The Freedom Point

October 23, 2020 |  

Tune into the full episode


The Freedom Point

In 2001, Adam Torres started Team Dynamix, a software used by colleges and universities to keep their IT department organized.

How to Double Your Take From a Sale Without Being a Jerk

David Jondreau built American Sign Language, a company that supplied interpreters on contract, to $2 million in annual revenue when he decided it was time to sell.

When the Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Tom Farinacci II built Houston Green Leaf up to 35 employees when he solid it to Grounds Control, a national landscaping company, for around four times EBITDA.

Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary on How to Structure Your Earn-out

Kim Walsh-Phillips founded Elite Digital Group, a marketing agency for clients looking to leverage social media. Walsh-Phillips built her firm to $3.2 million in revenue, but she got stuck when she reached 30 clients.

How To Quadruple An Offer For Your Business

Gary Nealon started selling ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets under the RTA Cabinet Store brand. It was around the time HGTV was taking off on a steady diet of home improvement shows. Nealon was contacted by one of the show's producers who had a last-minute request for a shoot where they needed kitchen cabinets. Nealon scrambled his team and delivered.

How to Punch Above Your Weight Class With Acquirers

Peter Carlin started Logicearth to improve how companies teach their employees online. They built e-learning courses that were almost as good as being there in person. They caught the attention of a marketing agency called The Creative Engagement Group (TCEG), which had clients that needed online courses.

How to Sell Your Business to a Competitor

Alex Rink built 360pi, a software application that provided online retailers with competitive pricing information. 360pi grew into a multi-million-dollar company with 40 employees when Rink began hearing his business might be worth as much as 3-6 times revenue.

Sociopaths & Impostors: How To Sell Your Baby To A Giant

Jonathan Evans was an air ambulance helicopter pilot when he started to think about how drones could safely navigate the sky around him. Commercial pilots had rules of the sky, but there were no guidelines for drones despite companies from Amazon to Walmart beginning to experiment with using drones.

What 250 Owners Have to Say About Selling Your Business

It’s a big week at Built to Sell Radio as we celebrate our 250th episode. That’s 250 entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, and owners who have shared their stories and their time over the last 5 years. To mark the event, Built to Sell Radio’s producer, Shawn McDonald, takes over the mic to highlight insights from some of the most talked-about, most popular, and most memorable episodes from the course of the show.

9 Lessons From An Acquisition Offer Gone Wrong

Back in 2007, Aric Bandy saw Google investing heavily to compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and so decided to pivot his company, Agosto. Instead of offering general IT consulting, Bandy focused on helping clients move their businesses online using something Alphabet calls the Google Cloud Platform.

The Rest

5 Lessons from growing a startup to a 9-figure exit in 2 years

David Yaffe was working at Google when he spotted an opportunity to connect advertisers with smaller publishers competing for online advertising dollars. He and two friends started Arbor, raised more than $2 million in seed capital and built a prototype. Two years later, Arbor had grown to 25 employees when LiveRamp acquired them for more than $100 million.

Built to Sell: Intel

The format for Built to Sell Radio typically features our host, John Warrillow, interviewing an owner who has recently sold their business. This week, we’re going to try something different. Today’s episode features John’s analysis of four of the exits we’ve featured on the show. John will break down his key takeaways and transferable lessons.

Turning a $2M Business Into a 9-figure Windfall in 3 Years

When Matt Schmeltz and his partners acquired CloudCraze, it was a simple software application helping businesses that use manage their customer relationships. CloudCraze generated $2 million in annual recurring revenue, but Schmeltz & Co. figured it could do much more.

Exit Like a Tycoon Without Losing Your Soul

In 1995, with just $5,000 in start-up capital, Ashok Vasudevan launched Tasty Bite offering ready-to-eat Indian entrees to American consumers. Twenty-five years later, Tasty Bite is America's largest brand of prepared Indian food sold everywhere, from Walmart to Whole Foods. In 2017, Vasudevan announced he had sold the company to Mars, which has a portfolio of beloved brands including everything from Uncle Ben's to Skittles.

Lessons From a A £20 Million Exit

Have you ever stayed in a fancy hotel and wondered how much they pay Aveda for those little bottles of shampoo? Turns out, there is a company called Pacific Direct that acts as a middleman between the hotel chain and the company supplying the shampoo.

The Tech Start-Up vs. The Bootstrap Lifestyle

Peter Demangos has started two businesses in the Human Resources sector. One was a bootstrapped insurance brokerage where they sold employee benefits programs to large clients. The other was an HR software company called Collage, where Demangos and his co-founders raised $3.5 million of investment capital and sold three years later for $15 million.

3 Ways to Untangle Yourself from Your Business

Debbie King was running on a treadmill so familiar to service company owners. Her company, Association Analytics, helped associations make sense of their member data, and she was wasting time on proposals that often did not get accepted. Then, when King did win a project, she was creating a custom solution for every job that required her to hire senior-level staff and personally get involved in client work. The model put a cap on her business, and when she reached 20 employees, she decided it was time to get out.

The 8-Figure Trigger

Lee Gregory built Sir Lines-A-Lot, a company that paints lines on highways, to 40 employees. It was blue-collar work, so when Gregory learned his company could be worth north of eight figures, he decided it was time to sell. During this interview, Gregory drops dozens of knowledge bombs for aspiring value builders.

Walking Away From an 8 Figure Exit

Josh Davis started Spirit of Women, a marketing agency selling content about women's health to hospitals. Davis built the company up to almost $10 million in annual revenue when he kicked off a process to sell it, which he hoped would garner an offer of around 7x Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA).

The Backstory Behind Dream Water's $34.5M Exit

David Lekach started Dream Water; a natural sleep aid bottled in a 5 oz shot similar to the famous 5-Hour Energy Drink. Lekach built Dream Water up to almost $10 million in annual revenue before selling it to Harvest One, a cannabis company, for $34.5 million in cash and Harvest One stock.

Getting Acquired Doesn't Have to Be a Blood Sport

Our show is all about maximizing your take from the sale of your business. We're about helping the seller outmaneuver the buyer to maximize the seller's take from an exit. We think it's a noble cause, but every once in a while, a guest reminds us that selling a business doesn't have to be so confrontational.

How the Fine Print in an Acquisition Offer Can Leave You Penniless

Before the pandemic, fancy salad bars were popping up in major cities across the US, making the category one of the fastest-growing sectors of the restaurant industry. Despite their popularity in major cities, when Ana Chaud moved to Portland, Oregon, she was surprised to see a shortage of good salad options.

How to Hire a CEO Without Losing Your Company

When we discover a vaccine or reliable treatment regime for COVID-19, there will inevitably be an unscrupulous gang of counterfeiters trying to make a quick buck by selling fake remedies. 

How to Package Your Service Into a Product

Michael Spinosa and Scott Greenwell started a digital marketing agency called Unleashed Technologies at the start of the 2007 financial crisis. Spinosa believes the recession helped Unleashed get started because their flexibility and lower fees enabled them to pick up business from larger rivals who were losing customers amid cost-cutting. By 2019, Unleashed had grown to over $6 million in revenue when they were approached by LINC Partners, a private equity-backed group looking to do a role up of digital marketing agencies.

How to Structure Your Earn-out in Uncertain Times

How To Increase An Acquisition Offer Without Appearing Greedy

In 2012, Gabriela Isturiz co-founded Bellefield Systems, a company offering a timekeeping application for lawyers. Over the next seven years, Bellefield grew to 45 employees when Isturiz decided to hire an advisor to find a strategic investor. Given Bellefield’s growth and success, Isturiz was hoping the process would garner a valuation of 5-7 times Bellefield’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).

How To Maintain Your Leverage After You Sign An LOI

Ganesh Ramakrishna and Mike Watson built Opex Analytics to 140 employees before they sold it to PE-backed LLamasoft in the fall of last year.

How To Get Acquired By A Partner

Adam Ochstein started an HR software company called StratEx in the depths of the 2008 recession. CEOs were asking HR managers to do more with less and Ochstein’s software promised to help HR managers do just that. Despite the challenging economic environment, StratEx was an early success and was particularly popular with restaurants. Ochstein decided to focus on the hospitality sector and forged a partnership with Toast, one of the fastest-growing Point of Sale (POS) providers serving restaurants. The collaboration was a success, and StratEx ballooned to 160 employees. 

Building to Sell Through a Crisis

Nashville-based Bryan Clayton was running Peachtree, a landscaping business, when the financial crisis of 2008 hit hard. Customers stopped spending money overnight. Clayton gathered his employees together and told them the world had changed and asked each to re-commit to the company. Clayton told them that the road ahead would be challenging, but he would do everything in his power not to cut staff.

Tips, Hacks And Countermeasures For Negotiating With A Giant

If you’re working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably received a few packages from Amazon. As more people order essentials to deal with “shelter at home” restrictions, Amazon has seen a sudden spike in activity, which is causing them to hire more than 100,000 fulfillment center workers. 

Start-up To Exit In 186 Days

Staffing-industry veteran Will Gilbert co-founded Socium – a U.K.-based company supplying workers to companies that needed them – in early 2019. Within six months, Socium was generating more than 7 million U.K. Pounds in revenue.

How To Rethink Your Business Like A Lobster

How To Do Less While Making More

Aater Suleman co-founded an IT services company called Flux7 in 2013, built it to 70 employees and sold it in 2019 to NTT DATA, the Fortune 500 IT giant.

3 Reasons Bollé Sunglasses Acquired SPY Optics

The action sports business is fuelled by big brands which is why, when SPY Optics built a style popular with irreverent teens, eyewear bemouth Bollé decided they had to own them.

Why Cracker Barrel Paid $36 Million For Maple Street Biscuit Company

When Scott Moore’s job as a VP at Winn-Dixie was eliminated in 2012, he decided to start a restaurant with his friend Gus Evans in Jacksonville, Florida. They called it The Maple Street Biscuit Company and offered what they refer to as “comfort food with a modern twist.”

The Inside Story Of Elsevier’s $50.6 Million Acquisition Of

How To Scratch Your Itch

Inside Shutterstock’s $65 Million Acquisition of FlashStock

Grant Munro started FlashStock in 2013 to help big companies produce content (photos, videos) for advertising campaigns. In 2015, Instagram exploded, and online marketers became desperate for more content, which helped fuel Munro’s business from a handful of employees in 2014 to more than 100 in 2017. That’s about when Munro agreed to sell FlashStock to Shutterstock for $65 million. 

Built to Sell News: Pura Vida Acquired For $75 Million ++

Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, two Southern California friends traveling through Costa Rica on a post-college graduation trip in 2010, crossed paths with two bracelet artisans, Jorge and Joaquin, who were living in poverty.  Jorge and Joaquin made beautiful, colorful handmade bracelets that seemed to capture the essence of their journey.  Thall and Goodman asked the artisans to make 400 bracelets to take home with them.

How Nick Gray Sold Museum Hack

Nick Gray built Museum Hack, a company that offers fun museum tours in major cities, to almost 3 million dollars in annual revenue when he had an idea. 

When To Bring In Someone To Run Your Company

Pathfinder Health offered software to therapists helping patients with Autism. The company founder was creative, but the company had reached a plateau. 

How To Make Peace With Your Decision To Sell

When Scott Raymond started buying real estate, he looked for a property management company to maintain his buildings. He couldn’t find anyone to care as much as he did, so Raymond decided to start his own property management business. 

Walking Away From An 8 Figure Deal

Wes Winham was a co-founder and shareholder in PolicyStat, a software company that helps hospitals keep track of their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including everything from dress codes to how to handle life and death procedures. 

How To Package Your Expertise Into A Subscription

Marc-Andre Seguin launched in 2009 to share his knowledge as a guitar teacher. 

How Nick Gray Sold Museum Hack

How To Find A $100 Million Idea

Dr. David Bach is a Harvard-trained scientist, physician, and serial entrepreneur.

Start-Up To Ferrari In Five Years

Zain Hasan started an insurance agency called National Insurance Consulting Group (NICG), in 2014.

Avoiding The Commoditization Rat Race To The Bottom

Jean-Eric Plamondon was in the scrap metal business where the stereotypical operator is a shady character buying metal by the ton with a blow torch in one hand and a wad of cash in the other.

The Backstory Behind E&J Gallo’s Acquisition of Barefoot Cellars

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey built Barefoot Cellars to sales of more than 600,000 cases of wine per year when they got the attention of E&J Gallo, America’s largest winemaker. 

WP Curve Get Acquired By Go Daddy

In 2013, Alex McClafferty co-founded WP Curve, a company that provided IT support for people with a WordPress site. 

The Snag Of Selling To Private Equity

Starting from humble beginnings, Sherry Deutschmann built LetterLogic into a $40 million juggernaut which she sold recently for more than seven times EBITDA.

The Hidden Secret That Made This Company Worth A Ton

Ian Silverberg was considering acquiring a health club when he discovered a surprising lease that all but guaranteed his acquisition would be a winner. 

How To Avoid Getting Diluted

Luxer One went from around $1 million in sales in their first year to an incredible $37 million in 2018 without suffering the dilution of accepting a round of venture capital in part by charging property managers up front for his system. Here’s how he did it.

When Tragedy Strikes A Founder

Tom Pisello built Alinean, a consulting company which offered a set of tools to help salespeople express the value of picking their solution. The business was cruising with about half of its revenue coming from recurring licensing fees and the other half from consulting when disaster struck the Pisello’s family.

From Billion Dollar Startup To Bankruptcy And Back Again

when he took the company public in 1999 on the way to a market capitalization of more than $3 billion. Until the bubble burst.

How A Patent Sways The Value Of Your Business

O’Neil-Dunne was able to patent his technology and create a competitive advantage by learning the “patois” of his industry. Here’s how.

Deciding When To Sell

In 1999, Peter Kelly was at Stanford business school when he and two partners spotted an opportunity to remake an industry – used cars.

How To Place A Value On Your Sales Team

Mark Deutschmann started Village Real Estate in 1996 and by 2018 he had grown it to 350 salespeople. Then six of his agents decided to compete with him. Anyone would be upset, but you’ll be surprised at what Deutschmann did next.

Multiple Of Earnings Vs. Revenue

Glenn Grant always assumed he would sell his company for a multiple of EBITDA… until private equity firms started talking multiples of revenue. He decided to learn more.

How To You-Proof Your Business

After falling ill, Nation Leagues owner, David Heimlich, needed to sell his business – but to his surprise, it was worthless. He learned the hard way why you can’t be the center of the business.

How Re-Modelling A Swimming Pool Business Led To A 7-Figure Exit

​When Tommy Berretz had his successful swimming pool company valued, he had just one (big) problem: he didn’t like what he found out.

Finding Your Subscription Model

John MacInnes pulled his business out of a rut by evolving into a subscription-based model. Here’s how he did it.

A $471 Million Exit From The Online Travel Industry

From a standing start, Dinesh Dhamija grew European online travel agency eBookers to more than one billion in sales in just five years.

Wisdom From Wall Street: How To Buy, Then Sell

Matt Slaine used his wisdom from Wall Street to buy the perfect company, and later sell it for a perfect price. 

Was The Inc. 500 The Reason For This Founder’s Exit?

James Roman grew iVelocity’s revenue by a whopping 1000% – was the stress that ensued worth it?

When It Makes Sense To Accept Equity Instead Of Cash

Matt Darby was burnt out and wanted to sell the business – even if it wasn’t for cash.

How To Structure Your Earn Out (Without Getting Burned)

Kristin Delwo co-founded Stacks, a software used by librarians. Though the software was still early in its life, Delwo wanted to scale quickly and decided to look for a deep-pocketed acquirer.

When Your Best Acquirer Is Already On The Payroll

Sometimes, the very best acquirer for your business may surprise you.

How To Sell A 22-Employee Company For $125 Million

Altia Systems has just crested 20 employees and was fine tuning the latest version of its camera system. So how on earth did it sell for $125 million?

When To Hire A President To Run Things

Want to bring in a President to run your company day-to-day? Here’s how to get it right.

What To Do When Something New Attracts Your Attention

We talk a lot about how you sell a business, but the real satisfaction comes when exit and expectations match.

Herding Cats Towards The Exit

If too many cooks spoil the broth, can too many owners derail a sale?

How To Avoid The Hodgepodge Discount

The Traffic & Conversion Summit attracts 7,000 attendees and keynote speakers like Sir Richard Branson. So why would the creator want to sell it?

The True Value Of Sticky Customers

CJ Whelan and his co-founder evolved a typically “free service” into something that customers were more than willing to pay for – and remain loyal.

From 10 Employees to 10X Revenue

Alex Bates’s company used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict the future, but even he couldn’t have anticipated a 10X payday when he sold his company

Sixth Time’s a Charm For This Restaurant Owner

Andrew Lamppa wanted to sell his restaurant within two years of buying it, but it would take another twelve before he had something an acquirer wanted to buy.

How One Consulting Company Used The ‘Netflix Model’ To Transform

Kogentix’s product and service offerings may be complex, but their huge growth resulted in an ending that’s easy to understand—an acquisition by the biggest digital marketing agency in the world.

How One Bad Boy [Clause] Landed an 8-Figure Deal

Find out how Erik Van Horn went from running a business for only two hours a week to making an eight-figure exit.

How To Avoid The Idiot Tax

3 Strategic Reasons Big Companies Buy Small Ones

Strategic acquirers will pay more for your company — here’s how to make your business irresistible to them.

Disrupted By Airbnb, Acquired By Expedia

From the acquirer to the seller, Ross Buhrdorf bought more than 25 companies at HomeAway, then sold his business to Expedia for a whopping $3.9 billion. Now, he’s sharing his secrets – from both sides.

Buying a Business to Sell It

Startup to Exit in 18 Months

Building a sellable business doesn’t have to take years. Drew Kraemer received his first acquisition offer nine months after he started Marketplace Strategy.

How Two Co-Founders Stopped One Thing To Change Everything

The two founders of Stelligent were burnt out running their consulting business until they agreed to stop doing one thing that changed just about everything.

How to Get One Million More from PwC

From an agile SMB to the big, corporate environment of one of the Big Four auditors – this business owner learned negotiating a price is only half the battle.

Warren Buffett’s Advice On Creating A Valuable Business

Turning business down can be tough for an entrepreneur, but Mitch Durfee learned the hard way that saying ‘yes’ can lead to disaster.

Fortune 500 Companies Helped This Founder Exit

Find out how Mitchell Reichgut built Jun Group to sell.

How To Lose $200 million

Procrastinating the sale of your business? One entrepreneur shares a cautionary tale that reveals the best time to sell your company may be when someone’s willing to buy it.

Inside the Mind of a Private Equity Acquirer

How To Break Up With Your Business Partner

How do you place a fair valuation on your company when one partner wants out while the other is ready to continue?

The ‘Sell Your Business Before It Starts’ Mindset

When is the best time to start thinking about an acquirer? For one company, they had it on their agenda since day one.

How To Handle A Low-Ball Offer

You’re excited to get an offer for your company, but it’s not what you had hoped for. You’re tempted to react with righteous indignation – but is that really the best way to maximize an acquisition offer?

The Single Biggest Mistake Owners Make

Philip Williams’ environmental consulting company was going to be sold to one of the biggest players in the oil industry. But just as the check was about to be signed, the deal took a strange turn.

What’s Lurking In Your Company’s ‘Attic’?

Washington state’s legalization of recreational marijuana sounded like an entrepreneur’s dream, but the reality had Brandon Neth looking for an exit after only 5 years.

A Small Giant Makes a Great Exit

Tyler Tringas maintained his independence from beginning to end, starting with bootstrapping his SaaS company and then ultimately navigating the sale alone.

Built to Flip

4 Big Exits, 1 Smart Entrepreneur

Steve Murch’s BigOven sale is his latest in a series of successful multi-million-dollar exits. Find out how he did it.

How To Keep Competing Offers In Play

Backing out of a deal is never easy, so when Keith Weigand discovered his acquirer was going to buy his company and terminate his employees, he had a tough decision to make.

How Hawking Pool Chemicals On Subscription Led To An Offer From An Industry Giant

 century. When they started looking for new funding, they found a buyer instead.

An 18-Month Roller Coaster Leads to a Rock-Bottom Sale

The story of Tiny Devotions is a cautionary tale about the importance of getting out while you’re ahead.

When NIKE Wants To Buy Your Company

Data analytics provider Zodiac was preparing to raise an A investment round for its customer lifetime value software when NIKE decided they wanted to buy the company.

From Technological Obsolescence to a Multi-Million Dollar Exit

From a service no one wanted anymore to a growing business and a strategic buyer, find out how AMI was rebuilt to sell.

Why A NYSE-listed Giant Bought This $2M Business

Angela Mader started selling her fitbook through retail giants like CVS, Target and Walgreens. Little did she know, Mader was also attracting the attention of one of the world largest acquirers.

Jim Remsik’s Adorable Exit Was Just Right

When a health scare sent Jim Remsik looking for a buyer for his company, he had to decide whether to sacrifice a high-multiple exit for his personal priorities.

How Matchmaking By Microsoft Led To One Of 2018’s Biggest Technology Deals

Mergers can be painful. But when Mitchell Feldman was approached by Microsoft about merging with another company, the result was a match not even HPE could resist.

This Grasshopper Learned Well

David Hauser’s Grasshopper is a masterclass in building a business to sell. With no venture funding and fewer than 40 staff, Grasshopper was acquired 12 years after its founding for $165 million in cash and $8.6 in Citrix stock.

What To Do When Getting Out Means Staying On

A service-based company can be a tough sell, so Eric Enge found a buyer while his best asset was still on the table: himself.

Cracking the Amazon e-Commerce Code

Sophie Howard built and sold a 7 figure Amazon e-Commerce business in less than two years. Here’s how she did it.

How Indian Motorcycle & Chris-Craft Were Built to Sell

Stephen Heese buys fallen iconic brands and brings them back to life. Found out how he turns big personal risk into great rewards.

Getting Out Quick And Clean

Nathaniel Broughton grew Spread Effect to a $4 million company in only four years — so why would he sell for a rock bottom multiple?

A Good Acquisition Offer Goes Horribly Wrong

Ross Hoek built Impres Engineering into a $2.5 million company and got a fair acquisition offer. Little did he know, it was too good to be true.

Niche Down To Jack Up Your Value

It can be tempting to expand your niche to grow your business, but the broader the market you serve, the less valuable you may be to an acquirer.

Salsa Maker Gets Contract With Whole Foods On Her Way To A Surprising Exit

Despite having distribution at Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway, salsa-maker Julie Nirvelli found herself on the brink of bankruptcy. She sent a last-ditch email to four potential acquirers – and you won’t believe what happened next.

How Jennifer Aniston And Reese Witherspoon Helped Viviscal Exit For 15x EBITDA

With celebrity endorsements like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, Viviscal hit €50 million in revenue…so, why would the CEO want to sell it?

From $15 In His Pocket To A $3.2M Exit

Chemco Industries’ customers included Walmart, eBay, and Amazon, which is one reason they were so irresistible to an acquirer.

How To Sell Your Family’s Business

Ross Organic was a family business, so when Stephanie Leshney took over from her father, she knew she had to make some changes if it was going to grow into a more valuable company.

The Acquisition Of FPD: 4 Offers, 1 Big Regret

Tom Hannon’s publishing company grew rapidly, and he received 4 offers.  So why does he wish he handled his exit differently?

Influencer Marketing Pioneer Acquired By Fullscreen

Pete Borum practically invented the term “influencer marketing.” So how did Borum raise $15 million dollars and attract multiple acquisition offers in an industry that didn’t exist before he showed up?

With Clients Like Starbucks And NIKE, Blast Radius Was Irresistible To Acquirers

Digital marketing agency Blast Radius went from 10 people to more than 400 in less that 10 years, ultimately attracting the attention of WPP who acquired them in 2007. Here’s how they did it.

From Broke To A $1B Sale

Gorny built his first business- and lost it. He was determined not to let that happen again.

How One Key Hire Helped Dimple Up Their Value By 500% in 2.5 Years

Teetering on the brink of liquidation, a key hire at Dimple led to a dramatic turnaround that resulted in a $13.4M exit.

3 x EBITDA To 13 x EBITDA In Just 2.5 Years

Embanet broke just about every rule there is for running a company and still sold for $200M.

From Paper Sketches To $441M Sale

Oribe sold in early 2018 for $441M, but in 2008 they were just a few sketches of shampoo bottles on a piece of paper. Tev Finger shares the surprising tactics they used to drive revenue.

How Much Are Your Employees Worth To An Acquirer?

Impact LABS had no hard assets and little intellectual property, so why would ContextLabs want to acquire them for millions?

Finding An Investor Vs. An Acquirer

Finding an acquirer for your business feels a lot like searching for an investor, but as Moritz Plassnig found out, there is one crucial difference.

Why LinkedIn Acquired This Dorm Room Startup

Harpaul Sambhi’s company was 8 days away from bankruptcy. So why would LinkedIn want to buy it for millions?

From Food Stamps To A Seven-figure Exit

While Michael Pedone survived off of food stamps as a kid, he dreamed of living a lifestyle where money wasn’t scarce. Fast-forward a few decades, and Pedone sold his first company for $1.2MM.

Third Time’s A Charm: From False Starts to Finishing Big

Scott Miller knew that telling his employees he wanted to sell his $3M company, Miller Restoration, could get messy. But he wasn’t prepared for what actually happened.

How Forecasting The Future Led To A $100M Sale

Back when mobile phones had green screens with black dots on them, Andy Nulman founded Airborne Mobile. In one year, the company went from $2M in revenue to $20M driven by the explosion in the adoption of mobile devices.

Getting A Second Bite Of The Apple

Richard Manders co-founded iAutomation and built it up to $12M before deciding it was time to recapitalize. Manders sold 75% of his company for almost 8 times EBITDA to a Private Equity Group (PEG) and held 25% interest in the company after the sale.

Built to Flip: From Start Up To Sell Out In Just 2 Years

After a motorcycle accident shattered Jon Read’s collar bone into 6 pieces, he wasn’t able to follow-through on his post-surgical rehabilitation appointments because of his busy travel schedule. So, he created an app.

How To Recover (and thrive) After Splitting From Your Co-Founder

Four years ago Nexalogy CEO Claude Théoret was counting the employees he had to lay off. His company had burned through their $600,000 seed round of investment and he was running out of cash. An ugly split with a former co-founder had divided his team, and Théoret had to turn to his wife for a $40,000 loan.

Why VEEV Vodka Went for More Than 7 Times Revenue


How To Get Acquired By Facebook (Twice)

The market for digital assistants is booming. Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa and Google has Google Assistant. Now, thanks to Charles Jolley, Facebook has Ozlo, a digital assistant designed to outsmart Siri and Alexa at their own game.

5 (Sobering) Lessons from the Sales of

David Fairley estimates he has sold more than 20 online properties but admits it was the sale of—one of his first exits—that taught him the most.

The Hunter vs. the Hunted

Drew Goodmanson started Monk Development as a custom website development shop and evolved it into a product enabling churches to establish an online presence. With more than 300,000 churches in the United States, Goodmanson’s company took off and he grew it to more than $3 million in recurring revenue per year, leveraging the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model.

The Founder of the “Female Viagra” Sells Her Business for $1 Billion

Cindy Whitehead started Sprout Pharmaceuticals and created the drug ADDYI, which has become known as the “female Viagra”.

The Man Behind the $1.3B Sale of Wind Mobile

Anthony Lacavera has started 12 businesses, six of which he has exited. His exits have ranged in value from the $6 million he got for one of his recent start-ups to the $1.3 billion that Wind Mobile sold for.

Bitcoin – The Investor vs. The Acquirer

Back in 2013, Dave Ripley became fascinated with Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency market was gaining notoriety and Ripley and a friend decided to start Glidera, a company focused on creating tools to help developers integrate cryptocurrency.

How to Get Negotiating Leverage When You’re Desperate

Chris Muench started C-Labs in 2008 to go after the burgeoning opportunities presented by the Internet-of-Things (IOT).

Selling a Main-street Business

Jim McManaman started his accounting firm in a small town of 3,000, so when he decided to sell, he had to figure out how to do it without tipping off his employees.

How to Get More Than 1 Times Revenue for a Company with No Hard Assets

Etienne Borgeat co-founded PCO innovation, an IT consulting firm, in 2000. By 2016, the firm had 600 full-time employees and offices around the world, which is when Accenture knocked on their door.

The Strategic vs. The Financial Buyer

Tom Franceski and his two partners built DocStar up to 45 employees when they decided to shop the business to some private equity (PE) investors. The PE guys offered four to six times Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), which Franceski deemed low for a fast-growing software company.

How Mainspring Went From a Valuation of 1 to 5 Times Revenue

In 2014, Hank Goddard got an offer of one times revenue to buy his software company, Mainspring Healthcare Solutions.

How to Exit a Consulting Business

Sohail Khan built J.V. Global Consulting into a $3 million consulting business, offering training boot camps and consulting on how to set up joint venture partnerships. Khan was approached by one of his clients wanting to buy his business.

Lessons from Home Depot’s Acquisition of a $100 Million Juggernaut

Jay Steinfeld started selling blinds online in 1993. The e-commerce pioneer went on to build into a $100 million category killer before Home Depot decided enough was enough and made Steinfeld an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Negotiation Secrets From Three Exits

Dan Martell started Spheric Technologies to help Fortune 500 companies build website portals, an emerging business back in 2004. Within four years, Martell had scaled the business to 30 employees when he received an acquisition offer that would change his life.

How to Sell a Consulting Firm

Susan Hrib started an oil and gas industry consulting firm called Signum back in 1994.

Cashing Out of the Oil Business

Terry Lammers took over the family oil wholesaling business in 1991. By 2010, Tri-County Petroleum was selling $42 million worth of gas and oil, when Lammers decided it was time to cash in.

Why Did This $3MM Company Sell For 5X Revenue?

Brian Ferrilla started Resort Advantage in 2006 to help casinos adhere to new anti-money laundering laws. Criminals were laundering money through casinos and Ferrilla’s software helped casinos help spot the bad guys.

The Other Reason Owners Decide to Sell

n 2012, Randy Ambrosie was hired to run 3Macs, a Montreal-based wealth management firm with $4 billion in assets under management at the time.

The Acquisition of the Company Behind Chicago Bulls Sunglasses

If you own Chicago Bulls sunglasses—or sunglasses from just about any other NBA team—you owe your eyewear to Jason Bolt.

The Downside Of Being Upfront With Employees

In 2011 Josh Holtzman, the founder and CEO of American Data Company, gathered his employees into a conference room to announce “Fifteen Cubed”, a company-wide initiative to grow to $15 million in revenue by the year 2015.

The Doer vs. The Deal Maker

Entrepreneurs can be categorized into two groups. On one hand, you have the doers. These are the people who organically grow a business over time. They plod along for years, or even decades in the same business. They look for small, incremental improvements every day.

How a Vision Board Drove One Owner to Sell

 birthday. As that milestone approached, Oshman started getting his business ready to sell.

Why Hitting $10MM In Annual Revenue Matters

Jill Nelson built Ruby Receptionists, a call answering service, into an $11MM business when she met with an investment banker who told her the technology she had built to answer calls could be worth a mint.

How Cigar City Brewing Got Oskar Blues To Triple Their Acquisition Offer

Joey Redner started Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay in 2009 with a vision of being the first quality craft beer in Tampa at a time when craft beer was gaining popularity across the country.

How EBITDA Adjustments Impact The Value Of Your Business

Ari Ackerman started Bunk1 in 1999 to give parents a way to keep in touch with their kids while they were at summer camp.

The Philosophy of Building to Sell

Dan Faggella started Science of Skill, an e-commerce website selling self-defense videos and paraphernalia, in 2013. His goal was to sell the business as soon as possible, and he started soliciting offers just 14 months later.

The (Awfully) Thin Line Between Success and Failure

Shelley Rogers started Admincomm Warehousing to help companies recycle their old technology. Rogers purchased old phone systems and computer monitors for pennies on the dollar and sold the gear to recyclers who dismantled the technology down to its raw materials and sold off the base metals.

From Nothing to $25 Million in 12 Months

SnapSaves was created by Buytopia, which has a deal-of-the-day business model similar to Groupon. Started by Michele Romanow and her partners in Buytopia, the idea was to let shoppers snap a picture of their grocery receipt using the app.

What’s Your Company’s Name Worth

In the early 2000s, Carl Gould gained notoriety in New Jersey for building upscale modular and log homes under the banner Outdoor Imaging. Gould invested heavily in growing his reputation in the New Jersey market.

America’s Condom King Sells His Business

Adam Glickman started hawking “Jumbo Brand Condoms” from his dorm room in 1989 under the moniker “a safe jumbo is a happy jumbo.” His brand grew and upon graduation, he started America’s first retail condom shop in New York City.

10 X Earnings By Future Proofing Your Buyer

David Trewern grew DT to $10 million in annual revenue before he sold it to STW Group for almost 10 times profit after tax, getting maximum value for his business because he started to look at the world through the eyes of his would-be acquirer.

When to Tell Employees You’re Thinking of Selling

Lois Melbourne and her husband started Acquire Solutions, a software business that helped large companies manage their employees.  After 18 years, they had grown to 85 people and  received an offer from a private equity firm.

What UPS looks for when making an acquisition

 of companies.

What Happens When the Big Dog Sells

Anthony Amos and his brother started HydroDog, an Australian mobile dog washing and grooming service. After revolutionizing the industry and growing to more than $10 million in annual revenue, Amos decided it was time to sell.

The success rate statistics on selling your business

John Arnott gives you the statistics on how many people he approached, the conversion rate for signing an NDA, the proportion of people under NDA who requested a face-to-face meeting and the number of offers received.

The Speedy Sale

3 Acquisition Offers, 1 Surprising Decision

Wisdom From The Sale Of Six Businesses

Laura Gisborne has sold six companies, including The Art of Wine, a tasting room with a subscription-based wine club division. With $1MM in annual revenue, it was still a small business, when Gisborne reasoned it was the perfect time to sell.

Do You Want An All-Cash Offer?

A Big Chunk of Something Small vs. a Small Slice of Something Big?

Four Mistakes To Avoid When You Get An Acquisition Offer

Ian Ippolito started Rent a Coder as an online marketplace for hiring technical talent. He quickly expanded and re-branded as vWorker. Ippolito built vWorker up to $11.5MM in revenue before he received an acquisition offer from

From Start-Up To Exit In Three Years

How To Double An Acquisition Offer For Your Business

Bobby Albert took over the family moving business. Determined to succeed, he transformed his father’s five-person business into a fast growth company, eventually employing 150 people before being approached by a strategic acquirer.

The $15 Million Lesson

Is Your Business Worth Less Than You Think?

Bert Martinez started Accelerator, a supplements company. When Martinez started to worry that one of the supplements he sold, ephedra could be banned, he put his business on the market, only to realize it was worth a lot less than he thought.

How Shapeup Got Richard Branson To Boost His Acquisition Offer By 50%

Would You Have the Audacity to Turn Down $40MM for a $9MM Company?

The Second Most Important Thing to Negotiate When Selling Your Business

When you get an acquisition offer, your employment contract can be a key element. Just ask Eric Sit. Sit’s company was acquired by Detection and six months later, Detection was acquired. Sit lived to regret the employment contract he signed.

Raising Money? Avoid This Sleazy Investor’s Trap

Barry Hinckley founded Bullhorn with his two partners. They raised three rounds of financing and went on to sell for $135MM in 2012. Hinckley and his team raised money from family, friends, and venture capitalists and have the scars to prove it.

An Interview with The E-Myth’s Michael Gerber

For the better part of 40 years, Michael Gerber has been encouraging business owners to work “on, not in” their business. Gerber’s knack for simplifying the complex art of starting and growing a company really resonates.

Inside the Mind of a Private Equity Investor

Frank Cottle led an investor group to buy Hi-Mark Software for 10 times EBITDA. Cottle then sold a chunk for 15 times and ultimately sold his last tranche of equity for more than 16 times EBITDA to Lufthansa.

A Cautionary Tale

How To Structure Your Earn-Out

Mark Stephenson and his partners grew Media Edge Communications, to north of $10MM when they agreed to sell. If Stephenson had a do over, he would change his earn-out structure to avoid leaving money on the table.

The 8:1 Flip

Steve Huey bought The Learning House for $2.7MM in 2007 because he saw the opportunity to professionalize its sales and account management. Five years later, Huey sold the business for $27.5MM earning his shareholders an 8 to 1 return. 

Are you stacking a few Benjamins?

, a personal finance podcast. Sehy’s journey was unusual: he started as a financial advisor, building a firm with $65MM in assets under management until he received a letter prompting him to sell.

The downside of accepting shares as payment from your acquirer

Doug Chapiewsky built CenterPoint Solutions Inc. into an Inc. 500 company with $5 million in revenue and more than $3 million in EBITDA before he sold it to Israeli-based Nice Systems.

Two to Tango

Manny Fernandez started in 2007, just as the real estate market started to wobble in the United States. As it turned out, his timing was perfect as his site helped underwater homeowners unload their real estate.

What Do You Need From The Sale Of Your Business?

How One Pivot Doubled The Value of This Business

James Garvey grew Objective Loyalty from a standing start in 2005 to $2.5 million in EBITDA. When he and his partner decided to sell they were able to quickly double the value when they switched sell tactics.

How To Structure Your Earn-Out

When To Sell Your Business

Peach New Media was launched in 2001 and sold in 2015 by Dave Will. Will had built his software company up to 40 employees when he received an offer from the private equity group Accel-KKR that he simply could not refuse.

Think Twice Before Starting That New Division

Jim Beach sold American Computer Experience for $200 million, which sounds like a fantastic exit, but when I asked Beach if he had any regrets I was surprised by how long a list of lessons he had to share.

The Surprising Truth About Who Will Buy Your Company

In 1999, Andrew Weinreich sold Six Degrees for $125 million. In the following years, he went on to sell three other companies including one to IBM and another to In this episode you will learn his secrets to exiting big.

How To Quadruple The Value Of Your Business

Laura Steward, the founder of Guardian Angel Computer Services was told that her business was worth less than 50% of one year’s revenue. Determined to get more for her business, she underwent a makeover focusing on her subscription program.

The $20 Million Mistake

Rod Drury founded Xero, a cloud-based accounting platform. Drury got the capital from selling another company, AfterMail, for $15M plus $20M in a potential earn-out—not bad for a company with a little more than $2M in revenue.

The Competitive Threat

Who Would Buy Your Business?

Part of building to sell is knowing who might buy you, so you invest in valuable assets. Take Northern Lights as an example: after selling, their stores were closed because the acquirer wanted their wholesale distribution channel – not the stores.

Selling The Baby In The Bathwater

Your Training Wheels Business

 something else. Hear his story on this week’s episode. 

The External vs. Internal Sale

Barry Wood sold two virtually identical businesses over an 18 year period. The first was external and the second, internal. His exits clearly show the differences in an as close to apples-to-apples comparison as possible. The pros and cons may surprise.

The Biggest Mistake Most Owners Make When Selling Their Company

Mike McCarron sold MSM Transportation to the Wheels Group for $18.6 million. After receiving the letter of intent (LOI) he signed it immediately. If McCarron had the opportunity to do it all again, he’d handle this request differently.

Why Was This Money-Losing Business Worth $10 Million?

The 50% Bump

The Apple Acquisition

Raising Money Vs. Going It Alone

Multiple of What?

The Ambush

How much would someone have to pay you to buy your business today? That’s the question Kris Jones was asked when billionaire Michael Rubin approached him about selling. Jones’ answer to Rubin’s question may surprise you.

The 4X Email

Back in 2011, Nathan Latka started Heyo, a social media company that helped businesses advertise on Facebook. By 2016, Heyo had raised $2.5 million in seed and venture capital financing and, by all accounts, it was a successful business.

The Fishing Trip

Is Your Partnership A Ticking Time Bomb?

John Maddox co-founded the digital agency Ten Fast Feet in the depths of the financial crisis. Despite his timing, Maddox was able to grow the business to $2.3 million in sales by 2013, when he got a call that would change his life forever.

A Brand That’s Built to Sell

Selling Your Company vs. Selling Your Product

Natalie Susi got her product Bare Organic Mixers, low-cal cocktail mixers into over 300 bars and restaurants in southern California before she sold. To maximize her take, Susi had to decide whether she was selling her company or her product.

$250K to $180M

Aaron Houghton sold iContact in 2012 for $180 million. The first round of growth was financed by convertible debt, which Houghton recommends for its simplicity. Hear how he parlayed an initial investment of $250,000 into a $180 million exit.

The $20 Million Expiry Date

Playing Chicken

The Strategic

Identity Theft

Yvonne Tocquigny built her advertising agency up over 35 years working with clients like Jeep and Dell. Then in 2015, she got a call asking if she would consider selling. The problem was that her agency had become part of who she was.

The Atheist Bible Salesman Who Sold His Company for 5X Revenue

Trevor McKendrick had created the best-selling Spanish-language Bible app when he was approached about an acquisition. The offer was 3.5x revenue but Trevor got them to 5x with a combination of chutzpah and a knack for reading the fine print.

Cut Your Earnout

In this episode, Stephan Spencer details three strategies he pursued to withdraw from his business’s day-to-day operations. By 2010, he was able to take a six-month sabbatical which ultimately lead to a sale in 2010 with only a six-month earnout.

Exiting the Automatic Business

 up to $4 million in revenue before he sold it in a multimillion dollar exit in 2015. Schoen was able to attract a number of buyers because he had created an operating manual employees could follow.

The DIY Disaster

When selling a business there are too many things that can go wrong, too many egos with the potential to be bruised, and too many zeroes at stake to negotiate on your own behalf. It’s a lesson Alexis Neely learned the hard way in this DIY disaster.

The Shotgun Deal

The 9-Figure Exit

Usually a 9-figure exit takes more than a year to complete but when Blackberry was behind schedule on it’s tablet launch, they saw Hampus Jakobsson’s business as a saviour. This led Blackberry to a $150M acquisition in less than six weeks.

3 Hidden Factors That Impact Your Business Valuation

The Phantom Buyer

When negotiating to sell your company, the fastest way to spike your earnings is to introduce a competing offer. But you don’t always have that luxury. It may be better to simply fake it, which is exactly what Trent Dyrsmid did to boost his take.

How a Non Compete Almost Derailed The Sale Of This $14M Business

How to Sell Your Sweat Equity

, John Warrillow interviews Phil Carson, the founder of a diabetes testing supply company. Carson wanted out of the business he and his partner had built from the ground up.

Engineered to Sell

To Sell or Not to Sell?

The $192 Million Exit

into a profitable business after year one. Ten years later he sold Merced for $192 million, equating to over 3 times top line revenue.

The One Question You Never Answer

, a T-shirt business he quickly scaled from start-up to sale in 18 months.

Tied At The Hip

Rick Day built Daycom Systems into a $26 million dollar business over a 17-year run. Daycom sold phone systems but the company had a problem: it had become too reliant on one supplier.

The ADHD Entrepreneur

Mark Patey started Prodigy Engineering in 2010 to help companies leverage hybrid engine technology. Four short years later, Patey accepted a multi-million dollar offer to buy the company.

The Pivot

Andrew Yang had built Manhattan GMAT into an $11 million business when Kaplan Test Prep, an 800-pound gorilla in the education business, threatened legal action against his company.

The Outsider

Derek Sivers sold CD Baby for $22 million dollars and decided to do something interesting with the money.

The $10 Million Membership Model

Small service-based businesses are typically not worth very much, but Walter Bergeron made one simple change to his business model that garnered a $10 M acquisition offer.

The Boomerang Sale

The first time David Phelps sold his dental practice, he ended up in a legal battle that cost him more than $100,000.

The 26-Million-Dollar Regret

Bobby Martin had built First Research up to $6.5 million dollars in revenue when he sold the business to a Fortune 500 company for 26 million dollars.

Buy low, sell high

John Ratliff started Appletree Answers in a spare bedroom of his house in 1995 and by 2012 had grown it to 650 employees and 24 locations when he decided it was time to sell.

The Hairy Deal

Finding a buyer for Killer Shade was relatively easy. Closing the deal — and getting paid — was a whole lot harder.

The Zexit

Rick Martinez is a military nurse who stumbled into the staffing business by accident and grew his company to 600 employees. Then, when he decided to sell his business, he took a surprisingly zen-like approach to negotiating the deal.

A Scar Deep Enough To Make You Want To Sell

Kevin Sullivan was riding high running one of Seattle’s largest printing companies when the 2008 recession hit.

The buyer next door

The pros and cons of selling to a partner.

Earn Out, Flame Out

The hidden dangers of agreeing to an earn out when selling your business.

The downside of selling young

Aaron Walker thought the money from selling his business would make him happy, but life after selling was a lot harder than he thought.

Avoiding the key man discount

The key man discount can take a zero off the value of your business. Find out why and how to avoid this trap when selling your business.

Business Exit Lessons Learned After Interviewing Hundreds of Entrepreneurs

Listen now to hear the lessons Bo Burlingham has learned after interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs regarding their business exit.

How to negotiate an extra $1M in the sale of your business overnight

After building his business for twenty years, Stuart Crane sold it for $43M, which includes an extra million he got by using this one simple technique.

The secret to negotiating a sale with a multi-billion dollar corporation

Along with her father and brother, Laura Coe grew Litholink into a $10M business with 50 employees. Then one day, a multi-billion-dollar business called.

[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]