Mark Sinatra – Going Off-Playbook as CEO – Ep. 35

My guest, Mark Sinatra, raised a traditional search fund with a partner in 2006 after graduated from Wharton and a year and a half later acquired an HR company called Staff One HR. I’ll let him tell the full story but there were significant ups and downs running the company including moving the company from Southern Oklahoma to Dallas, managing staff turnover of roughly 85% during that move, and losing their biggest customer who was 30% of their revenue. Despite those downs, the company grew significantly and led to a successful exit, leading eventually to what Mark focuses on today which is investing in search funds. 

During the episode, we also talk about hiring great employees, building culture in a growing organization, and advice to prospective searchers. Mark was very open in sharing his experience and I hope you find some great takeaways from his story.

Before starting the episode I have a quick announcement to make. I recently redesigned my website and podcast cover art with the help of my cousin David Bridgeman who made it all happen. David is a budding entrepreneur himself and has started his own web and graphic design studio called Pink Robot Studios as a college student at Boise State. If you need a new website or logo or any graphical element, David is fantastic and I highly recommend him. Check him out at pinkrobot.studio

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Think Like an Owner Sponsors

Live Oak Bank – Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SBA lender focused on search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire small companies. Live Oak has closed billions of dollars in SBA financing and is actively looking to help more small company investors across the country. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Live Oak directly to start a conversation at liveoakbank.com/contactus.

Hood & Strong, LLP – Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. Hood & Strong is highly skilled in working with search funds, providing quality of earnings and due diligence services during the search, along with assurance and tax services post-acquisition. They offer a unique way to approach acquisition diligence and manage costs effectively. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at jzhou@hoodstrong.com

Barrel – Barrel is a digital marketing agency that helps companies create revenue-generating websites, emails, and marketing campaigns. Clients include L’Oreal, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Barry’s, and SmartyPants Vitamins. Barrel has extensive experience working with venture capital and private equity firms to help audit, optimize, and grow their portfolio brands. To learn more about Barrel, visit barrelny.com/alex or email newbiz@barrelny.com and mention Think Like an Owner podcast.

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