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My guests on this episode are Eric Factor and Austin King who together raised a long-term holding company called Era Services with the mission to acquire, operate, and grow industrial service companies. Their first acquisition completed earlier this year is a company called CraneTech which installs and maintains overhead cranes fixed inside factory…
 
My guest on this episode is Sam Rosati. Sam was an early supporter of the podcast and was featured on Episode 11, which I highly recommend listening to prior to this one. In that earlier episode, Sam shares his background and how he and his brother Joey together acquired a company called Alpha Dumpsters. In this episode, Sam shares that they’ve sin…
 
I’m a big aviation geek. I love flying, looking at airplanes and seeing where they’re going via Flightaware on my phone, and collecting model aircraft. My guest today, Elliot Epstein, founded Geminijets, a company that makes metal diecast commercial airplane models. Beyond just the aviation nature of the company, this is a fascinating business for …
 
My guest on this episode is Chase Murdock. Chase started his career as a venture-style entrepreneur with a custom suit business after spending time working in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. After the business didn’t go as planned, Chase and his business partner Adam Malmborg decided to pursue smaller, creative, more high end businesses. Today …
 
My guest on this episode is Victoria Sylvester, or Vikki for short. Vikki is the founder of Acacia Training, a U.K. based training company focused on childcare, healthcare, and dental care. I was very excited for this conversation for a number of reasons. First, Vikki sold Acacia to MBH through their Agglomeration model whereby Acacia’s private sto…
 
My guest today is Steve Ressler. Steve has been an entrepreneur for much of his career in software and government services and has recently been translating that experience into search fund investing, among other projects. A good portion of our discussion focuses on evaluating and scaling niche software businesses and whether niche means limited gr…
 
This is the second episode of an experiment I did on a new episode format that was shorter, 20-30 minutes, and focused entirely on ideas and challenges operating small companies. The first episode in this experiment was last week’s episode with Jason Hill on adding food to the office and some of these interesting benefits there. On this operating f…
 
This episode and next week’s episode are both experiments I did a while back with Think Like an Owner when I was considering launching a new podcast series. The aim for these was to have short, 20-30 minute episodes on specific ideas and challenges operating small companies. I may eventually launch the new series, but I have other projects I’m exci…
 
My guests, Justin Vogt and Ed Redden are the co-founders of Evermore Industries, a holding company looking to acquire industrial service companies with a time horizon measured in decades. Justin and Ed also happen to be the co-founders of the Stanford Search Fund Club during their time at Stanford. They hosted over 20 events and met professionals a…
 
My guest on this episode is Deepa Talwar. Deepa is currently searching for a company from her home in Fort Collins, CO. Her background includes working with prominent Silicon Valley tech companies like Uber, Thumbtack, and Stripe, and she decided she wanted to become an entrepreneur, but not in the typical Silicon Valley way. During our conversatio…
 
Ross Brendel is the cofounder and managing partner of Westerly Group alongside cofounder Rich Littlehale. Westerly Group was founded on the principle of supporting acquisition entrepreneurs with committed, permanent capital to pursue a specific industry thesis over an indefinite time horizon. Groups they’ve invested in thus far have theses in the w…
 
Ayo Phillips has the wildest story I’ve ever heard on the podcast. He’s from Nigeria, immigrated to the U.S. when he was young, worked in engineering before getting his MBA at Kellogg, acquired countertop and bathtub refinishing company called Perfect Surface in Houston while his wife had their second child in Chicago, and went on to discover major…
 
My guest, Mark Valdez, is starting a new permanent capital holding company called Eads Bridge Holdings to acquire small profitable, durable companies with a long-term focus. What I found so interesting about Mark is he began his career in venture capital and was one of the early employees at Andreesen Horrowitz, an extremely successful and storied …
 
Mark Hunter is a treasure trove of insights and stories from a career in micro private equity. Mark is a co-founder of KLH Capital in St. Petersburg, Florida and has been a part of deals all over the country from all walks of life. In this episode he shares many counter-intuitive methods he’s used in buying companies, how to develop emotional intel…
 
My guest, Kelcey Lehrich, is the co-founder of 365 Holdings, a firm that acquires and grows e-commerce brands with a focus on shared services and vertical integration. He and his firm view e-commerce with an interesting lens, one of their most interesting ideas being their view on product vs customer focused brands, which we dive into. During the e…
 
My guest Ryan Callaghan and his partner Nick Parisi set out to finding an enduring business where the owner was in need of a transition and continue what they started. Through a friend of a friend they found a company named Oilstop and made it their first acquisition. Oilstop is a car service business on the west coast with 30 locations across 4 st…
 
Rob LaBonne has been an entrepreneur his whole life. His early business pursuits include a small summer landscaping business, web development, and a tent rental business he owned for a brief period. He now works in his family’s 6th generation grocery business, LaBonne’s Markets, and recently purchased a self-storage business. Through our conversati…
 
My guest on this episode is Jason Hill. Jason acquired Precision Stoneworks, a custom countertop fabrication and installation business, from his father-in-law and now runs it as the CEO. Since acquiring, he’s been relentlessly focused on customer service, improving efficiencies in the company, and making sure employees have the tools they need to d…
 
I’ve had my guest, Nick Haschka, on once before for episode 5 and I wanted to have him on again to talk through a thesis of his more in depth. The core element of his thesis is acquiring a small company, between $200k and $500k in cash flow, quickly can often be more beneficial for someone looking to buy a business than going the traditional search…
 
My guest Mike Botkin has recently acquired a landscaping company in Orlando, FL called B&B Landscaping and has finished his first 30 days in the business. One unique aspect of his deal is he raised his equity entirely through Twitter, which we talk about at the end of the episode. Mike and I discuss why he decided to acquire a landscaping business,…
 
My guest on this episode is John Wilson. John purchased his 3rd generation family business, Wilson Plumbing, which was started by his grandfather and has grown it from 4-5 plumbers to 20 and still growing strong. I’ve had guests with just one company and those with a half dozen companies or more. John’s in the middle and we spend some time talking …
 
My guest on this episode is Bill D’Alessandro, CEO of Elements Brands. Elements buys digitally native consumer brands and uses their expertise and playbook to scale them upward. Bill also co-hosts a podcast called Acquisitions Anonymous with Michael Girdley and Mills Snell, which I highly recommend checking out. Bill and I talk about his experience…
 
My guest on this episode is Matt Hinson. Matt is a director of corporate development at Orthopedic Care Partners, a private equity group focused on acquiring orthopedic surgery practices. Matt and I talk about how he acquires these practices, some operational improvements they apply in new acquisitions, how their strategy unlocks value for physicia…
 
This is the second time I’ve had David Krock on the podcast, the first was episode 6 where we broadly discussed his investment firm, Sunset Coast Brands which has now become PermaVentures. This second episode with him goes off the beaten path a bit. We talk about his firm’s rebranding, his hospitality and wedding investments during 2020, a concept …
 
My guest on this episode is Palmer Higgins, a founding partner of Chenmark along with Trish and James Higgins. I’ve had Trish on the podcast twice before, episodes 1 and 23, and in those episodes we talked about Chenmark as a whole and what they look for in companies. In this episode with Palmer, we talk about his move to one of their operating com…
 
David Johnson started Northridge 4x4, a Jeep parts and accessories business, in his father’s garage and eventually hired his father and brother to help in the business. The company only grew from there and David has several great stories in his 20 years growing the business. Northridge also does most business online and so a good portion of our con…
 
My guest is Brandon Laughridge. Brandon lives in Kansas City and owns a property management company North Terrace and a furniture and home interior store Nell Hill’s, along with a growing real estate portfolio. This is the first episode on the podcast where we discuss how real estate overlaps with owning small companies, something I hadn’t spent mu…
 
My guest Matt Estep got his business start early in life when he started a go-kart manufacturing business in high school with dreams of eventually being a professional NASCAR driver. The business still exists today but Matt sold it with other plans in mind. Matt went to Harvard Business School, launched a search fund, and acquired Midwest Supplies.…
 
My guest Aaron Green founded a staffing company called Professional Staffing Group, or PSG, in 1996. He has grown it along with 6 other related companies to just shy of $100m in revenue and 2,000 employees. Most of my guests operate small companies and PSG of course started small, but I wanted to learn from an owner who had managed to scale a compa…
 
My guest, Mitchell Blackmon started Patriot Chimney, a chimney service and installation business in Roanoke, VA, last year with his brother Matt and his friend Billy. They have recently made their first hire and have another one coming shortly, a testament to the growth they’ve been experiencing. If you liked the recent episode with Rich Jordan, yo…
 
My guest on this episode is Lacey Wismer. Lacey runs her recently started search investment fund called Hunter Search Capital and has been conducting research on female searchers and unique challenges they encounter while seeking and operating a business. We talk extensively about women in search along with how she’s seen the model grow over her ca…
 
My guest is Rich Jordan. Rich bought a home service plumbing business only a few short weeks ago in Pennsylvania. If you’re on Twitter, you might already be familiar with Rich as he has been tweeting about his time running the business and has been so much fun to follow. If you’re not already following him you’re missing out. During the episode we …
 
My guest, Mark Sinatra, raised a traditional search fund with a partner in 2006 after graduated from Wharton and a year and a half later acquired an HR company called Staff One HR. I’ll let him tell the full story but there were significant ups and downs running the company including moving the company from Southern Oklahoma to Dallas, managing sta…
 
A.J. Gordon runs Gordon Aluminum in Schofield, WI, a company that was founded by his grandfather, passed to A.J.’s father, and eventually to A.J. himself. The company has a fascinating story told in great detail that includes machines breaking down, closing business lines, multiple recessions, and a lightning strike that set fire to their offices a…
 
I interview many folks with unique backgrounds and Jared is among the most unique. Jared worked at NASA, then McKinsey, got his MBA at Harvard, then alternated between working at McKinsey and Teach for America, ran for governor of Arkansas, and last year became the CEO of Assist Services. Assist is a Portland based transportation company for underp…
 
My guest today is Collin Hathaway. Collin runs a small micro private equity fund in Seattle, WA called Skylight Capital and has developed a strong core competence in plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and other home services businesses. He also has one of the most interesting stories I’ve heard of getting into micro private equity. During the episode we talk…
 
My two guests for this episode are Ryan Lechner and Nico Gimenez who have raised a traditional search fund together as partners called Bonsai Group and are a few months into their search. I’ve had searchers with partners on the podcast before, Sam Rosati being a great example, but I haven’t had them on the podcast before together. What made this ep…
 
My guest is Brian Vanderheyden who ran a search from Chicago starting in 2015 and 2 years later in 2017 acquired a company called Richmond Alarm Company in Richmond, VA. Richmond Alarm was founded 73 years ago and Brian acquired the business from the founder’s two sons who had taken over the business from the father. During the episode we talk abou…
 
My guest today is Scott Picker. Scott was born and raised in Oregon and went to college at Washington State University where he majored in agriculture education and horticulture, before starting Aspen Creek Landscaping in Sherwood, Oregon. Over the last 20 years, Scott has built a 55 employee landscape construction and maintenance company focused o…
 
Most of the investors I’ve had on the podcast aren’t interested in consumer businesses, which is precisely why I wanted to talk to a consumer focused investor. Enter Ben Rudman. Ben is the founder of Charis Consumer Partners, a consumer focused independent sponsor, and has a passion for consumer businesses that is hard to resist. In this conversati…
 
My guest today, Mason Myers, has spent the last 10 years building an incredible investment vehicle called Greybull Stewardship. With Greybull, Mason has acquired 11 portfolio companies with an evergreen fund structure with opportunities for LPs to add or withdraw capital only every four years. This structure gives Greybull a very long time horizon …
 
My guest today, Joel Blake, has a fascinated story about how he became an owner of a manufacturing sales company called Marketing Technologies. Before acquiring, Joel first worked for the company as an employee before he and another partner took over the business from the two retiring owners. Joel calls this model entrepreneurship through apprentic…
 
I’ve done a few search fund focused episodes, for instance last week’s episode focused on life during a search. In this episode exploring search funds, Betsy Brandt joins me to talk her preparation in launching her search fund, Forest Park Capital. I wanted to hear more about how a search fund is planned, the benefits of an MBA program, how capital…
 
I continue exploring search funds and with this episode I talk with a searcher who is in the middle of the process and thus is experiencing it’s ups and downs live. My guest, Jules Brenner, runs a self-funded search called Manufacturing Succession and as the name implies is focused on acquiring a manufacturing company. Jules has an interesting back…
 
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