recording
Feb 2
2024
Friday
Feb 2, 2024
The Anatomy of an LOI
Paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the LOI used for a real self-funded SBA acquisition. The LOI template is included.
With
Sam Rosati
Watch Recording
Jan 12
2024
Friday
Jan 12, 2024
How to Model a Self-Funded SBA Acquisition
Learn how to model a self-funded, SBA-financed search deal. You can download the model itself for use in your own deal.
With
Sam Rosati
Watch Recording

The Podcast

Jul 18
2024
Thursday
Jul 18, 2024
Getting Reps: Helping Others Look at Deals Led to a Holdco
How Adam Markley evaluated thousands of businesses for sale and bought a handful of his own (6 in his portfolio today).
Adam Markley
Jul 15
2024
Monday
Jul 15, 2024
Building a $10m EBITDA Leader in a Fragmented Space
Nick Haschka & Dillan Ferguson are 5 months and 2 acquisitions into a roll-up targeting $50-60m revenue in 5 years.
Nick Haschka & Dillan Ferguson
Jul 11
2024
Thursday
Jul 11, 2024
Buying & Growing a Business While Keeping a Day Job
How Dominick Blue bought an air duct cleaning business and took it into HVAC services, all while retaining his W-2.
Dominick Blue
Jul 8
2024
Monday
Jul 8, 2024
Buy as Search Fund, Keep as Long-Term Owner
By doubling a $3m EBITDA business Juan Aguilar bought with traditional search fund terms, he is able to hold it forever.
Jun Aguilar
Jul 4
2024
Thursday
Jul 4, 2024
It Really Happened: 100% Financing for an $8m Business
We caution against thinking you can find it: 100% seller financing. But Renan Cortez did — and on a sizable business.
Renan Cortez
Jul 1
2024
Monday
Jul 1, 2024
Turning $500k into a $38m Holdco (No Investors)
Garrison Snell enjoyed a modest exit at age 24. By 30, he'd parlayed that into a holdco with $9m EBITDA and a mission.
Garrison Snell
Jun 27
2024
Thursday
Jun 27, 2024
Candid Reflections on 7 Years of SMB Ownership
7 years ago Dan Verboski bought a sign business with $650k in earnings. He's doubled it, but ownership has taken a toll.
Dan Verboski
Jun 24
2024
Monday
Jun 24, 2024
Announcing: Minds Capital
Will Smith has partnered with Niklas James & Max Lummis in a fund to invest in searcher & independent sponsor deals.
Niklas James, Max Lummis, Will Smith
Jun 20
2024
Thursday
Jun 20, 2024
Why Work IN the Business You Buy (Not Just On It)
Before acquiring a commercial painting business doing around $2m, Colin Gates worked on a crew as one of its painters.
Colin King
Jun 17
2024
Monday
Jun 17, 2024
3x Revenue Despite Turnover, Hangovers & Threats
JD Beck transformed a small (and small-town) plumbing business, took it into a larger market, and tripled it in a year.
JD Beck
Jun 13
2024
Thursday
Jun 13, 2024
1 Business vs. Many: Deciding to Roll Up
Elliott Edge started as a searcher looking for a single business, then pivoted to a roll-up. He's 7 acquisitions in.
Elliot Edge
Jun 10
2024
Monday
Jun 10, 2024
2 Welders and a Shop... to $3.8m in Sales
Matt Pohl & his wife bought a small welding business with extreme key person risk. They 4x'd the business in 2 years.
Matthew Pohl

Sneak Peak: Upcoming Episodes

18
Jul 2024
Thursday
Jul 18, 2024
Getting Reps: Helping Others Look at Deals Led to a Holdco
How Adam Markley evaluated thousands of businesses for sale and bought a handful of his own (6 in his portfolio today).
Adam Markley
22
Jul 2024
Monday
Jul 22, 2024
The Scrappy Path of a One-Man Holdco
When Dustin Carreon reached a ceiling in his first small business, he used the profits to start buying other businesses.
Dustin Carreon
25
Jul 2024
Thursday
Jul 25, 2024
Reflections on 2 Years in the Knife Fight
Brett Kennedy has doubled & strengthened the sub-$1 million moving business he bought — but it hasn't been without pain.
Brett Kennedy
29
Jul 2024
Monday
Jul 29, 2024
White Collar Roll-Up from $700k to $12m
Jordan Evans left tech & bought a tiny, decades-old language services business. 6 years later, revenue is 17x larger.
Jordan Evans
01
Aug 2024
Thursday
Aug 1, 2024
Not a "Boring Business": Buying a Maker of Premium Pens
Years after one venture ended in failure, Jeff Velker bought a $2.5m pen maker with a strong brand & devoted customers.
Jeff Velker
05
Aug 2024
Monday
Aug 5, 2024
Buy Fast: A Good Reason to Buy Small
Rob Carpenter was eager to start operating, so it only took 90 days to start searching then buy a $200k SDE business.
Rob Carpenter

Why Entrepreneurship
Through Acquisition?

The riskiest time for a new business is the startup phase.

You’ve got no product, no revenue, no staff, no reputation. It can take years for a business to build those things, if it survives at all.

Now imagine an alternative scenario, where the risk and toil of those early years have passed. Where there are already paying customers, and people & processes in place to serve those customers.

A website with traffic, a phone that rings. The flywheel is already going.

That’s what it means to acquire an existing business. Your job is to improve and grow it, not breathe life into it.

For many entrepreneurs, this is a better fit. Better suited to their skills or station in life. More rewarding, more lucrative, even more fun.

What’s more, there are many trends in your favor.

An entire generation of retiring business owners are looking for an exit. Their businesses are established, sometimes decades old, and yet there is no successor to take the reins. Oftentimes when they finally do retire, they just turn off the lights, pull the door closed, and shut down the business.

What a waste.

Meanwhile, it’s easier than ever to start a business online, from FBA to Shopify stores to courses to affiliate blogs. Which means millions of people start online side hustles, only to lose interest or shift priorities.

In the right hands, these neglected businesses can not only survive but thrive.

And unlike getting a bank loan for a startup (near impossible), banks routinely lend to entrepreneurs who want to buy a profitable small business.

Which means you can finance an acquisition, then pay down the debt with the profits of the business itself.

Many people think “buying a business” is just for the wealthy, or private equity.

Not so.

Thousands of normal individuals acquire a business every year. This site tells their stories.

Not to say that it’s easy.

While buying a business can be a path to wealth, you will not get rich quick. It’s still entrepreneurship, with all the hard work and persistence that entails.

It’s just a different kind of entrepreneurship, one that is overlooked by a media fixated on billionaires and unicorns.

But one that offers the same rewards and professional fulfillment.

Acquiring Minds will open your mind to the possibilities.

FAQ

What type of person acquires a business?
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There are so many that it’s hard to generalize.

But here are a few examples:

You have entrepreneurial energy but you don’t have an idea to pursue.

You’re a mid-career employee looking to pivot into being a business owner. You’re ready to take control of your own destiny but don’t have the years or financial resources to start a business from zero.

You have deep industry expertise that could be applied a small business in that industry to make it grow.

You have a specialized skill set — online marketing for example — that could be applied to a small business that is weak in that area.

You’re interested in a space, like e-commerce or manufacturing, and want to accelerate your education and participation in that space.

You weren’t looking to buy a business but an attractive opportunity has presented itself.

You already have a business but want to acquire another one in order to grow.

You want to build a portfolio of profitable businesses as a path to wealth.

Isn’t buying a business just “buying a job”?
display / hide FAQ question

For many people, yes, they do operate the business that they acquire. You’d call such a business buyer an owner-operator.

This isn’t a bad thing.

Most owner-operators acquired the business precisely because they wanted to actively improve and grow it. They may intend to later reduce their personal activity in the business, or they may continue operating it indefinitely. Or, they may themselves sell the business after growing it over a few years.

Regardless, they’ve realized their entrepreneurial aspirations and become their own boss.

People who want to acquire a business but not operate it are investors. This is a different acquisition strategy, but one that can be extremely rewarding as well. (Just ask Warren Buffet.)

Do I need expertise in the industry of the company I acquire?
display / hide FAQ question

Usually people have some related experience, but not always.

In that case, you should at least have a strong commitment to, and preferably a genuine interest in, learning the industry of the company you acquire.

You should not buy a business in an industry where you have no knowledge nor any interest in gaining it.

Can I buy a business with no money down?
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Yes, it is possible. But “no money down” deals are not the norm and you should be wary of gurus promising that they’re easy to find.

That said, there are a variety of ways a “no money down” situation could occur.

The most common is a 100% seller-financed deal. That is, the current owner of the business sells it to you for $500k (for example) over a 5-year term. You pay $100k per year out of the profits of the business. At the end of 5 years you own the business outright, having put zero of your own money at risk.

This example is an oversimplification, but it does give you a sense of what's possible. Deals like this do happen with some frequency.

More often, however, a deal will be partially seller financed. So in our above example, you might have to pay $150k up front, then the remaining $350k over 5 years.