Key Points From the Interview
ne of my most straight-shooting guests, John Hubbard, returns today for a fantastic conversation.
John bought a trailer fabrication business in 2021.
He has embraced a philosophy of "chasing EBITDA, not revenue" that has served the business well.
It is closing in on $2m in EBITDA.
Which is sort of a magic number, a threshold where you can enjoy significant multiple expansion because you're now large enough to interest private equity.
And we talk about whether John should sell in the next couple of years.
You'll hear how tempting it is. John spells out the math of what exactly he'd walk away with.
It's a great peek into the psychology of a seller, like someone you might find yourself on the other side of the table from, or the analysis you yourself might eventually need to do if you buy and grow a desirable, saleable business.
Also listen for this theme of chasing EBITDA over revenue.
It may seem obvious to do that, but I bet it's counterintuitive to do well.
Because the temptation of many entrepreneurs is: get as big as possible. Bigger is better.
But that usually means more sales — not necessarily more profit.
So if you choose to be a more profitable business, it might mean that you're also choosing to be a smaller business, at least by headcount, unit sales, influence.
John gives a great illustration of this in the interview:
There's another player in his space that sells 4 times more than his business. And it's got more than 6 times the headcount.
A much bigger business, right?
Well its EBITDA is... the same as John's.
OK, please enjoy this return appearance with John Hubbard, owner of Express Custom Trailers.
And don't forget to listen to his first interview for the full story of how he got here.