#209: Buying, Growing and Selling Companies: Lessons Learned from Doing Over 340 Deals
Whether you want to acquire, grow or exit your business, this episode is a must listen because it is packed full of information on about the state of lower M&A market, how to find companies to buy, creative deal structures, valuations, things to do before you sell and more.
What You Will Learn in Today’s Podcast Interview:
- Why deals in the $1-5 million value range are mostly about psychology and relationships
- Creative ways to structure the purchase of a company without putting any money down
- Why the age of a business owner can impact the value of the business
- Where and how to find companies to buy
- The limitations of using an SBA to fund a deal
- Why most business owners don’t decouple themselves from the day to day operations of their business
- The difference between being and owner operator and an investor in a business
- What holds most business owners back from scaling their businesses
- Why the number one “exit strategy” for business owners in the US is to shut their doors
- The biggest barriers owners face when it’s time to exit their business
- Why it is necessary for owners to have a plan for themselves after the sale
- Carl’s top 4 pieces of advice for buyers and sellers after doing 340+ deals
Podcast Interview Summary:
In today’s episode, Carl gives us a look into the depth of his expertise on buying and selling businesses, educating and advising owners, and best practices for conducting deals.
After working on Wall Street in the beginning of his career, Carl worked as the Director of M&A for Hewlett-Packard. In this role, Carl went around buying companies for HP, which included his largest deal of 13.9 billion dollars. Twelve years ago, he made the decision to retire at the age of 37 after his son was born. However, he mentally struggled to handle the downtime after such a busy career.
He was motivated to take his expertise from the world of M&A to buying and selling business, and he has now been party to over 340 deals. He also brings his expertise to his online program, where he has over 5,500 participants learning about the deal process.
Carl clearly lays out the dynamic of the lower market, meaning companies under 5 million in revenue, with powerful stats. Ten thousand baby boomers retire every day and nearly 20% own small businesses. Only 1 in 11 businesses will sell in the next 12 months though.
Carl’s motivation is to help bridge this gap that comes from a lack of qualified buyers and the emotional attachment owners have to their companies. He describes how the intangible components of a deal and an owner’s relationship to the business can dramatically impact the business’s sale.
About the Carl Allen:
Carl Allen is the editor of Dealmaker Wealth Society. Carl is an entrepreneur, investor and corporate dealmaker with almost three decades of experience. Carl has worked on transactions worth over $48 billion, which includes over 330 acquisitions and sales. For almost three decades, Carl has analyzed thousands of businesses, big and small, in 17 different countries and across nearly every business sector. Carl has also assisted hundreds of business owners in raising both equity and debt finance.
Podcast Interview Quotes:
16:27 – “There’s over 2.4 million businesses for sale in the US. Most of those are driven by baby boomers. We’ve got over 10,000 boomers retiring every day.” – Carl Allen
21:47 – “Now seller financing is always a tricky subject because you’ve got to build some really solid relationships. It’s like walking up to a girl at a bar and asking her to marry you. It’s never going to work. You have to date that person and spend a lot of quality time with that person.” – Carl Allen
34:00 – “The number one exit strategy in the United States for small business owners is actually to close the doors and turn off the lights and that devastates me.” – Carl Allen
37:40 – “There is generally a poor level of advice given to small and medium businesses.” – Carl Allen
Links and Resources:
LinkedIn: Carl Allen
Facebook Group: Dealmaker Wealth Society
Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!
Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth