Josh DeMille, GLM Capital
GLM Capital, Current Searcher, Self-Funded
Survey completed September 18, 2020.
Why did you choose your model? Would you make the same choice again?
I am doing a part-time, geographic search so self-funded made the most sense. If I had to do it again, I’d consider a traditional search.
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. The earnings range I’m looking at couldn’t support debt service, investor returns, growth and two operating partners.
When is the right time to start speaking with investors? How did you select your search and/or acquisition investors?
Right after starting, I began to have general conversations about what I’m doing with potential investors. The reality is it could take me a while to find a company and a commitment to invest today doesn’t guarantee anything down the road.
Did you get an MBA before searching? If so, where and why?
Yes, University of Florida. I was aware of the search model before business school but chose to attend to help further my knowledge and career trajectory regardless of whether I decided to search or not.
What is your work experience prior to searching?
Acquisitions and operations for small companies – mainly real estate focused.
What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?
Any industry and ‘earnings’ in the $400k to $750k range.
Are you doing a geographically focused search? If so, where?
Yes. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.
How long have you been searching?
What systems do you use? (CRM, Email Manager, etc)
CRM, project management tools.
How do you organize your day?
Since I have a full-time job I bundle all my search tasks in the evening. Focusing on broker outreach and then sifting through deals they send or that I find listed.
How do you identify prospects to acquire? Do you use only brokers, only direct outreach, or both?
Approximately how many direct outreach calls and emails have you made to owners?
How do you find company lists?
Not looking for company lists.
Do you subscribe to broker deal lists? Which ones?
Bizbuysell, Biznexus, Generational equity, Sunbelt
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?
Brokered only deal sourcing is tough at first. I don’t have any established relationships with brokers to get first looks at any of their good deals yet. I knew this would be the case and putting in the time to nurture the brokers and get to the first look stage takes time.
What articles, books, and resources were most helpful to you in preparing to search?
HBR’s Guide to Buying a Business. Stanford and other university reports on searching. Buy then Build – Walker Deibel. Speaking with other searchers at all stages of their search.
What do you wish you knew prior to searching?
I dug into the model for several years before actually embarking on my search, so I was fairly well-prepared.
What single piece of advice would you share with prospective searchers?
Speak with as many other searchers as possible. At every stage. Have a list of questions you ask everyone, then adjust them as you learn more. Keep in touch with them as you progress. It’s a small community and in my experience almost everyone is willing to take 15 mins to chat and help you out.