Jonathan York Survey

 Jonathan York

Current Searcher, Self-Funded

Survey completed September 17, 2020.

Why did you choose your model? Would you make the same choice again?

Existing job. TBD—will have to see how it plays out.

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?


When is the right time to start speaking with investors? How did you select your search and/or acquisition investors?

Started speaking to investors once I got my deal under LOI. Already have a reasonable investor list through my personal network and other professional circles, so raising the equity was always less of a concern for me.

Did you get an MBA before searching? If so, where and why?

No—didn’t get into the business schools I wanted.

What is your work experience prior to searching?

Private equity.

What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?

Water treatment, multi-site services, other consumer service businesses. Target Operating Income of <$1.5mm.

Are you doing a geographically focused search? If so, where?

East coast—not willing to relocate for family reasons.

How long have you been searching?

6 months.

What systems do you use? (CRM, Email Manager, etc)


How do you organize your day?

Day job during the day, search in the evenings.

How do you identify prospects to acquire? Do you use only brokers, only direct outreach, or both?

Only brokers—more efficient, although potentially less attractive, more competitive processes.

Approximately how many direct outreach calls and emails have you made to owners?


How do you find company lists?

Brokers, Google, Dun and Bradstreet.

Do you subscribe to broker deal lists? Which ones?


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?

1. After 15 deals, only looked at deals in target sectors.

What has been the most challenging part of your search? What was harder/easier than you expected?

Getting solid information from sellers. Brokers in this size range typically provide little to no curated information, and many sellers don’t have VDR populated with information at the beginning of conversations.

What articles, books, and resources were most helpful to you in preparing to search?

Primarily learned through my day job in PE

What do you wish you knew prior to searching?

Legal templates, how to source advisors that are trustworthy and cost-efficient.

What single piece of advice would you share with prospective searchers?

Focus your search on specific industries. Otherwise, can spend too much time outside your wheelhouse and too difficult to get up to speed on competitive dynamics.


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