The week of June 22 was an epic week for me…
I went to visit a business for the first time since March.
As you know, I practice what I preach. I’m a business buying coach AND I buy businesses at the same time.
Over the past three months, I have been in lockdown in the U.K…. but finally, I was let out of my cage.
It was an incredible week. Here are some of the highlights…
Later on Wednesday I got to play full out, so to speak.
I travelled approximately 80 miles to visit a business – one that provides short- and medium-term leasing of construction equipment.
If you are a contractor building a school, a highway or even a bunch of houses, you may not always have your own equipment.
So when you need a specialty machine for digging, shifting or building, you hire the equipment with the operator.
The business I visited provides that equipment and operator.
It’s profitable and has steady growth and a solid balance sheet. The owner is close to retirement age and wants to exit.
But in the run-up to the meeting, I realized I had a big dilemma…
I don’t know a lot about this industry.
Remember – you need to understand a sector to be able to build a strong relationship with the seller, especially in a leveraged buyout (LBO) deal structure.
As I sat in my home office gazing out over my large garden, I started watching the contractor I hired to build me a pool.
I noticed he was operating a large piece of machinery just like ones owned by the business I was about to visit.
So I went down to speak to him. I made him a coffee, plied him with chocolate biscuits and started to discuss the equipment – the cost of rental, how it works and the ins and outs of the industry.
About an hour later, the equipment went off hire (back to the owner) and the owner himself (we call him Farmer John) came to the house to collect it.
I quizzed him too.
How does he win new business?… What are the typical margins?… If I purchased this type of business, what are the major items I’d need to look out for?
Within 30 minutes, I had learned A LOT about the industry.
Then I went to see the business.
Even though I had never been into this type of business before, I was able to dazzle the owner with my knowledge of the industry, his business and exactly how I would grow it if I acquired it.
That conversation did THREE powerful things.
The seller got to KNOW me…
And TRUST me.
This was a convenient opportunity for me. The person working on my house was linked to the industry, so I was quickly able to learn about it and progress to the next stage of the deal with the owner.
If you are not well-versed in the industry you are targeting, you can employ similar research tactics… But it’s far easier to go partner with someone who DOES know that industry and can buy the business with you.
I may actually end up partnering with Farmer John to buy this business together and combine it with his (much smaller) business. Win-win.
In summary, dealmaking is all about relationships.
It’s WHO you know at first, not WHAT you know – since your network can help educate you on multiple things.
If you don’t have a network, go and build one. Use LinkedIn to do it quickly and virtually.
Target people in your sector of choice so you can shortcut the learning curve and find potential partners.
Target deal intermediates (accountants, lawyers, financiers, bankers) as well. Not only can they help you close a deal, but they also provide tons of high-quality, off-market deal flow.
Here’s to another epic week!
I will speak to you soon.
Until then, bye for now.
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society
P.S. Here is a quick way to build your network… Dealmaker Insiders is a free, private Facebook group any dealmaker can join. In addition to meeting and mingling with like-minded entrepreneurs, you get access to exclusive content you won’t see posted anywhere else. Again, this group is totally free and it’s a great way to make connections. Click here now to join. I’ll see you on the inside!