Jeremy Carter, Simple Pro Ventures
Simple Pro Ventures, Current Searcher, Self-Funded
Survey completed September 25, 2020.
Why did you choose your model? Would you make the same choice again?
I chose it because I didn’t want to find investors in addition to finding a business. It means that I will buy a much smaller business, but it’s a decision I am comfortable with. I could also change my mind.
Are you searching with a partner? If so, why did you choose them? How did you find them? If not, why did you choose to search solo?
No. If I had the appropriate parter to search with, I would absolutely do it. But, I didn’t want to have to find a partner.
When is the right time to start speaking with investors? How did you select your search and/or acquisition investors?
I think after you have a basic understanding of what you are looking for. You shouldn’t wait until you have every single question about your search answered. I didn’t end up using them (yet) but should have begun speaking to them a little earlier than I did. It’s so relationship driven, you can’t wait until you need the money to get to know them.
Did you get an MBA before searching? If so, where and why?
No. Love education, really hate school.
What is your work experience prior to searching?
Business owner and sales career.
What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?
Blue collar, home service companies. $1m-$5m revenue.
Are you doing a geographically focused search? If so, where?
Yes, Birmingham, AL.
How long have you been searching?
What systems do you use? (CRM, Email Manager, etc)
Email, ReferenceUSA, Twitter, Better Business Bureau website
How do you organize your day?
I am in the process of re-organizing my entire work schedule. I’d have to get back to you.
How do you identify prospects to acquire? Do you use only brokers, only direct outreach, or both?
Shotgun approach – direct, brokers and networking
How do you find company lists?
ReferenceUSA and Google search
Do you subscribe to broker deal lists? Which ones?
Yeah, just the ones from my local brokers
Do you use interns? If so, how many? What do you have them do?
Approximately how many deals have you reviewed?
How many companies have you gotten to the LOI stage with? How long before your first one?
What has been the most challenging part of your search? What was harder/easier than you expected?
Harder to source deals in my focus than I thought. Brokers send a lot of stuff that doesn’t qualify.
What articles, books, and resources were most helpful to you in preparing to search?
HBR Guide and Buy Then Build, your podcast, and Twitter.
What do you wish you knew prior to searching?
How much structure I needed to put around the search. It’s a unique discipline. You’re networking, sourcing and reviewing deals all at one time.
What single piece of advice would you share with prospective searchers?
Be really clear about what you want. Be willing to back off of that if you find something great that’s not exactly what you thought. But have a really specific target and hold it loosely.