Key Points From the Interview
erial acquirer Dave Bramlett isn’t the type of entrepreneur who makes headlines. We’re not talking hockey stick growth, 10x returns, or huge IPOs. The businesses that make up Dave’s portfolio are practical, proven, and profitable.
Dave’s ventures have run the gamut from physical products to service-based delivery, including pet food home delivery, bounce house rentals, chemical distribution, real estate photography, and now Resume Writing Group, a completely online business that offers resume-writing services to job seekers.
While Dave sometimes shopped through brokers in his home city of Phoenix, AZ, he has often hunted for business opportunities on BizBuySell.
That’s where he found Resume Writing Group. Dave was looking for an online business that was not dependent on Amazon, where cash flow was established, and employment was steady. While there were hundreds of choices on BizBuySell, Resume Writing Group had the added benefit of allowing him to take a part-time position. He could look at the big picture rather than getting his hands dirty.
Buying a job-focused business in an unstable job market has proven challenging. Revenues went from a steady $150-170k a month to $90-120k. However, with a solid management team and staff of writers, Dave is confident that he can restore Resume Writing Group to its pre-pandemic glory.
Dave is happy to turn his experiences into advice. When buying a business, due diligence is everything. While he is seasoned at parsing a good deal from a flop, he advises bringing in an accountant for any financials that are shaky. Projecting your exact profit each month will tell you whether it’s a good pick for you.
In this episode, Dave details the ebbs and flows of all of his businesses, how to make the acquisition transition smooth, and his 10-year plan.
✳️ Episode highlights with timestamps
Acquisition Entrepreneur: Dave Bramlett
💵 What he acquired: Dave is a serial acquirer, having bought businesses selling everything from bounce houses to pet food home delivery to concrete mixer chemicals. In March 2020, he acquired Resume Writing Group, which generates an average of $100k/month in revenue.
💡 Key quote: “I've always liked buying existing businesses simply because on Day One you walk into cash flow. You’re walking into a business that's been around for three, five, or 10 years: They've got a customer base already, something solid that you can build off, [so] you don't have to go out and find that first customer.”
👋 Where to find him: LinkedIn
Acquisition Tips From the Episode
Top takeaways from this conversation
🔍 BizBuySell can be your friend.
BizBuySell is one of the oldest business selling sites in the game Don’t sleep on it. Dave said he found almost all of his business acquisitions through BizBuySell. The key is knowing how to sort out the bad apples.
For his latest acquisition, he was originally planning to pursue an online business with a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) model. He started looking for those types of businesses on BizBuySell. The more he dug, the more he realized that Amazon ultimately wins in that scenario. He stumbled on Resume Writing Group, which was not dependent on Amazon at all, and started the conversation that led to the acquisition.
🧠 Bring in the experts for due diligence.
Buying a business isn’t something to be taken lightly, and never assume the best of anyone.
Dave points out that business owners often make less-than-honest maneuvers with their books, such as paying for their car expenses out of the business and not accounting for it.
Whenever you have doubts about something you’re seeing on a business’s books, it’s best to call in the experts.
Dave strongly recommends bringing in an accountant to give the numbers a proper review. Once you sort out which expenses wouldn’t be sustained under your leadership, you can devise how much profit you’ll actually see each month.
🤝 Maintain a healthy partnership with the previous owner.
Not all owners want to stay on post-acquisition, but you certainly don’t want to get stuck with a seller who leaves you high and dry after the deal’s ink has dried. With Resume Writing Group, Dave liked that the seller was willing to stay available after the sale was complete.
Dave spent four days with the previous owner learning the ropes, but still had some knowledge gaps when it came time to fly solo. Needing help with coding and web maintenance, he continued to have Zoom sessions and phone calls with the seller for some time after the transition. He still has monthly calls to ask questions.
Inflection points from the show
[01:54] Dave describes his experience in the ‘90s dot-com boom.
[03:07] How Dave moved from websites to buying a pet food home delivery service in Arizona.
[04:01] How Dave built the business and led a successful exit.
[05:03] Dave’s next acquisition: a chemical company that removes concrete from concrete mixers.
[05:45] Dave experiences the grind of weekend work as the owner of a bounce house company.
[06:12] How Dave built a home photography business for real estate clients which lasted for 15 years.
[07:00] The impact of Dave’s decision to acquire a resume-writing company just before COVID-19 hit.
[08:16] Why Dave buys businesses rather than building from the ground up.
[09:42] The key business decisions behind Dave’s real estate photography operation.
[11:14] Why didn’t Dave retain ownership of the real estate business and install a general manager?
[12:30] Dave’s criteria for picking his most recent business venture.
[14:21] The challenges of running a resume writing service.
[15:50] Dave breaks down average monthly revenue for Resume Writing Group. (You might be surprised.)
[17:25] How revenue has shifted since the pandemic began.
[20:41] Why Dave stays focused on the big picture rather than the day-to-day.
[21:57] Dave weighs up the merits of BizBuySell versus brokers, having used both to find businesses.
[27:34] Don’t make Dave’s mistake of underestimating how much work goes into technical issues in an online business.
[29:34] Dave’s best tips for using BizBuySell.