I've spent the last 25+ years as an entrepreneur. I've only had a "real job" for 4 years of my professional life. I'm a flawed Christian, have been married for over 20 years, have 5 children, and live in Middle Tennessee.
Over the years, I've learned a lot about life and business. Today, I spend most of my time helping other small business owners (and aspiring small business owners) grow, buy, and/or sell a small business.
WHO DO WE HELP?
We help business owners with revenue/enterprise value between $200,000 and $1,500,000. While we've helped business owners in a variety of business niches, we concentrate on helping General Auto Repair/related, Advertising Agencies, Plumbing/HVAC, Janitorial, Child Day Care, Electrical Contractors, Home Health Care, Car Wash, Staffing, DryCleaning, Online Businesses, and a couple other service oriented type businesses.
Statistics say close to 90% of ALL US small businesses generate close to or under $1,000,000 in annual sales. This is who we help. These are the businesses we've built, bought, sold, and brokered. These "main street" businesses are where the overwhelming majority of "us" small business owners spend our lives. This is where I'm most comfortable.
I graduated from Columbia University in the early 1990's. I also played football there. My first job was selling life insurance on 100% commission. After about 4 years, I left the life insurance business and worked at an executive search firm. After 2 years, I decided to venture out on my own.
ON MY OWN
My first solo business effort was a VC backed sports related .com. I got enough VC money to stay on life support for several years. I eventually sold it for 1 million shares of what turned out to be worthless stock (the acquiring business failed-as did many during the .com boom and bust era).
This was my first real lesson in small business value...and how to start, grow, and sell a small business.
While I didn't like the result, I loved the process...especially the selling part (the negotiating, the valuation exercise, etc.). So...I joined a small mergers and acquisition company that bought small insurance agencies then turned around and quickly sold them to a "franchisee" who assumed ownership (and ran the acquired agency under a common name). It was great experience and I probably would have stayed longer but my next .com adventure took me away.
SIDE HUSTLE TURNED FULL-TIME
During a pretty innocent conversation with a friend, we came up with a business idea. We agreed to "try it out" as a side hustle. It started very modestly but eventually forced us to make a choice and choose the business full time. After 5 years, we sold it for well over a million dollars. The experience I had gained selling my first business proved extremely helpful. This was my second lesson in how to sell a small business.
Several months later, I started a web-based retail business with a partner. This partnership did not work out. I eventually offered to buy him out. We used a broker because we just could not do the deal between us (we originally signed a broker agreement to sell the entire business but I decided I wanted to keep the business). Luckily, the broker was willing to be flexible on the commission because the buyer (me) and seller (my partner) were already lined up. He just needed to execute the paperwork and mediate our differences. This was my 3rd lesson. I eventually sold this business ($750,000 average annual revenue) to another party who still runs the business today. This was my 4th lesson.
OTHER BUSINESS INTERESTS
In addition to the businesses I've told you about, I've also invested in and owned a haircutting franchise, executive search business, two pieces of speculative real estate, and have been involved in over a half dozen start-ups. Some have succeeded. Some have failed. They all have provided additional lessons.
IT'S BEEN A JOURNEY
All-in-all, I've learned (by being on the front lines and in the trenches) how a small business starts, grows, gets bought, and gets sold. I've learned a ton of valuable lessons about small business. And, I love to teach and share information. I've always wanted to be a teacher. This business has become my helping and teaching platform.
MOTIVATED TO HELP
I offer a FREE, no obligation, consultation. Click here to schedule a mutually convenient time. I'm happy to answer any questions you have. If you need business brokerages services, we can discuss this too. I also offer several courses. There are currently available here...
PS-A percentage of our revenue goes to helping our friends at Stonebrook Family Ministry.