Ep 249: M&A Negotiation Strategies & Growth By Acquisition Blueprints with Will Smith & David Barnett

For entrepreneurs and business leaders navigating the M&A process, the journey can be filled with uncertainties. The delicate art of negotiation, the intricacies of due diligence, and the transformation of corporate cultures are just a few of the challenges that demand strategic expertise. In this high-stakes environment, even the most seasoned professionals might sometimes feel like they’re at a crossroads, searching for the right path forward.

In this insightful episode, join us as we delve into M&A negotiation strategies and growth through the acquisition blueprint, guided by two industry leaders, Will Smith and David Barnett. Their collective experience, insights, and innovative approaches have propelled businesses to success, making them trusted advisors in the realm of mergers and acquisitions.

They will also share the right time to sell your business. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to gain exclusive insights from industry leaders about M&A. Who knows? Your success story might start here. Watch the video now!

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Episode Highlights

09:23 Why is buying a business better than starting a new one? 

20:50 Why you don’t need crazy goals in wealth building!

30:26 How to optimize your business valuation?

44:45 Ways of navigating seller engagement

52:48  Successful acquisition growth strategies

1:02:51 Unveiling a unique e-commerce approach

Courses & Training

Courses & Training

Key Takeaways

➥ It’s important to set realistic expectations and not attach arbitrary timeframes to your entrepreneurial goals. That’s because the pressure to meet deadlines can lead to poor decision-making.

➥ Jaryd, Will, and David emphasize the importance of minimizing risk and protecting against potential downsides. Key strategies mentioned include the use of forgivable seller notes and escrow funds to safeguard the buyer’s investment. Will highlights the significance of not negotiating too hard on the price multiples, particularly when the multiples are already reasonable. He suggests that fixating on a small difference in the multiple may not be worth the time and that the difference can be made up quickly by being in the business for a short period of time.

David provides valuable insights into considering the size of the business and how the approach to negotiation varies with the scale. He discusses the importance of building a collaborative relationship with the seller and demonstrating his capability and aptitude as a businessperson. David also touches on the need for sellers to think about the transaction from a buyer’s point of view and how demonstrating the viability of the deal can build respect and trust.

About The Guest

David Barnett used to be a business broker and now helps people acquire traditional businesses. He’s helped his clients save a lot of money from buying dud deals and made them even more money from buying great deals!

David has a great YouTube channel, which I (Jaryd) have appeared on many times. You’d love it.


Will Smith is a professional who built online media brands and has sold a few businesses. He was never on the buy side and found himself looking for deals without enough decent information on how to execute.

So he decided to start a podcast interviewing people so you and he can learn from their journey of buying businesses.

Connect with Ryan, David, and Will


Jaryd Krause:

How would you like to make more money from acquiring more businesses? Hi, I'm Jaryd Krause. I'm the host of the Buying Online Businesses Podcast. And today, we're speaking with Will Smith from Acquiring Minds. And we're also speaking to David Barnett from Business Buyer Advantage.

And both of these guys do a little bit of an intro to themselves and what they do in the actual podcast. So I won't mention that here, like normal. This is also a little bit off script, and this is such a valuable podcast episode.

We talk about acquiring offline businesses and acquiring online businesses, the synergies within them and what we can learn from one another. How we can become better at buying online businesses and/or offline businesses based on the strategies we share with each other

We do touch on negotiation strategies, how to become an attractive buyer, how to keep the seller tied into the business for as long as possible or how to remove them as quickly as possible, depending on the strategy that you're using when you're acquiring a business.

We also talk about how to grow your net worth and your wealth by purchasing multiple businesses. There are a few examples that Will and David share of how to do that with different types of offline businesses.

And then I share how to do that with online businesses with different business models and different types of traffic, and how you can spend your marketing budget in different areas that could allow you to buy market share and build more wealth from acquisitions. Now, this is a completely off script podcast episode.

And there's so much value that does get shared in this podcast episode from absolutely awesome legends that are in the space of M&A and are buying businesses and helping people buy businesses and all of that sort of stuff. So there's so much value here. I'm sure you're absolutely going to love it.

Before we dive in, obviously don't go away and buy business without, with your eyes closed, making sure you get my Due Diligence Framework. It's what I've used, and a lot of other people have used it to take the guesswork out of buying a business. You can get that at buyingonlinebusinesses.com/freeresources. Let's dive into the pod.

Do you have a website you might want to sell either now or in the future? We have a hungry list of cashed up and trained up buyers that want to buy your content website. If you have a site making over $300 per month and want to sell it, head to buyingonlinebusinesses.co/sellyourbusiness. Or email us at [email protected], because we will likely have a buyer. The details are in the description.

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another podcast episode. Will and David, thank you for jumping on this. I'm really excited for this chat.

Will Smith:

Thanks for having us.

David Barnett:

Thanks for inviting us, Jaryd.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, it was an idea that we spawned, David and I, probably four months ago, where we're chatting on each other's podcasts. We haven't yet done it on yours, Will's, or Ryan’s, but we can probably update some links in the show notes for you guys when that goes live. But there is one for David's that we all chatted about a month ago, which is a great chat. Check out that YouTube video. We'll send a link to that.

Now we've also lost one member. He's just had a baby. A lot of listeners know who this is, Ryan Condie from Let's Buy a Business. Links to him will be in the show notes as well. But we're thinking about David throughout the suggestion of calling this episode “Ryan's Baby Shower”.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome.

Will Smith:

I like it.

Jaryd Krause:

So we've got a few awesome subjects we want to touch on today. But first, I'd love to hear a little bit—just for everybody listening who hasn't yet heard from you guys before. Let's hear a little brief introduction to what you guys do with your podcast and in business. So we'll start with you, Will, and then move on to David.

Will Smith:

Great. Yeah, thanks again, Jaryd, for having us on. So my name is Will Smith and I host a podcast called Acquiring Minds. It's twice weekly, Monday and Thursday, and I interview entrepreneurs who buy businesses. So primarily, people who buy a business are on their path to becoming entrepreneurs.

And I've been doing it for about two years. Most of my guests are not buying digital businesses. I mean, I have the gamut. So all sorts of businesses—some of those are digital—but it's definitely not a digital focus. A lot of my guests buy traditional offline real-world businesses. So I'm excited to kind of dive deep into digital land tonight.

Jaryd Krause:

Absolutely. And David? Thanks, Will.

David Barnett:

Yeah, I'm a lifelong entrepreneur and ended up being a business broker for three and a half, four years back during the last big recession. And today, I'm a consultant. I work with buyers and sellers, helping them to look at deals or helping sellers package up their businesses and doing some of the services that business brokers might do, but on a consulting basis.

And I've got a show on YouTube now. Geez, I think it might even be pushing eight years where I generally answer questions that buyers or sellers have about the process of buying or selling a business. And I also do interviews and have some people talk about deal making or operations. And I was happy to have you guys and Ryan back on about a month ago. And we answered some questions that my audience submitted, which were a lot of fun.

And I noticed one person actually submitted a question about older entrepreneurs, Will, and I noticed a couple of weeks ago that you actually had an older entrepreneur on your show. So I thought it was kind of apropos because it was almost perfect timing with respect to that question.

Will Smith:

Perfect timing, coincidental timing, but good timing.

Jaryd Krause:

Let's open it up to chat about that first and foremost. Because I think mindset, yesterday I had a mastermind call with a lot of people and we were in the online space and Google had an update and a change and some people lost some traffic, and I think once people—I mean, you got to have a good mindset to purchase a business and you got to do some work on your mindset to purchase a business.

And if it's your first one, you’re learning through that phase. And if it's your first acquisition, then what starts to happen is another sort of mindset game as a business owner and staying in the game, keeping your head above water sometimes.

And I would love to hear what you guys have to say about acquiring or being a business owner as a senior, I guess. And what was the exact question that you had, David? Was it around when it was too late? Was that the commonality?

David Barnett:

No, someone had just commented that a lot of the guests on different programs seem to be people in their late 20s and 30s. And I think the person who asked the question was maybe in their early 50s or something like that.

But it's interesting because the majority of people I work with, I would probably say, are sort of middle career people who have had some kind of track record, maybe in larger businesses or they've developed some management skills and then they decide, “I wanna get out and do my own thing. But of course they've got the family obligations, children, mortgage, all that kind of thing.”

And what they invariably stumble upon that leads them to me is that they realize that doing a startup may be just a little bit too risky and that buying an existing business that already has customers and revenue probably makes more sense.

And a lot of these people are in a position where maybe they have a little bit of capital, they've saved up, they have home equity or maybe retirement funds are not too scared to risk. And so they've actually got some money to bring to the table, and they're able to do some financing and actually do a deal.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. And spot on. I believe that you've got—I think we talked about, and I think you may have mentioned this too last time, Will—the experience. There's so much more experience that comes with age and you can be a better business owner the older you get; you're just stacking up knowledge and experience as you go.

And I think it may be a perception; it may absolutely be a perception of age because maybe some of my guests and a lot of my guests seem to be in their 20s to 30s, but nobody's really in their 20s, maybe mid-30s, but mid 30s plus up until 60 for acquisitions. And I think—I mean, we're all biased here on the acquisitions front, right?

Like, especially as you get, you've got to go through a process of, if you're starting a business, you've got to get the product market fit. You've got to learn the audience, the avatar, and all of that sort of stuff, work a little, adjust that product to suit the market and get a winning offer.

And there are so many hoops you need to jump through to get a business a bit more established. Why bother with that if you can afford to acquire something and start a couple of years ahead? I guess for somebody who may not want to start, they want to get into business but have the perception that the only way to do it is by starting. What would you add to that, Will? Will Smith:

Yeah. I love this topic because I'm really glad that person asked the question last time, David. Because I think that on my podcast, 30-year-olds, I mean, are overrepresented. I mean, most probably, over 50% are in their 30s. Some in their late 20s, some in their 40s, and then probably a few over 50.

But I really wish that we were weighted a little bit older because I think it's probably like you say, David, that when you look at the entire universe of people who buy businesses, it probably does weigh a little bit older.

And one of the things I said last time was probably the reason that my podcast and maybe others weigh a little bit younger is because younger people are going to be more overrepresented online just generally, and they're going to be more apt to talk about their journey online. That's a natural thing for a millennial, whereas for somebody who's 50 or 60, they didn't grow up “talking about their journey.”

And then also the point that in the US and elsewhere, a lot of the business schools are teaching ETA. So you're getting every year a fresh crop of whatever, 27, 30, or 32-year-olds coming out who are eager to go search. And so that continues to kind of anchor it down.

But just going back to the big picture of why ETA is so powerful, it's funny. One of the things that I hear a lot of my guests say, but I guess particularly the older guests, is, “I wish I'd started this sooner. My only complaint is that I wish I'd started because the leverage is so powerful.”

Assuming you don't have a terrible experience, assuming you don't buy a business and it's one of the horror stories, but it's going well. It's just like, “Man, this is such a powerful path. If I had just started 10 years earlier, I'd be that much further along.”

And I do think that there's something about age where it's like when you're 20 and you're starry eyed and you think you can be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. And I don't want to dissuade anybody's dreams. Go be the next entrepreneur in your generation.

But I do think that there's a process of life where if that doesn't happen to you and it doesn't happen to most people, you do have to kind of work it out of your system a little bit. And once you do that, maybe you open your mind a little bit to what entrepreneurship can be. And it's not just the sexiest, most media friendly Elon Musk style of entrepreneurship. It's all these other things, including what we talk about.

Jaryd Krause:

Wow, that's such a good point, Will. I feel like some people, like you said, need to work that out of their systems. Like if you tried to become Elon Musk for five years or three years or whatever it is, and you realize, damn, this is a far way to go. Or you realize that it may not be actually viable to achieve whatever that result is in X amount of years or time.

I think time is a real danger for people who want to achieve results. Putting a timeframe on things causes stress. And then, when we don't achieve certain things, the mental toll that it takes on us to recover from the disbelief that we can achieve things is a huge one.

I noticed that in my community, a lot of people want to achieve goals due to the fact that I don't set goals with timeframes anymore. I just set intentions and don't beat myself up if I don't achieve certain things.

And then, I guess, like you said, coming to that point of acceptance of, “All right, I'm not going to be Elon Musk in 10 years’ time based on where I'm at net worth financially” or what you're doing in your business. To get rid of that attachment to achieving such a result, to allow you to come back to accepting where you're at, then you can start to—I mean, this is all mindset stuff.

As I talk, then you can come back to, “This is where I'm at and this is where I need to operate from in terms of acquiring a business,” versus having these lofty goals.

Have you seen that people hold people back for both of you guys when they come to you guys with, “I want to buy this thing,” and there's a little chance you're going to get finance or be able to operate and run that type of deal?

David Barnett:

I find that I meet people who are under an incredible amount of compulsion because they've created some sort of arbitrary timeframe that they want to live within. I'm going to do a deal within this timeframe. And what ends up happening is that they negotiate against themselves. I mean, they put themselves under such pressure that they lose their one point of leverage.

The only point of leverage a buyer has is a willingness to walk away from the deal. That's the only thing you can do is just not do it and say, “That doesn't work for me and back away. And sometimes people back away and someone else comes in and does a deal that they thought was a dumb deal. Well, let your competing buyer do the dumb deal. I mean, that just means there's one fewer irrational buyer out there to compete with you.

But very often I've had people that I've been working with who backed away from deals, then they re-engage with that seller and then maybe backed away again and they re-engage. And then eventually they find a deal that works for them.

Because you can't do a deal that doesn't work for you, or else what you've done is you've just indentured your future to the benefit of the seller at the moment. And that doesn't work for you.

I had a call the other day with a buyer, and I said, “Look, I'd rather see you working at McDonald's with your $100,000 in the bank than doing a bad deal.” The biggest part of getting ahead in life financially is avoiding loss, right? You have to avoid landlines. You can't always spot them, but I get this question all the time from people who will say, “I'm having a problem with businesses I see advertised and the valuations they are putting on them.”

And I always remind people—I say that the price that a broker or a seller puts on a business is not a valuation; that's called an asking price. That's what they would like to have. And all you can do is figure out what works for you and make that offer. You present opportunities that people can choose to participate in. And if they don't want to participate with you, then you back off.

And part of presenting something and having it accepted if it is not in line with what the seller is expecting is demonstrating that you are going to be an ideal buyer. People ask all the time about things like seller financing or getting a seller to agree to some other terms or conditions or whatnot. But they fail to realize that when you're asking a seller to do those kinds of things for you, the seller is kind of acting like a banker. They're sort of underwriting you in their minds.

And nobody's going to give those kinds of considerations to a stranger. There's always going to be value in building a relationship with that seller to demonstrate that you're going to be a capable operator, that you know what you're doing, that you're going to be open to their coaching and advice, and that you're going to be teachable.

It's only when they think that you're going to be a great buyer and that you are going to listen to them and take their advice that they're going to be willing to literally invest in your business, which is what a seller note is, right? And amongst other kinds of aspects that people have

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. That's great. That's great. I love that.

Will Smith:

Jaryd, can I tie back to the Elon Musk thing really quick? Because there was something else that occurred to me. You were talking about the danger of timeframes or deadlines.

Jaryd Krause:

The conception of people needing to get something done in a certain timeframe and stuffing people up, yeah.

Will Smith:

Yeah. And so, I do think that everyone should chase their dreams and shoot for the stars. But I do think that one of the dangers of the over-attention given to the biggest names in entrepreneurship, the Elon Musks and the Mark Zuckerbergs, is that if you try to become an entrepreneur, a zero to one entrepreneur, with just these outsized expectations and you don't hit it, what I see people do is like, “Okay, well, I guess I'm not going to be an entrepreneur then. I guess that means no entrepreneurship for me and I'll just have a job for the rest of my life.”

And so that's why I think this path can be so powerful because it's really open to—I don't want to say it's open to anybody. Of course, there are huge challenges here. There's lots you have to do and so on.

But it's like, if we only have one very narrow definition of entrepreneurship as a culture and you don't achieve that, then people tell themselves, “I guess I'm not an entrepreneur. I won't be an entrepreneur in this life.” And so anyway, we're giving them a path to say, “Well, actually there's this whole other incredibly rich, awesome path.” So just that.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, it's also a tricky one that when people do consume media and look at entrepreneurs and have them on this pedestal, the realization of what their life looks like, I think a lot of people, and I know a lot of people listening to this podcast, want to replace their income and earn a wage from anywhere and they want to earn good money.

But I don't think they realize, or they may forget, the reality of what a Mark Zuckerberg life or an Elon Musk life looks like in terms of how many hours they work and how much team they've got to manage. Being in public would be an absolute nightmare. Is that really what you want?

If you earn, if your wage is 100 grand a year and you get to a point where you earn 200 grand a year as an entrepreneur, that's a massive win, that's a massive success. And you don't have to come with all these other things—being famous, managing two million people that work for you at X and Twitter—and it's all these different things. I think there's a big gap that people—you're right, Will, there's people who don't have that, or we forget at least that there's this middle ground.

David Barnett:

It's funny because I've met people before who have sort of these arbitrary goals. I was talking with a gentleman a couple of months ago in a private consulting call and he had bought a business that turned out to be a bit of a landmine.

There were some issues in it, and he was in recovery mode. He had cut his own salary, and he was rebuilding, and it was not a good situation. But he said to me that his big goal was to have $100 million in net worth by a certain point in his life.

And so I asked him, “So if you get to 98, does that mean you fail?” And then I asked him, “Where did the number come from?” And with a little bit of back and forth, he started to realize that this goal that he had created was really just kind of arbitrary. It didn't really have any basis in any kind of specific need or want.

He wasn't driven by some other charitable endeavor or even a need in his life or anything. It was just kind of an exercise at one point in his life where people were encouraged to just kind of create crazy goals and this was the thing he put out there.

But maybe that goal and the pressure he was putting on himself to achieve that and to try to take the steps he thought would lead him were one of the things that made him cross the line and get into this business deal that ended up having some problems. Maybe without that pressure on himself, he would have been a little more cautious. I don't know.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. Don't rush wealth building. I'm sure we've all seen that before. In fact, what I end up doing when people decide to work with us to buy a business is the first thing that we do and the biggest thing that we do is slow them down. We slow them down by putting parameters in place where they have to check certain things do certain things and make certain benchmarks on their journey before they buy something.

If you're just crazy to think that, all right, I've got this goal. I've just heard of Warren Buffett. How did he build his wealth? He bought businesses. All right, cool. I'm going to go buy businesses. And then you go and look at two and you buy one of them. It is insane to think that you would do such a thing.

Because it's like, if you're going to invest in property and you're buying a home, are you going to look at two and just go, “Yep, I'm going to pick the best one out of the two”? No, you're going to look at so many more. So we really need to slow down.

And we haven't even gotten to the subject of some of the things I want to touch on today. So let's lean into that, which is a good link from where we're at to acquisitions is negotiation strategies. And basically, I'd love to hear what you guys have heard or done and use it in your negotiation strategies.

One of the best ones or primary to even making an offer and negotiating, is that I find that the more you know about the market and the more you understand the value of a business and where the market's at, that's your best negotiation strategy because you know the value of the business.

And that psychologically is a huge, huge gain because it's going to prevent you from paying too much and you know the worth intrinsically because you've got so much data. And I think that's a really good way to start.

And we'll start with you, Will, and then move on to you, David. What are some of the things that you've seen people use in negotiations that've been pretty cool?

Will Smith:

Well, first of all, I just want to say how much I like the point David made that your biggest lever as a buyer is that you can walk at any time. And that's such a good reminder. In my world of "search,” where people are—I shouldn't say my world, but many of my guests are searchers.

And if they're searching full-time, they've quit their job and they're searching full-time. So there is a ticking clock. Just because, I mean, they have limited funds and limited time. In some ways, there's no way around that.

But in terms of negotiating strategies that I've seen work well, I think that the thing I would just emphasize—I'm not going to give some big tactical secret here—is, well, I'll say two things. If you're going to buy a small business, I think the most important thing is to minimize your downside, which is to watch your risk.

Because, I mean, that's where the horror stories happen. And there are a lot of pretty good instruments that you can use to do that, like forgivable seller notes and having money in Escrow.

So there are things that you can negotiate that are pretty standard, but a lot of people don't know about them or don't push for them. If the business takes a big dip in the first six months or 18 months of ownership, you can claw back some of that money, or, I should say, some of the money, which never makes it into the seller's hands, and it gives you an additional buffer, so you paid less.

It keeps the seller incentivized to keep helping you because they want to receive all of those funds. So there's all this good alignment and buffer that you've created for yourself to help you protect against the very worst. So I would say those should be pretty standard things that somebody buying a business would look at.

The second thing I would say, and this might sound like I'm not a little counterintuitive, is that one of the things that's come up in a few of my episodes recently is when you're negotiating around multiples. So a lot of buyers can be really fixated on negotiating the price. So the seller wants 3.5x and the buyer wants to pay 3x.

And two things. First, if these multiples are already really low, So that's not to say that you should just pay whatever the seller wants. But you should keep in mind that, assuming you're not buying a bad business, if it's a strong business and one that you want, I don't think that you should negotiate too hard on the multiple.

And one way to think about it is that 0.5—remember, a multiple is basically a year. So 3x is three years of SDE. Do I even know what I'm talking about? Three years of SDE. And so 3.5 is three and a half years of SDE. So that 0.5 that you're negotiating tooth and nail over is just six months. So you could spend three months negotiating. Whereas if you just paid the 3.5 and were in the business for six months, you'd get that money again in the time difference.

So mapping the multiples to months, I think, can be a really good reminder in your head as a buyer that these are actually small amounts of time. Six months at a small business is really not that long. It'll go by like that. So yeah, I'll stop.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, I'll just jump in there before you do, David. Online businesses are typically valued based on monthly multiples. And one thing that I typically look for in a business is something that's got the highest multiple, right?

Because I know it's got the least amount of risk, and that's what I like to share with people. I'm okay paying a higher price. It's the Warren Buffett quote, right? Better off paying a high price for a decent sized business than a fair business.

And so when somebody is asking for a certain multiple, I don't like to negotiate on the multiple or teach people to negotiate on the multiple if the seller is fixated on that multiple. There's certain things that I can do with the valuation in terms of expenses and other things like revenue and expenses that can allow me to pay that multiple but lesser for the business if I frame it in a way of, well, you've got this expense that's actually technically not an add back.

And especially, it's pretty relevant in our world in the online business space, where a lot of brokers or sellers are listing businesses with specific add backs that they believe are not necessary for the new owner to maintain the business, when in fact they are. Like content expenses and things like that or a certain portion.

So I like to not aggravate if they've really fixated on that multiple, then fine, have that multiple but there's other ways that I can work around as I bring the valuation down that is suitable to where the market is at and what it would actually sell for if somebody else was to buy it other than me as well. So I'm glad that you brought that up, Will. It's a really, really good point. Yeah. David, I love to hear from you on negotiations.

David Barnett:

Well, I'd like to add a little bit to Will's comment there about an extra half on the multiple being six months. Really, you have to be looking at the size of business when you're having this conversation. Because a business with an EBITDA of a million dollars, where the fair market earnings of the manager are 200 grand, would have a SDE of 1.2 million.

Because the ratio between that owner's salary and the EBITDA is so weighted towards EBITDA, that business could probably afford to pay an extra half multiple and it would all work out.

But if you go down to Main Street, where the SDE of the business might be 300 grand, an extra half a multiple of the SDE, that SDE number includes the owner's wages. And so I've seen plenty of examples where, if you add that extra half a multiple, the whole deal won't cash flow. And so you just have to be careful what part of the spectrum you're operating on.

When it comes to negotiating and negotiating strategies, I would say the number one thing that I try to do to position people is to not approach it in a transactional way. So the example I like to use is that you go onto Facebook Marketplace to buy a used bicycle and you find one on the other side of town for 100 bucks. And you drive over there, and you then start pointing out all the deficiencies of the bicycle because you want to try to buy it for $80.

Meanwhile, the seller tells you that someone else is coming in 20 minutes and you better hurry up and buy it even if he might be lying, right? And the two of you are engaged in this interaction where you want the bike and he wants the cash.

And the moment the deal happens, the deal is over. You hand over the cash, and you get the bike. And so there's no real incentive or need for you to preserve any kind of working relationship post-transaction. And that informs the behavior of people during the transaction, okay?

When it comes to buying a business, it’s very, very different. We often rely on this seller to give us some training, coaching, guidance and mentorship, sometimes for years after the transaction. And so I'll say to people, “You have to approach it from a collaborative point of view.”

You have to say, “Mr. Seller, you and I are going to work together on this really hard project called transferring businesses' ownership. And I want to show you that I'm going to be a great partner in this difficult endeavor.” And you open yourself up; you share things about yourself, about where you come from, and what you want to do.

You talk about how you intend to structure the deal. They have to learn to trust you and know that you're going to be capable if they're going to give you any kind of seller financing or anything like that.

And what's amazing, as far as the negotiation goes, is that it's really hard for me to believe, but I know it's true through observation. Most business sellers and their brokers never sit down and sketch out what the transaction might look like from a buyer's point of view. Because if they did, they would know that a lot of their asking prices just don't cash flow.

And so I've had a lot of situations where buyers will make an offer and the seller will steadfastly stick to the asking price that they want. And one of the negotiating strategies that we'll use is to actually create a cash flow forecast that demonstrates what the business will look like for the buyer if they pay the seller's price.

And usually what it means is that there's no money for CapEx, there's no money for the buyer's salary and they're going to struggle to pay their tax bill. And if they have a 5% drop in sales, the whole thing's going to fall apart.

And oftentimes, that kind of strategy where you demonstrate, “Here’s what you are proposing, I do, and this doesn't work for me. And this is the offer that I'm making and I want to show you how it does work for me.” And you demonstrate that you have an allowance for capital expenditures that SDE and EBITDA don’t take into account.

And that you have forecast your tax bill and intend to pay your taxes on time. And you're going to take the reasonable salary that you need to support your family. And then there's a buffer too, in case there are ups and downs in the cash flow.

And what you're really doing when you make that kind of presentation to a seller is demonstrating your aptitude as a businessperson. And it actually makes it easier for that seller to develop respect for you—to know, hey, this person knows what they're doing. They're not going to get themselves in trouble.

I've talked before on different podcasts about empathy. And I find it interesting that business owners will build a career by thinking about what their customers want. What their customers' desires are, what they're willing to pay, all that kind of stuff But when it comes time to sell their business, they won't stop and think about the buyer like they're a customer buying a thing. But what the customer is buying is the cash flow of their business. And if the numbers don't make sense, I don't think anyone will do it.

Now, the problem that skews the market is that you end up with these free radical sort of longtail statistically anomalous events that occur. And I'll give you some examples. It's like the person who sold, for example, their home in California that they bought 20 years ago, and they've got a million dollars in the bank, and then they go and overpay for a business.

And now that piece of data—that story—is floating around in the marketplace—that so-and-so sold such a business and got an 8x multiple or something like that. And it’s too bad that the buyer overpaid, but really upsetting the understanding of what is possible, I think, is one of the worst things that happens.

I look at the transaction databases, and I subscribe to three of them, where business brokers will report their transactions. And when I work with buyers and sellers, we'll look up certain industries and sizes of businesses, and we'll see what businesses have sold for.

And I've seen the data in there where some business has sold for 9x SDE, and you're like, “Wow, how did that happen?” That obviously didn't cash flow. There's clearly a story behind that. There's some odd reason why this happened that is not spelled out anywhere in this database.

But when I'm working with my clients, I know that I have to exclude that piece of data. It's an outlier that is going to skew the averages and everything like that. And it's really unfortunate, though, because some places out there will put up average multiples. And I know that those sort of oddball bits of data are mixed into those averages, and it skews the expectations people have in the marketplace.

Jaryd Krause:

Wow, David, that was exceptional.

Will Smith:

Can I just piggyback on your point about how you need to cultivate a good relationship with the seller? It sounds obvious because, yeah, you’re going to need that seller post transaction, post-acquisition.

But it's come up recently in a few of my interviews, with one buyer saying, “I knew rationally that I would need my seller post-acquisition.” But it's one of those situations where you rationally understand something, but you don't really feel it until you're actually experiencing it.

And once he got into the business and had closed, he felt so exposed. I mean, just because now all of the risk has shifted onto him. He was the one with the SBA loan. He's the one who had to make everything go.

And yeah, he might've had a seller's note. I actually don't remember. But a 5% or 10% seller note It helps keep the seller's skin in the game, but it's not that much money.

So, first of all, if it becomes acrimonious with the seller, it’s probably not enough to keep them on your side. So if you just let the relationship completely deteriorate, it’s probably not enough to motivate them. But even if the relationship is more or less functional and healthy, money alone is not necessarily motivating enough.

But anyway, he said it so forcefully. It was like, “Man, once I bought that business, I realized how much I desperately needed the seller, and I only really felt it once I was on the other side of the transaction.”

David Barnett:

Jaryd, I think one of the topics you wanted to talk about tonight was growing through acquisition. And Will's comments just reminded me of a client that I have who already owns multiple businesses in the same industry. And it's interesting because when they go out shopping now, they know one of the first things they want to do is get rid of that seller as fast as possible.

Because they have a whole apparatus of management, middle management, teams and everything else that is already an expert in that industry. And when they go and make those acquisitions, they know that they're going to perhaps make some changes. And it's a very different experience from, of course, that first time entrepreneur who may not have direct industry experience and who might really be reliant upon that seller.

Jaryd Krause:

Absolutely. And this is where it becomes so nuanced about who the acquirer is and then who the seller is. You talk about, David, becoming an attractive buyer and that can help you... That's what I teach. How do people, especially first-time buyers, become attractive buyers?

As a seasoned buyer, you understand that you are naturally attractive because you’ve done the process before, and you know what the seller wants and how the whole journey is going to go.

Now with the acquisition of a business for somebody that wants to come in and put their own team in place, they may be looking for a very different type of business than what a seller might have in the light of, Hey, I've built this baby up and I've got a team and I want to find an attractive buyer but somebody that wants to use that team. I want them to still have their jobs and I still want that sort of legacy to carry on. So it's two different buyers for two different types of businesses.

David Barnett:

Yeah. What I love so much about this market is that there's just so much opacity and cloudiness and all the players have different goals and aspirations. And all the businesses are unique in some way. It's just incredible disarray and that's what creates the opportunity. People who are willing to get in and wade through the disarray and actually do the work to discover the place where they fit.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, absolutely. And if you've got somebody who has acquired multiple businesses and they've got this type of business that they want because they have the type of team that can run that type of business, they've gotten a certain result with this business in that field and that business model. And that's their growth through acquisition strategies by multiple businesses like that and then just plug the team in and let it do its thing.

They're playing a very different game, looking for very different types of businesses and having very different negotiation strategies. We bring it back to that. Then somebody who's a first-time buyer wants that seller to be tied into the business and be a great business partner.

It's so different, right? It's almost black and white. It's still shades of gray in that, but we could be talking about negotiations from the standpoint of whether this is your first or second acquisition and you want the seller tied into the business.

The seller note, certain earnout, seller financing and certain training periods discussed are going to be super important versus how quickly I can just buy this business, make it transactional and then put my team in place. So let me ask—

Will Smith:

Well, Jaryd, just on that point. What's funny, too, is that you can see both of those happen within the same transaction. So despite the example I was giving before about a buyer who felt so exposed and dependent on the seller, that was in the immediate wake of the transaction closing.

My prediction is because this is what I see for many of my guests: they want that seller; they cling to the seller's knowledge desperately as they get in there. But the moment they feel like they've got their arms around the business, the moment they feel like they've rung all of the value out of the seller, they really want that seller out of there.

So because there are kind of too many cooks in the kitchen, they feel self-conscious about making changes because the seller might not like them. Or often, the seller doesn't like it and will be vocal about not liking it. It gets awkward when you start changing things; you start tweaking the seller's baby, right?

So it's kind of like, you really, really, really, really, really, really want that seller there. And then, once you feel a little bit comfortable, you feel good that you can do it on your own. It's kind of like, you really, really, really want that seller out there, sort of thing. It's a pattern I've seen a lot.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I guess it would be cool to hear from both of you, guys. I mean, we've talked about how to keep the seller on board with these certain negotiation strategies and how valuable that can be. What are some of the ways to slowly remove them from being necessary and feeling wanted in the deal?

Because there's still so much value in that relationship, but I think burning a bridge is a crazy thing to do. Whereas you could call them up in a year's time and be like, “Oh my god, this happened to the business. I just want to chat with you.

Can we have a quick 15-minute chat to answer this sort of question?” And you are hanging on that. But a year ago, you were like, “Dude, get out of the way. Piss off. I don't need you anymore.” And you've burned a bridge.

What are some of the ways and things that you have heard or seen done in terms of keeping a seller at bay and then also having it at arm's length? Which is a very transactional way for me to explain that. And I'm not trying to say it should be that way.

You should be a good person all the way through this and understand how valuable that relationship is. But what are some of the things that you have seen done or spoken about through the deals that both you, David and Will, have seen with regard to that?

Will Smith:

David, do you want to go?

David Barnett:

Yeah, sure. It's important to understand that if someone puts their business up for sale, they usually want or need to move on to the next thing. And so oftentimes in the deals that I worked on, buyers have wanted these really long transition periods, expecting there are the whole treasure trove of deep, dark secrets and trade secrets that they need to learn about the business.

And they'll ask for these long periods of time, and the sellers will usually say, “Well, I don't want to give that amount of time.” Because usually a transition period is not paid. It's usually just part of the deal. If you want someone to stay on for years and years, then they usually talk about a salary or something else like that.

So what I've often counseled my sellers to do is just agree to the longer period because you likely won't be serving it out. Once the buyer gets their sea legs, they're probably going to want you out of there. And the advice that I've given to buyers is to look for flexible transition periods.

So instead of asking for the seller to stick around for 10 weeks, ask them to stick around for five weeks and then say, “But I get to call you back for 10 days in the following six months. And so I can have you come in here, teach me the day to day. And then the first time I have to do that weird state licensing return, I'd like you to come into the office and help me go through it because it's something that we do once a year.

And I'd really be able to use your expertise for that.” And so that ability to have them come back in and do some other coaching and training for those weird things that don't happen so often can be a great one.

I've also seen instances where maybe a business is in an industry where there's a really important trade show every year and a lot of the customers come to that trade show. And this is the one place where people meet face to face. And they might ask that the seller come to the trade show for the next two or three iterations of that event.

Just to help with that handover of goodwill, people might be expecting to find that person when they come to the booth or what have you. And to just spend time with the new owner to make sure of these conversations and share some stories from 10 years ago or whatnot.

In my opinion, if a deal is done correctly, the buyer and seller should end up being friends. They should like each other and get along. It doesn't always happen that way. But I think that's a real mark of a successful negotiation and transition for the business.

Will Smith:

Jaryd, I'd say that the relationship with the seller is as varied as the seller's personalities. I've seen the gamut. I've seen some cases where the seller stays in the business because they just don't want the responsibility of being the owner anymore. But they liked being in business. And so this was a way for them to get out.

That doesn't happen often. I think that was a case or two. And then all the way to the other extreme, where the owner just wanted to get out as quickly as possible. And the buyer had to push hard for three weeks of transition up from the listed two weeks.

So I think, to use David's word, this is where empathy comes in. And I think it's hard to generalize this. You're going to have to conform your behavior to what the seller wants, what their personality is and the chemistry you have with them.

I guess the one thing I'd say is that, at the risk of stating the obvious, this is also where due diligence is a good example of where due diligence is so important. Because the more you know about how much you're going to rely on the seller before you close, the better. It's better to just know what you're going to need to download from the seller's head or the relationships that you're going to want them to introduce you to rather than not know.

And I've seen it both ways. I've seen it kind of where a buyer gets in there and it's like, “Okay, seller, tell me everything. I don't know what I don't know. So just tell me what I need to know and tell me it all.” So I feel like that's not the right approach.

The right approach is to try to kind of figure out what you don't know in advance and kind of have a long list of all the things that you're going to expect and maybe even contractually require the seller to train you on or relationships to hand over to you post-acquisition. So I think you can do, again, some of this protection stuff in advance to think it through before you sign on the dotted line.

Jaryd Krause: Yeah, I spot on agreeing with that due diligence. And the due diligence phase is like, you don't want to waste the seller's time because they've got other people that may be looking at the businesses and answering questions. And I teach people to have everything concise; get all the information you can.

And if you can't get it, then get on the phone with a seller or meet the seller. And it's like a bigger question. You want to see how they handle it and they explain that. And that is going to be the basis of your relationship.

It's like you say, David, it is a friendship. And you want people to be friends afterwards. Whether they allow the new owner to come in with their team and take over or not or have this long leeway period of training and maybe even do some consulting for years and years to come, the friendship should still stay stable.

And I think that's what's so key to due diligence. And some people may hire a due diligence firm where they're not completely attached to the business until it comes time to negotiations. I think they're missing out on some serious value in understanding, hang on, how does this person operate as a human being?

And then, how do they communicate? And is this somebody that I would like to buy business from? Would it be a nightmare? Would it be like pulling teeth just trying to purchase this business off that person, sort of sussing them out through that due diligence period? Because I mean—

David Barnett:

Having a gut check on the person you're doing business with is really important. I mean, if you find yourself not trusting that person, I don't know necessarily how you can entirely reconcile yourself with that deal. I mean, yeah, it's really important. I agree with you, Jaryd, about getting a good understanding of who this person might be.

Jaryd Krause:

Love it. I do want to move on. We won't get to everything in this podcast. We'll do more podcasts, but I do want to move into growth through an acquisition strategy. What have you guys seen in terms of people purchasing multiple businesses to build our portfolio? That's worked out quite well for them.

Whether it's bolting businesses on, acquiring market share, acquiring customers that another business already owns, or having diversification through a portfolio, What have you guys seen that has worked well for you guys or has worked well for others?

Will Smith:

Well, I'll say that when I was just learning about this ETA a couple years ago, one of the things that I found so eye-opening and exciting about it was how so many of my guests bought a business, not necessarily with the intention of buying any others, or maybe they thought that down the road they would.

And they bought a second and third business much more quickly than they expected to. And mostly, let's say, kind of like a local blue collar type business, although maybe not necessarily.

Because you go from a buyer who's kind of has never done a deal and you're just trying to get some deal done, trying to find a worthy business to put your so much so take on so much risk around, and then you do it. And then, all of a sudden, in many cases, deals come to you because the competition hears that there's this young guy out there who bought their competition. They want to retire. So they reach out to you and say, “Hey, you bought Sal's business. Buy my business now.”

And so all of a sudden, you got all this inbound. I'm not saying it happens every time, but it definitely happens enough that it's a pattern. And so it's like, “Wow, that was surprising. All of a sudden I bought three businesses and I'm consolidating my local landscaping market.” So I think that's really, really powerful and neat.

And I thought of this as a path and then I shifted to which it is, but then I also just started to realize that doing a deal or buying a business is its own skill. And once you've learned this very hard skill, it's like you don't want to let it atrophy.

You'd hate to buy one business and never buy another because there's so much learning involved. And you can get better at it, become a better negotiator, learn your industry, and so on and so forth.

Especially if you kind of start rolling up or aggregating an industry, you learn so much about that industry. It's just a really valuable tool in your toolbox to keep deploying. I'll stop there. I could say a lot on this topic. I'm excited to start.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, we'll continue the conversation. We'll let David jump in and then we'll come back.

David Barnett:

Yeah. Well, I've similarly got many stories like you described where someone buys a business and then other people approach them. And the problem, as I mentioned before, is that this market is very opaque and cloudy. People don't know what's going on. It's very easy for people in the public to identify businesses because businesses put themselves on the yellow pages. They want to be found, right?

And so we can see businesses, but when business owners stand at their front doors and look out at the public, they can't see business buyers. There's no indication. And so this is what people doing proprietary searches might be phoning, sending LinkedIn messages or mailing letters to people trying to solve that visibility problem. And I've seen people who will buy a business and then other people in the industry will step forward as well.

The most extreme example of a strategy to bolt on or add through acquisition would be what I call acquisition programs. So I observed this at first with clients of mine who were in the pest control business. So pest control has a lot of really small operators—one or two people in a couple of trucks with some clients. And they're out there checking traps and dealing with phone calls about bats in an attic or something like that.

And these guys are constantly getting letters from the big national pest control firms. And these national pest control firms are sending them letters, sometimes quarterly, saying, “Hey, when it's time for you to retire, give us a call. We have a retirement program for independent operators.” And they literally have a systematic formula for how they're going to buy these businesses. And they have a certain evaluation metric that they use.

So they pay X amount per residential customer and X amount per commercial customer. And there's usually a formula where that seller has to now wear the big company's uniform for like a year and continue to work the route until a new employee gets hired on.

They help transfer that over. And maybe the payments are made over the course of three years or something like that. But it's a literal program that's been created that is sort of offered to everyone in mass.

And I've helped other people do it. People in the janitorial space Anywhere where you can easily integrate new clients into your existing framework You can be out there sending similar kinds of letters to real small mom and pop shops and basically acquiring customers. And so that, I think, is sort of an extreme end to it.

And I agree with Will that learning how to do this—how to buy a business—is a strength. And once you learn to do it the first time, you start playing with more cards. It's like playing poker with seven cards. Because now you've got a business that starts to build its own equity, bankers give you more favorable terms.

They start calling you up looking to lend you money because they know you've done a deal and then you've got a profitable business. I actually made a video a couple months ago about the advantages of buying businesses when you already own one.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, totally.

David Barnett:

It really changes the rules.

Will Smith:

It's that whole value of just getting into the game. Once you're in business, the way the rest of the business market perceives you shifts. And so going from having done zero deals to one, the perceptions, the market's perception of you, graduate from wannabe to actual player and it's a big step in your status.

Jaryd Krause:

It's huge. It's huge in status. It's huge in your own actual knowledge as well. It's huge in finance and what can come, can't come to you. If you're just starting off, you're not an attractive buyer yet because you're just trying to work out this first deal. We all start there.

Those two, as you guys have mentioned, are really cool. It sounds like it works really well for offline, traditional businesses. Online, I'm going to add a little flavor to this with the online business acquisition strategies for growth. I believe that we could definitely lend a little bit about what you mentioned, David, in reaching out to certain businesses when they're ready to move on.

But first, I'll talk about ecommerce businesses and mixing different business models in the online business space. For example, you have an ecommerce business selling the best products ever, which are obviously surfboards, right?

And, say, that ecommerce business is selling a bunch of surfboards, and they want to grow, and they could either spend a million dollars or, say, they have a million-dollar marketing budget for ads on Facebook and Google.

They could say, “All right, cool. This year, instead of spending a million dollars on ads, let's go away and spend 500 grand on Google ads and Facebook ads and then we'll spend 500 grand buying blogs, surfing blogs, where people are looking to learn to surf, people are looking to learn how to buy certain surfboards, people are looking, they're interested in surfing. Let's buy five blogs for $100,000 a pop. And let's buy market share.” And they can direct that content, that media, towards their ecommerce business.

And I think that's a really good strategy for the growth of, say, an ecommerce business. It can be done for a SaaS or membership business. It can also be done at the opposite end, where I own a surfing blog and I think, damn, I'm sending a lot of these people to buy surfboards from these companies, and I'm an affiliate. But why don't I buy those companies? Or why don't I buy my own ecommerce brand that sells surfboards and direct my traffic to that?

So it can be done either way. But I would love for people to lend this out in the online space, David. It can be hard. I mean, a lot of people don't want to share their websites that they have bought publicly, their domains and the price they paid for them. I know a lot of my guests. We don’t share those details or how to contact them.

Because one, they don't want to get bombarded by my guests and say, “Hey, is Jaryd a real person? Is he even any good? Should I buy his course?” That sort of stuff. So we hide those private details.

And I like the idea of the outreach, if I'm selling surfboards, reaching out to those different blogs and saying, “Hey, maybe you don't want to sell it now. But if you do want to sell it, I own this business. And we buy these businesses that are in this niche that are doing this sort of certain sort of numbers and this type of business.

If you're ever interested in selling, don't need to be now; let us know; we'll give you a valuation. And then if you want to sell it, we can go through the same system,” or create a system that you have mentioned there, David, which I think is so good.

And this is why I love having these chats with you guys, is because there's so many things that we can learn from traditional businesses online and vice versa. Yeah. And you were going to say something?

Will Smith:

Well, a couple things. So just, Jaryd, the model that you just described of having ecommerce and then buying blogs to feed it traffic or having blogs that you're sending to affiliates for ecommerce. And then deciding, Oh, why don't I just buy the ecommerce business? Is it said of a WordPress beginner? Do you know the word?

Jaryd Krause:

WP? WPBeginner, yeah.

Will Smith:

WPBeginner, I mean, and he's kind of always been a little under the radar, but he has started appearing on podcasts and he's even more successful than we all thought.

Jaryd Krause:

I'm actually going to try to get him on. I did see his name pop up.

Will Smith:

Oh, that'd be amazing.

Jaryd Krause:

So let's go, say, come on the pod.

Will Smith:

Yeah. Well, he had a blog that was getting huge amounts of traffic about learning WordPress. And he had, I guess, affiliate relationships with various WordPress plugins. And he said, “Well, either let me just buy the plugins that I'm sending traffic to in whatever 10 years later.” He's got a really formidable empire.

The other thing I was just going to say is about one of the things where you see growth through acquisition strategy being really powerful, as in franchises. So just for a little context. In the ETA world, I see a pattern where a lot of people want to buy their own business, but they don't want to buy a franchise.

There's a certain snobbery—for lack of a better word—or narrow mindedness. They just don't want to do a franchise. They want to have their own business and their own name. And that's fine. And I understand that. And I feel that.

But what will happen for a lot of searchers is that they'll be six months into their search; 12 months into their search, they haven’t found a business, but they'll start to see some franchise resales. So this is mixing ETA and franchises’ established businesses, but those are part of the franchise systems.

And they'll kind of be forced to open their minds because they don't have a business yet. So they say, “Well, let me look at this; let me just take a look.” And they see that it's actually a really compelling business and a really attractive business in a lot of ways. And they open their minds to franchises.

Common pattern. Anyway, and then what they'll learn is that there are actually some really great benefits to being in a franchise network. There are a lot of them that we can talk about if there's interest. But specifically, growing through acquisition is, of course, growing through acquisition. The big challenge is integrating the entities that you buy.

So if I have bought a landscaping business and then I want to buy another landscaping business from competitors, integrating those businesses is very difficult often. Well, not so much in franchising; it's because the same CRM, same system, same POS, same whatever it is, depending on if it's a kind of service business units’ business or retail business. I mean, that's what a franchise is. It's all totally systematized.

So you can really quickly, easily and seamlessly integrate businesses that you buy. And you can really take this strategy pretty far. So if you target a franchise system, that is kind of what we were talking about—age weighted toward maybe people who are nearing retirement age.

So Midas here in the States is like a brakes and oil change sort of thing. And it's an old, legacy franchise that probably started in the 1970s. In my youth, in the 80s, it was big. But there are still hundreds and hundreds of them across the US. A lot of those owners are retiring boomers.

And so there's a guy you guys might have seen online, Brian; he's been on the pod. I can’t remember his name. But he and his brother have like 35 Midas locations. And it's because they really know the system.

They're the most credible, aggressive buyers in the system. And they are in a system where a lot of the owners of these individual franchises or maybe they own two or three units, are nearing retirement age and there they are as the biggest buyers, and it's great. And so this roll up strategy has happened very, very quickly, like 35 and it's like a $36 million, $40 million a year business.

Jaryd Krause:

That's so cool.

Will Smith:

So, anyway, an argument for franchises

Jaryd Krause:
I hope Brian's listening to this podcast and taking away David's strategy of just sending mail to every single Midas out there so he can just acquire as much finance as he can and acquire as many of these as he can.

David Barnett:

We meet them at the annual convention, right? And so it's funny that you bring up Midas because last month, in September, I was invited to come and speak at the NAPA AUTOPRO National Convention here in Canada.

And the reason that the franchisor wanted me to come and talk was that they were realizing they had an issue where so many of their owners were kind of mid-50-ish. And they've started to talk with them about their exit plans and what their intentions are.

Because, of course, AUTOPRO doesn't want locations to close. They want these businesses to change hands in one form or another because they sell the parts, right? And so they asked me to come and speak. I did a 45-minute talk all about what it was really like to sell a small auto repair business, what sort of valuations look like, the terms of sale and stuff like that.

And it was a big eye opener, I think, for a lot of those people. Because, like most small businesses, especially on Main Street, all of your real successful business owners are pros at auto repair, managing the technicians and all that stuff. They're not necessarily wheeler dealers, business guys that are in there buying and selling.

And so for them, almost all of them were people who had started their business from scratch. And so there wasn't a lot of common knowledge in the room about what it's like to do one of these deals.

Will Smith:

And I'm curious, David, so how do they perceive it? Do they want wheeler dealer types to come in and buy these? Because it sounds like the NAPA model, you need somebody who actually knows cars to be the owner and operator of an individual unit.

David Barnett:

It depends on the size. Because of the small ones that might have three or four bays, the owner may have to be their kind of a wrench turning fellow. But if it's a bigger one—10 technicians, 14 technicians—the real successful ones are the ones with owners who are not picking up a wrench, right? They're focused on the business.

And so I met a couple of people who told me they owned two or three. I didn't meet anyone who owned 10 or anything like that. So I know that within their network, there are some people that are starting to sort of realize there might be an opportunity to kind of consolidate in their town or what have you.

Jaryd Krause:

It sounds like a great place for Brian to go shopping.

David Barnett:

If Midas will let him,

Will Smith:

How could I forget that, Brian Pierce? Yeah, probably not.

Jaryd Krause:


David Barnett:

Yeah. And that's sort of the downside to franchises. I kind of say that you're volunteering for an additional level of government. Because you have to follow their rules and you sort of pay your taxes, you pay the royalty. And so you've got to find one where there’s real value in what they deliver to the franchisee in exchange for those fees. And that you're all going to be successful together.

Will Smith:

Yeah. And totally. And I don't mean to oversell franchises at all. And the resale value of these is probably going to be less than if it's an independent business. So there's lots of consideration.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, we should probably put a caveat on the fact that most people who are looking to start their first business are going to buy a franchise. Not that I have bought this, but I have had people come to me who have bought a franchise.

From what I hear, if it’s your first business and you're buying a franchise as your first business to get out of a job, it's typically not going to do that. Typically, you’re going to get yourself a glorified job, I guess, depending on the franchise and all that sort of stuff. So something to definitely consider is having the right acquisition strategy.

I guess we should make a caveat that the whole last half of this conversation about your acquisition strategy should be focused on where you're at as an acquirer, whether you're at your first deal, your second, your 10th, or your 40th deal. Not all of these strategies that we shared are going to be perfect for you if you're starting off from scratch or if you're at a different level as well.

So I am respectful and do want to be respectful of you guys’ time. We had an awesome conversation. We could do another hour or two. But we will get you guys back on. So thanks so much for coming on, Will and David. Also, a massive shout out and congratulations to Ryan, letsbuyabusiness.com, who wasn't able to come. Congratulations on the new Bob. Will, where can we send people to find out more about you?

Will Smith:

Yeah. Thanks again for putting this together, Jaryd. Acquiring Minds is the name of the podcast. So you can find it wherever you get your podcasts and acquiringminds.co is the website. You can go there, put in your email address and you’ll get little brief summaries of every episode. If you don't have time to listen, you can just get text summaries of it.

Jaryd Krause:

Perfect. Perfect. And David, where can we send people to find out more about you?

David Barnett:

Sure. davidcbarnett.com is my blog site. And there’s an email list there too that people can sign up for and you can see all of my different videos and guest chats that I have on YouTube or any podcast platform. If you just look up David Barnett, small business, you'll find me.

I'll come right up. And basically, I put the audio of my YouTube channel out as a podcast feed because some people like to listen to it in their car or what have you.

And yeah, I love to create content for people to consume just to learn more about this stuff. If you're curious about this in any way, come and subscribe to the YouTube channel or get on my email list because I send out a ton of stuff.

Jaryd Krause:

In terms of subscribing, thank you for reminding me, David, because I never ask people to subscribe to my podcast, my YouTube channel or anything. So wink, wink, nudge, nudge, get on, subscribe to the podcast, and subscribe to everybody here. There will be more conversations like this. So you'd be silly not to. And yeah, I look forward to speaking to all of you guys again soon. Thanks.

Will Smith:

Thanks, guys.

David Barnett:

Have a great night. Thanks, man. Thanks for hosting.

Jaryd Krause:

Thank you. Hey, YouTube watchers, if you thought that video was good, you should check out this video here on the 2 Best Types of Websites Beginners Should Buy. Or check out my playlist on How I Made My First $100k Buying Websites and how to do due diligence. Check it out. It's an awesome playlist. You'll enjoy it.

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Jaryd Krause is a serial entrepreneur who helps people buy online businesses so they can spend more time doing what they love with who they love. He’s helped people buy and scale sites all the way up to 8 figures – from eCommerce to content websites. He spends his time surfing and traveling, and his biggest goals are around making a real tangible impact on people’s lives. 

Resource Links:

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➥ Buying Online Businesses Website – https://buyingonlinebusinesses.com

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GoDaddy (Website Hosting & Buying Domains) – https://bit.ly/3YiRkWV

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➥ Motion Invest – https://bit.ly/3YmJAmO

➥ Investors Club – https://bit.ly/3ZpgioR

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