Roland Frasier is an investor and business strategist with over 1,000 acquisitions and exits completed for himself and his clients. His current portfolio includes real estate, restaurants, business and home services, events, eLearning, e-commerce,...
Roland Frasier is an investor and business strategist with over 1,000 acquisitions and exits completed for himself and his clients. His current portfolio includes real estate, restaurants, business and home services, events, eLearning, e-commerce, franchise and SaaS businesses. He has been a principle of 6 different Inc. fastest growing companies and serves on the Stanford University Advisory Board for Global Projects and their Family Office Steering Committee. He has been featured in Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Yahoo Finance and has appeared on all major television networks. Roland has interviewed Sir Richard Branson, Sarah Blakely, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martha Stewart, Magic Johnson and other business celebrities, many on his award-winning Business Lunch podcast.
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Ronald Skelton 0:06
Hello and welcome to the how to exit podcast where we introduce you to a world of small to medium business acquisitions and mergers. We interview business owners, industry leaders, authors, mentors and other influencers with the sole intent to share with you what it looks like to buy or sell a business. Let's get rolling.
And now a moment for our sponsors. I want to highly recommend you get acquisition Aficionado magazine. Every month acquisition aficionado magazine brings you tactics for business buying and selling you won't find anywhere else learn firsthand from industry leaders who share their success stories featuring in depth interviews and stories from leading figures in the business acquisition industry. This multi platform mobile magazine speaks to acquisition entrepreneurs wherever they are in the journey. And I want you to visit acquisition aficionado.com today. Hello, and welcome to the how to exit Podcast. Today. I'm here with Roland Frasier of Roland is an investor and business strategist with over 1000 acquisitions and exits completed for him and his clients. I'm super excited to be here. Full disclosure, one of my mentors to man so to have you on the show. It's just a real treat for me. Thank you for being here today.
Roland Frasier 1:24
Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited.
Ronald Skelton 1:26
So you know, I, I like to joke around and say, hey, you know, you were born ended up on my show. Could you fill that in the gap, mergers and acquisitions show? Can you fill in the gap in between? How did you get into this space? I know, it's just not a, like, he didn't wake up one day. So I'm gonna go into m&a. Right. So
Roland Frasier 1:44
yeah, it was a little bit of an evolution. I, I started out when I was 18. I got my real estate salespersons license and started selling real estate. And the guy you know, pretty quickly, I saw that I didn't really want to go around banging on doors to get onesie twosie listings to sell. And so I was like, well, who's got a whole bunch of listings to sell developers. So started talking to developers ended up getting in with a couple of those guys to be able to sell their listing. So I didn't have to go out looking and then started looking at how they were raising money to do deals. I was like, how do you put this stuff together to where you're doing, like 300 houses or something like that. And they're like, well, we buy the land and do the entitlement and, and we go out and get investors and we use these things called limited partnerships. And I was like, Okay, well tell me how that works. And they did. And I was like, Okay, well, so I night when I was 19, I got my insurance license when I was 20. I got my securities license. So I was like, Can I start helping you guys raise money, and started doing that through the firm that one of the firms in New York that I hung my securities license with, I got introduced to some people at Prudential securities. And at the time, this is the late 80s, leveraged buyouts were super, super hot. And so I got kind of taken under the wing of one of those investment bankers, and they were showing me how you can use the assets of a company to pay for itself. And I was like, that's the coolest thing ever, because I was doing real estate deals and no money down and stuff like that. But I didn't know that you could do it with businesses. And so I started doing that, and kind of never stopped. Because I just like along the way, I was like, well, I could probably take a lot of the stuff I learned about real estate, and apply to acquisitions as well, and then started looking at, well, okay, well, it's nice to own companies. But it's also nice to exit because when you exit, you get paid several years of profit all in one go. So if I can buy enough companies that I can exit several of them a year, every year, I could have 30, 40, 50 years of income. And that sounds pretty exciting. And so I just kind of followed the path to doing that all along the way. I got my accounting degree, I got my law degree practice law for several years, but all along, I've been really, really just kind of an entrepreneur at heart.
Ronald Skelton 3:56
I get it, you know, we both have similar backgrounds, not, not to the same scale. I actually, I was a marketing coach, and one of my clients was a real estate investor. So he pretty much bought our firm and told me to come under his wing and, you know, integrate me in and I helped him grow it. And, you know, then I kind of burned out on it a little bit. I hired a performance coach and see what was next. And he said something to me. And one of those calls he said, you know, with everything you know, and all the skills you have and as smart as you are, you should be playing a bigger game. I don't care how big of a flip we did we get one of our better flips is 40k. Right? That's a, that's a good profit for a single family house in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Roland Frasier 4:31
hey Every 40k helps.
Ronald Skelton 4:33
Dad would wire that money into the account before he goes into his 42k and in the back of my head, I'd hear his voice but you shouldn't be playing a bigger game. So I went out and hunted down one and I you know, I, I, I bought a small company and I bought it wrong. It was way too small. And about pretty much just bought the equipment and the customer list, which didn't pan out that much. And I thought well, I don't know what I'm doing here. So I wouldn't hire some of you guys to show me like what you know, and did Your epic course and some other stuff. So I'm excited to be here with you today, let's talk about the opportunity a little bit. A lot of people don't understand how vast opportunity, especially in our point in time in history,
Roland Frasier 5:10
yeah, it's, it's kind of shocking. There, there are several things that are kind of conspiring to make it a great opportunity that, to me, the three most important ones are that you've got 12 million baby boomers that are kind of aging out at this point, a lot of them in their businesses, and some of them will go forever, but, but it's about 12 million total, that own about $10 trillion worth of businesses. And so over the next 10 years, we can expect 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of deals to become available. But the other thing that impacts this is that a lot of those people, when they decide they want to sell, they find that they haven't built a sellable business. So they don't ever get to the point where they can sell it because they start talking to people and they're like, well, you're an owner operator, and if you leave the business is gone, you don't really have a business, you have a job. And so it's going to be awful hard to sell that. Now, they could professionalize and bring management in. But a lot of them don't want to do that, or don't know how. And so a lot of those people about 600,000 a year just close the doors to the business. And then the other thing is, is that only about 20% of the people that decide to list their business for sale actually get a sale as a result of listing the business. And so between the closure, the closings and the failures, the number of people who are kind of clamoring now to sell their businesses who by the way their kids want to be Instagram stars, they don't want to be influencers, they don't want to be a carwash owner or parking lot owner laundromat owner, right? That, that's not terribly exciting compared to taking your picture in a, you know, private airplane seat that you rent for 15 minutes. And (inaudible)
she wants to YouTube channel,
Yeah right, and then that market inefficiency like that, that it doesn't have the capacity to handle, there isn't a good it's very fractured the market for selling businesses. And so till you get up into investment banking, it's just interesting how far behind that is compared to something like real estate.
Ronald Skelton 7:07
You know, there's a lot of like, a lot of these guys, they get into it, they I, I call them accidental entrepreneurs, they didn't actually set out to start a business they, they produced a widget a friend one at that. So they sold the one. And the next thing, you know, somebody seen that and they wanted went to, you know, or in the case of like a heat and air company, you're working for somebody else. And then one day, you just get sick of it thinking and do it better. They
Roland Frasier 8:16
Ronald Skelton 7:32
didn't they, they just don't have the training, schooling, whatever you want to call it, to do the level of business and books and financial, you know, documents that the peony guys expect to see, right, the profit and loss statements and stuff like that. So a lot of these small guys, you get into it. And you know, they're not only owner operators, there's a kind of a mess there. And you know, the buyer pool, I was I had one of your one of your guys on here that kind of corrected me in this space. When I told him it's like you have looked at somebody's business and just shut, shut them off. Because their books are a mess. He said why? If the business is good, they make a great product, it is profitable. And you can make sense of the books, why show them off?
Roland Frasier 8:16
Ronald Skelton 8:17
Just because they don't know how to do accounting. Yeah. You said, Are you an accountant? Like, no, I have to hire those guys, too. But if I can't make sense of it, he goes, bring them into the evaluation and help them make sense of it, you know, in the early stage,
Roland Frasier 8:32
Ronald Skelton 8:29
Let's just, let's just look at the, the space here, right? So there's a million ways to get into that you teach a lot of different aspects of that one of the things that I like is this contract for equity, or this, you know, consulting for equity. There's a lot of guys out there, they do consulting a lot of these small businesses, the only way they're gonna get to an exit, is through some type of professional services to help them, you know, become acceptable.
Roland Frasier 8:33
Ronald Skelton 8:33
So what does that look like? Well, you know, what, what does that entail? A kind of a?
What, what does which part until
the contract for equity or working for equity or getting a piece of a business by something you do as a profession anyway?
Roland Frasier 9:07
Yeah, so I mean, it, it look, you've got value to invest through cash, or through services, experience, skills and connections that you've got. And so a lot of businesses that are looking to accomplish something that they haven't been able to accomplish yet, are willing to have somebody come in and do the things that they need in exchange for giving them a piece of the company. So if you're thinking, you know, like, as a consultant, you're building the brands of other people's companies, and you can add millions or 10s of millions of dollars in value by the services that you bring and the efforts that you exert, and you're getting a pittance for doing that. So I think it's we've seen a trend lately in entertainment, where celebrities are saying I'm not going to just be a spokesperson for a brand anymore. I I'm going to own the underlying brand, because I can then build wealth and equity. And I'm not just constantly pumping myself out in exchange for a payment to build somebody else's brand. And so the same thing is true with consulting is I think that we all with value to bring to businesses that can impact the wealth or the transferable value of that business. So significantly, are kind of crazy, to just provide those services for some flat fee, even if it's a good flat fee, maybe 50,000 or 500,000, or a million dollars. But if you're going to add 10s of millions, then why would you accept some small fee, so like, kind of on the scale of consulting, you got the hamster wheel of trading dollars for hours. And then when you stop, you know, you're a dancing bear, right? Whenever you stop, the music stops, the dancing stops, the crowd stops throwing money. But a smart consultant can instead of doing that, get a higher effective rate, you can start, you can go and say, Oh, I'm going to do a flat fee. Because this is something I do over and over and over. So I effectively increase my hourly rate for something that I know how to do, and have done a lot and have templates for, from, say, $200 an hour to $2,000. Now, but you're still a dancing bear. So then the next would be rev share. And rev share is good. But that's typically a limited period of time on a limited thing. So I'm going to help you do create this marketing campaign. And so as long as this marketing campaign runs, we're going to share revenue, and I'm going to get 10% royalty or something like that, that's nice. But again, you're not getting any wealth that's built. So then we get to kind of that higher level, which is consulting for equity, where you say, I'm going to deliver the value. And in exchange for that, once I we agree on the value that I'm going to deliver in the period of time that I'm going to do it over, then when I do that, I am going to own X percent of the company, that is a way to have income and wealth income from the distributions that you get of profits and wealth from what you're going to have when the company finally sells. So I think like that's, that's the concept is, is stop being a dancing bear, stop trading dollars for hours, get yourself compensated commensurate with the value that you bring to all these different companies.
Ronald Skelton 12:18
And it ends up being a huge win win. Because, you know, at some point, most of these consultants are going to do something else, right? You can only be the dancing bear for so long before you realize your dancing bear.
Roland Frasier 12:28
Ronald Skelton 12:29
It even to look at there are professions where, you know, doctors and, and chiropractors and stuff like that they're their whole life or a dancing bear. There are author and operator
Roland Frasier 12:38
yeah most people.
Ronald Skelton 12:39
Yeah, until they until it clicks in their head that they don't have to be. Right there's a, there's a transformative effect of a human being when he realizes he doesn't have to do what he's always done.
Roland Frasier 12:49
Ronald Skelton 12:49
So so what are the other option opportunities that there's we've already talked about, like, you know, consulting, get a piece of it. If you're a lot of these guys that are listening to the show, they don't have millions of dollars laying around. And some of them don't have the credit worthiness to get an SBA loan and or have the assets to back it. I see you talk a lot about like getting into these deals really creative. Can you talk about a little bit like kind of what that looks like? And, and what, what it means to, you know, what are the different ways we can get into owning a business of our own without having to be an 800 credit score and a million dollars in the bank?
Roland Frasier 13:26
absolutely. Yeah. So the to me, like, like the what we talked about is a good place to start, like kind of if, if I'm looking at a deal, and I can come in and provide value, and in exchange for that, I can get a piece of the company. That's exciting for me, because the company is already existing, it's already making profits that already has all its operations and operators. And then I'm going to do the thing I do. And that company doesn't need me to be there on a day to day basis to continue to operate. So I think like the first level is can I provide this company some capital in the form of the knowledge, skills, knowledge, skills, experience and connections I've got in exchange for an equity interest, then if I can do that, no money out of pocket, I have a piece of the deal, I do my thing, and then I get paid. On the other hand, if that doesn't seem to be an option, and you're thinking, Well, I'd actually like to just acquire a company to own the whole company. And that's possible too. And you can go the traditional route, which would be you pay some level of cash for that, which is typically a combination of cash you've gotten saved and loans, which require credit, or you can go kind of the alternative way, which is my favorite thing to do, which is to say what are the ways to let the business pay for itself? So this all harkens back to the days with the guys in New York looking at their leveraged buyouts saying they're buying billion multi billion dollar companies without any money. That's pretty crazy. How are they doing that? Well, a lot of it is debt that's the leverage part of leveraged buyout. But, but that debt is leveraged against the assets of the company. So you go and look at the company and say, I like to start out and say, Okay, how much do you want? Mr. or Mrs. Seller? I, you know, I want $5 million. Great. So 5 million is here. I've got zero that I want to put in right now. So I've got a $5 million gap to fill. So then it's a question of, well, what are the things that I can do to bridge the gap between zero and 5 million? And so I'll start talking to them. And some of the easier ones would be the best debt is typically seller financing, because it's comes with the least restrictions, and it's the most favorable? So then the first question I'm going to have is, would you be willing to finance any of that, and, and I'll like, in an ideal world, I'd like for them to finance a whole thing. I'll generally start at a combination of, of finance and earnout. And the finance portion, whatever amount, like let's say that it's 5 million is my gap. And they say I'll finance 20%. Great, okay, cool. Well, that's a million of gap fill. And so I call that the deal stack, right? Sacking kind of all the different ways we can fund this. So let's say we get 20%, through seller finance, and then I'll say, Well, would you consider doing an earnout, because an urn out says, you know, hey, we can't completely agree on what the price is right now. But I'll pay you the price that you're asking for, as long as certain events happen, like, people stay clients stay profit levels, or hit income sales levels, or hit lots of things you can peg it to. And, and they typically run between 10 and 40% of the company for between one and four years. So maybe I can get an urn out that says I'll give you 5% per year of the purchase price, you're asking over four years. And that's now another million dollars. That's 20%, right that I don't have to worry about. So I've got my gap closed. Now I only owe 6 million towards what was a 5 million purchase, now I only owe 3 million, I'm only 3 million short. So then we start looking at other things. And one of the easiest places to find value would be in the assets that the company has, if they've got inventory, equipment, real estate, anything of value, then there are asset based lenders that I can go and get funding on. So maybe I can get another 20% that way. And then I can then I can get into some more complicated things like well, maybe they've got accounts receivables, and we can factor and so we go to these people called factors. And they'll either buy or lend against the accounts receivable. And maybe that's another 20%. Now, I'm 4 million of my 5 million there. And then I might find the last place. Maybe there's a like a revenue based financing loan that I can go and get revenue based financing is pretty easy to put in place these days. So I'll go to a lender like American Express or LIDAR or one of those guys and say, you know, hey, can you give me a million dollars against the income of the company? Yeah, that's been doing that for, you know, six years or whatever. Yeah, we're happy to do that. And now I've completed my deal stack. And I have the thing acquired and I haven't had to come out of pocket. That's kind of the the idea behind that.
Ronald Skelton 18:04
You know, one of the distressing things I learned in the course. And I had a, we actually had a concrete comp plant we were looking at, and unfortunately the IRS stuff the transfer because the oh there is $960,000. And they were in some type of receivership, they actually had to go to a quarterly meetings with them and show them the plan on how they were going to stay on track.
Roland Frasier 18:22
Ronald Skelton 18:22
And at that meeting, they told the IRS like we're going to sell this guy that these guys are going to take over the debt and the (inaudible) so. But before that happened, you mentioned something they were to the point where before we knew they had some how much trouble they had, they wanted a few $100,000 down for $13 million concrete plant about half million dollar concrete, manufacturing, they, they poured concrete, storm shelters and stuff. And, you know, we were looking at that when we come out of pocket. Well, we found an operator that had grown a business from 10 to like 100 plus million, he retired out of that and wanted to buy his own company. So we sold him the CEO operator role on the, on the precept that, you know, he, he could come in here, you know, and put his money to this own a piece of it be the operator and gain more money over time. So we were going to be able to get into that. It was a, it was $1 down deal. And
Roland Frasier 19:14
Ronald Skelton 19:14
I think said when they went we they had said yes at the table. And they went back to, to review everything and dad still had a place at 60 something year old company that still had a play in this we're going to tell him what they were doing. And then they went to their IRS meeting and told the IRS and the IRS said no, so we got put on hold but it, you know, if they're at work, they you know, we were gonna get into that for no money out of our pocket. Right. And I didn't want to be the operator anyway. I was trying not to buy another job. So..
Roland Frasier 19:41
Ronald Skelton 19:42
But, uh, so there's just this vast thing of, you know, just, just huge opportunity in front of us. We're talking about millions of businesses out there that you know, have to change hands at some point. What do you think the economy is going to do to, to this like I call I refer to all of us that are in this space. As acquisition entrepreneurs, I know I didn't come up with it. But that's kind of the name that's been given to us. Right? So for the acquisition entrepreneur, do you think that the looming recession, bad economy, whatever helps us or hurts us?
Roland Frasier 20:12
I think change always creates opportunity. So I, I think that I would way rather see a recession coming than a continuing bull market that goes on 20 years. Because within that comes great opportunity, we just have to be astute to recognize what the opportunity is. So as the economy trends towards recession, and the Fed just said today, you know, hey, we're not, we're not going to ease up on interest rate increases, and, and we've got two quarters of reduced or falling GDP. But we've got contrary signs, too, we've got a stock market, that the s&p is up over 50%, from its lowest peak to its highest peak year over year. So the two quarters of GDP contraction indicates recession, the two quarters or the one year with 50%. Up in s&p indicates bull market, who knows what's going to happen? Right? Well, what we do know is that interest rates are going to go up for a little bit, they're certainly higher than they've been, that means debt is more expensive. That means that the people who are trying to sell businesses that are small, are going to have a harder time selling those businesses than they were in the past. If debt is being used to acquire them, we don't really use commercial debt. And so we can kind of set the interest rates we want. Now, you might argue, well, they're the expectation of sellers would be to receive a higher percentage interest rate. But that also isn't the case. Because the the seller wants to sell the business, right. So as long as you find somebody that wants to sell the business, and we're always looking, by the way, for motivated sellers, we're not looking for somebody that's like, well, I don't want to sell but you know, if somebody pays me stupid money I'll sell that's not who we want. And so knowing that, that there's going to be some difficult times ahead for businesses, a lot of people and we know the stats we talked about at the beginning of the show about baby boomers, we know that there's going to be increased motivation for people to sell and decreased opportunity for them to sell which creates for us as acquirers. Great opportunity. Now on the high side of the market, when we get past these sub 10 million sub 2 million process sub 10 million sales sub 2 million in EBITDA our profit companies, then there are giant opportunities because they're still crazy amounts of dry powder sitting about $5 trillion with private equity and Spax and family offices and high net worth individuals and strategic buyers. And there's an increasing number of funds. So that means that there's even more competition among them for the few deals that meet their criteria. So I think that the, the two most giant opportunities are, if you can get in the niche of helping owner operated businesses professionalize, so that they're no longer owner operated, then you're generally going to receive around a two to 3x increase in the value of the company, because there will be far more buyers for a professionally managed company, then there will be for an owner operated company owner operator company means somebody's got to come in and either professionalize it, which is a pain in the butt, or they've got to have a job as the operator. And so when we get past that, that like that arbitrage there, to me is giant. And then the second arbitrage is, as we grow those companies up from smaller sales from SMBs. to larger businesses, that presents a tremendous opportunity, because the delta between the average across all industries valuation, as of last quarter for a professionally managed business was only a 4.5x. But the average private equity deal was a 15.2. So there's still that giant gap there. And unless things change dramatically with the s&p it over the last couple of months has gone from about a 21 PE average across all the I'm sorry, across all the NASDAQ companies to a 28. So there's still plenty of upside for the private equity companies to continue to pay high multiples, because they're going to pick up almost a 10x multiple, going public or selling to a public company. So everybody can still win, except the owner operated business that never has had a really good chance of winning, right. So we have a sophisticated evolved market for selling companies to the public. They're called the stock exchanges, right? And we have a sophisticated market of investment bankers, private equity funds, strategic planners, family offices, banks, etc. That are buyers they're playing that let's flip from an acquisition at a 15 to a sale at a 28. And then we have us. And for to me where we sit is, is right in the middle of let's help those owner operated businesses get big enough and get professionalized so that they can appeal to the private equity people that are willing to pay the fifteens. And I'll pay, you know, two to 5x all day long to sell for 15, a couple of years later.
Ronald Skelton 25:21
You know, one of the strategies I don't if I picked it up from you, or somebody else that we used on that one I was talking about was we didn't offer to buy 100% of the company, we offered to buy 70, I think 70 or 75. And then we showed them a plan that that 30% would be worth more than the 70. After we're done with it, because we were, we were at that stage where they were doing ten, ten to 12. On they, they very, it was like 10, one year 12, one year 12 and a half another year in revenue, but they spent every penny they made they were trying to minimize taxes, like, one of the years they were doing the that they had, like a 13 or $15,000 profit.
Roland Frasier 25:54
Ronald Skelton 25:54
it was just insane what they were doing. So, you know, well, we just showed him like, Look, let us do this, let us here's our plan for the next three to four years, we've got four more of these we were already looking at, we're gonna you know, there's a there's a problem. And that is, is they're expensive to transport. So it's actually cool to own, you know, those concrete manufacturing that make the same product line in certain regions. So you don't have to, if you have to drive for more than 100 miles, you're spending a lot of money, that 35 trucks with specially made trucks to lift these things up on there, and to haul them. And their business expense was their insurance, they actually did killed somebody the year before in an auto accident, because all those things have come off. And one of the reasons they were selling she was a nurse before she took over daddy's business. And the fact that her company took the life of you know, two people, those two people in the car just kept eating at her. So there's there's all these different reasons. But as far as like that zero down no, no down thing was just part of his showing them. Like, here's the plan we're going to do with this. And if I leave you with 30% of it, that could very well be a, a check way bigger than you were expecting to get right now.
Roland Frasier 26:57
Yeah, and that's a, that's a very old strategy that private equity is used for years is that, you know, they and, and think about it, like, they don't really want to operate the company. And so one of the biggest risks in acquiring is the operator risk. So if they were to acquire 100% of a company, and then the owner was to leave, then they've got to find an operator. And we don't know if that operator will be as successful as the current group at running the company. So one of the best things that they can do is they can say, let's come in, and they'll typically by 70, to 90%, leaving 10 to 30% with existing management, and existing management then has a second bite at the apple, that's literally what they call it right, we'll give you a second bite of the apple, we're gonna play plan and taking this thing public or selling it at a 6x more than we bought it for how'd you like to effectively probably get more on the small percentage that you retain than on the first, first percentage that you sold, right? And then what they get for that is, then those people have skin in the game, still, they've still got 10, 20, 30%, they've still got the continuity of management. So there's no disruption there. There's no risk to new management, and then everybody wins as the company goes along. That's the, That's the theory doesn't always work out that way. But that's, that's the theory. So
Ronald Skelton 28:15
Roland Frasier 28:16
buys great, great strategy.
Ronald Skelton 28:17
I had a Adam on here, Adam coffee, you familiar with him?
Roland Frasier 28:21
Ronald Skelton 28:21
So yeah, he, he had a couple of books out and stuff. But they did a heat and air company and sold it to private equity, I think five different times where he stayed as the CEO through all five, the last exit was over a billion dollars. So it was, it was significant. But you think you took five paychecks are five pay days along the way. And so it's, uh, you know, pick that up and like, play it down to our level, it's one of the things I like doing is like, what are the other guys doing? And how can I apply that to? Something that works for me?
Roland Frasier 28:50
Ronald Skelton 28:51
So let's talk about, you know, how do you get started at something like this? What, what's the I mean, I a lot of people spend years searching for their first deal and that type of stuff. Where do you suggest people? Like, kind of get their, their teeth cut? Or would you want to call it what am I breaking, breaking in into, into the space and, and try to figure this out?
Roland Frasier 29:15
It's a, it's a great question, I think something that a lot of people struggle with. But the there's really a few ways to do it. The one way is if you have people who are asking you consistently, like if you look back over the last 90 days and say, did anybody ask, Can I pick your brain that anybody say, you know, can I take you to coffee? Can you help me with this problem? Could I give you equity in my company? Can you give me some advice on my business, any of those things? Those are all great clues that people value, the knowledge skills, experience connections that you've got, and most of us either just say no, and, and because they don't want to be bothered or we say sure and we go and have the two hour lunch and they ask us all the questions and then they don't do anything with the great advice that we gave them. So what, what I found to be something that works really well is, instead of being frustrated at all the people that are asking for advice, and then you give your time, and then most of them don't take it, you can say, look, the way I do that is with a consultation. And to me, it's the way I do that is with half day consults, we'll take a look at the problems that you've gotten the challenges you're facing, the constraints you're experiencing, and we'll break through them and get you from where you are right now to where you want to go. The investment, not the cost, but the investment to do that is $25,000. That's what I've chosen to do. Other people could do any different amount. And we'll spend up to four hours going down and breaking through that if that's something that sounds like a fit, let me know. And I'll give you my one page consulting agreement and wiring instructions. And if not, no harm, no worries, no foul, but I only have time to work with my paying consulting clients and my portfolio companies. So saying that like having that kind of down pat, is really helpful. Because A. it screens out all the people that aren't willing to invest in themselves and B. it converts all those things that you're throwing off right now, that are potential deal flow into deal flow. And so and, and the other nice thing is, is that by putting up a filter of some fee for your initial working with them, you not only weed out the people that want invest in themselves, but also you can pick up a decent side hustle income. So you know, for me, I started doing that. And it changed everything. Because all the people that were taking up so much of my time and stopping me from hitting the goals that I had for myself went away, they instantly fell away, it now repulses the people who are exactly who I don't want to deal with. And it only attracts the people that I do. So that's the first thing is that you probably have deal flow right now, if you've got anybody asking for any kind of advice from you. And then the second threshold would be, okay, maybe don't have anybody that's asking that right now. I'd say, Well, you need to get out more. But, but if you don't have that, then you can say, Okay, well, where? Where can I find businesses. And so if you've got an existing business, I built a thing called an acquisition wheel. And they say, if you can ask the question, what do I want to solve for in my current existing business? And you answer that question, then that'll tell you what you should acquire. So I think having an idea of what, what is it that I want to acquire? What is my acquisition criteria is really critical. If you don't have acquisition criteria, then you're going to maybe buy anything, and you could definitely buy the wrong thing. So those questions would be, what am I solving for in my current business? Do I want more customers, if I do that, I'm going to horizontally integrate, I'm going to acquire competitors, whether they're indirect or direct, maybe I want more leads, then I'm going to acquire media, people that have already aggregated the attention and eyeballs of my ideal customer profile, maybe I need infrastructure, or teams or other resources like that, then I'm going to Aqua hire, I'm going to look for people that already have the teams that I want, I'm gonna acquire them, merge them with my company. Now I've instantly got a sales team, a software dev team and engineering team and r&d team, etc. Maybe I say, Well, gosh, I really just want more sales. And I'd like to ideally have an average a higher average order value that I'm getting right now, then you're going to look for other companies that have products or services that your existing customer base is already buying before, during or after the time they're buying from you. Or maybe you say I would actually like a higher lifetime customer value, well, then you're going to look to acquire companies or products or services that have recurring components, or you want more profit, then I'm going to go vertically integrate up and down the supply and distribution chain, or I need innovation, then you're going to acquire IP, right? So those are seven categories of acquisitions that really cover pretty much any challenge that you might be experiencing in your business that you've got right now. So let's say that I identified that I want more leads. So I'm gonna go after media, then I'm going to say, Okay, who can I identify, I'm gonna make a long list of all the people that have aggregated the attention and eyeballs of my ideal customer profile that might be in groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, it might be newsletters, magazines, publications, trade shows, events, it could be television shows, it could be podcasts, you know, there's all these things that hundreds or 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s, or even millions of my ideal customer have already been gathered up and they're all in one place. And there's a trust agent that they look to. And if I can make a deal with that trust agent to acquire that media. Now I own that I've got all the leads I ever need. And so I think that like for a business as owner, that's the place to start. And then if you don't have a business, it's okay. How can I take an inventory of the, the things that, that I'm interested in, and the knowledge and skills and experience and connections I've got, so that I can identify a place to start. And so with that, I say, I do a quadrant kind of analysis. And I say, you know, who? What are your hobbies, passions and interests? Right? What's my hobbies, passions, and interests? What are the things that I actually like to do? And just brainstorm those out? And then you say, what do I have actual experience in and skills? And then you say, what are my superpowers? What am I like really good at. And last, but not least, what connections do I have, that might be helpful in this journey. And when you do those four things, and then kind of cross out the things that are the hobbies and interests and passions that you probably wouldn't want to do for business, or you don't think would be good fit. And you, you really drill down to your top, say, three, top skills and experience and your top three connection networks and your top three superpowers, that's going to become self evident what you should do. And so, so then you take that and run it through a income analysis and say, Okay, now I know the industry, I know what I'm going to do I know who I'm going to help, I know, kind of how I'm going to help them. What do I need to make, and what I need to make is going to determine the size of the EBITDA, or the profit of the business that you're going to acquire, because you can say, I want to make $10,000 a month during this great. So I know I need an EBITDA or an STE seller discretionary earnings of at least 10,000 times 12 months, 120 grand to do that. But I probably also want to put some money into growing the business, how much do I want to put and growing the business? Let's say that's another 10 grand a month, well, now you've got 120, you want to get paid, and you got 120, you got to invest? That's 240,000. Any business that's not making 240,000 or more in profit gets put off the list. Right? And so it's kind of reverse engineering that way into that. Now, once you identify all of those acquisition criteria, you say, Okay, where am I going to find these things, two different real approaches. One is organic. And that's where you're going to tell everybody what you do. That's friends, family, employees, you know, contractors, everybody that you work with. The next would be that you go to centers of influence that would have the people that you want, like attorneys, accountants, valuation experts, investment bankers, Business Brokers, those kinds of people. And then there's the systematic way, where you say, I'm going to go to Sales Navigator zoom info, or CrunchBase, I'm going to build a list of at least 1000 potential acquisitions that fit my acquisition criteria. And now I'm going to do an outbound marketing campaign for those people that might be a combination of email, direct messages, and snail mail, direct mail. And then I'm going to use Mail houses and automated ringless, voicemail and CRMs to do those campaigns so that they can be tagged and followed up with, then I'm going to say, Okay, what systems do I need to build to receive the calls as they come in, I'll probably get a call center to do that. The call center is going to basically have a VA, that's going to vet go through my acquisition criteria to be sure that these people are calling in do in fact, meet them. And then the few that do, they'll set appointments for me to have a conversation with them. And if I do those things, then there's just really an endless amount of deal flow that I'm gonna have.
Ronald Skelton 38:48
I can just vision it right now, most people are gonna rewind this and listen to that three times, you just don't have just an amazing amount of knowledge in a short period of time. So, appreciate that.
Roland Frasier 39:14
Ronald Skelton 38:58
That's just the fire hose you get for being around you. I've been, I've been on seminars with you. I've been in courses with you. And it's just like, okay, can't write this fast. I'm gonna watch that again. So I absolutely love it. What's the storytime always like some good stories and stuff? What's one of the coolest things you've ever held? Either by yourself, you buy a piece of for yourself or one of your, one of your clients when your students?
Roland Frasier 39:19
You know, there's, there's so many deals in there to me, they're just all fascinating. So I, I like the I think that like the kind of the big game changers are fun. I remember sitting in sitting down at a restaurant with the owner of a publishing company. And we were talking about acquiring and I had just experienced some pretty significant losses. So I didn't have a ton of cash handy. But this deal was really good. And I'd been working on it for a couple of years. And they sat down and they had just had some challenges with some key personnel that were leaving, and it opened up an opportunity to invest in the company. And when we had first talked, we were talking about a valuation of around $10 million. But because they needed some cash to fix the things that were going wrong, they wanted a million dollars. And so there was the opportunity to acquire 33% of the company for a million dollars. So that's a 70% discount in the valuation right, going from 10 million to, to 3 million is evaluation. So I sat there and, and you know, we, we had breakfast, and then, you know, they said, so you know, if you if you're interested, let's do this. And we'll do it for a million dollars. And I was like, absolutely sounds great. Now, I didn't have a million dollars, nor did I know where I was gonna get the million dollars. But that didn't stop me. I just say yes. And I'll make it happen, which I would highly recommend for anybody. And, and then we were able to talk about that. And I said, Well, you guys need that all at once. It was like, No, I don't think we need it all at once. And I said, Well, how about if we did and we went back and forth, and we ended up with, I'll get $400,000 down, and then they'll do $200,000 A year for three years, no interests just $200,000 a year. But I also was able to negotiate that like, well not negotiate. But I also knew that the profits that would be coming to me from the business would be about $360,000 a year. So I knew that I could even after taxes pay that 200k. So all I had to do was come up with the 400. And I knew that if I could get a deal on the 400, that would allow me to pay that back over time, then it was likely that the business was going to make even more as time went on. But even if it didn't, I'd still have now this would be pre tax, but I'd still have 360,000 minus 200,000, over those three years would mean I'd have 160,000 Extra, right. So that would mean that I would have 480,000, which would give me enough to pay off the 400 and then still have 80 leftover, again, taxes not withstanding. But I would work out I mean, I'd probably go in hock to the IRS for a deal like that, and pay the interest and get a payment plan worked out. If I had too turns out I didn't what I did was then I went and I talked to a friend of mine that was looking to make more on their money than they were making. And we cut a deal where they advanced $400,000 To me, and it was on a on a three year loan. And with a three year balloon at 10% interest. So basically, it worked great for them because they were making 40 Excuse me 40, 40 grand a year and interest on the 400. And I would pay them back from the money that was coming. And that, that deal. That deal was 100x return for me on, on the you know, even on the mound it was it's infinite, obviously, because there's no money out of my pocket. But it was 100x just on the value of the acquisition over time. So pretty, pretty cool thing that happened there. And those deals like there's just so many of those, but I look back at them. And I'm just like, you know, and I'll tell my wife, I'll come home and I'll say, remember that time, like will be, let's say in Mexico, and I'll just have had to deal and put something together. And I remember that time we were in Mexico, we did that deal. But, you know, that turned into $100 million. And she's like, Yeah, that, that seems like it happens a lot. And like, yeah, it does. But it's really cool. Because that you can mark your deal history, you know, your personal deal history with those key deals like that, that, that just you know, and the more you're out there, the more you put yourself out there, the more they come around. So that would be one of them
Ronald Skelton 43:49
that's cool. So one of the things that I caught in that whole concept is you equated that as if the business was going to stay flat, and you would never change I know, I know, you know well enough now that no, you would never enter anything that you couldn't impact, right? Or you couldn't see an upward side to it. So you did the math and you did these like, Okay, I'm, I'm risking working for this company for three or four years. And, you know, paying them off. But you wouldn't be there. If you didn't think you could make an impact you didn't wouldn't be there, you wouldn't be there. If you didn't think you could make the company make more money than it's making now. Or you fix something wrong to drive the revenue up. So but you didn't do that Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda I'm going to factories. A lot of people do that they when they're thinking about a deal. Like it's a little expensive. But if I do X,Y and Z, I get my money back and I make some money. You did the math is okay, it's gonna run the way it's gonna run. And does it pay for itself? And if yes, then it makes pretty good sense because I'm not gonna get there and do nothing. Right?
Roland Frasier 44:45
Yeah, but, but I didn't I wouldn't want to take the chance with anybody's money that, that it wasn't going to work out. I mean, I, I would have made that deal work, whatever it took.
Ronald Skelton 44:54
Roland Frasier 44:54
And I think that's the bottom line that everybody like when you see a fantastic deal like that. You've got to jump on it, you've got to say, absolutely and then hustle like crazy to make it work. Because like, it won't last like though that kind of deal isn't gonna sit around if they've gone to anybody else, they to have that money in a heartbeat,
Ronald Skelton 45:17
You often say that one, once in a lifetime deals coming along how often?
Roland Frasier 45:22
Three or four times a year, once a lifetime deal comes around three or four times a year?
Ronald Skelton 45:25
Roland Frasier 45:26
I like the guy with the leaf blower behind me who apparently is going to sit at my window and blow the leafs the entire time. He's coming around 100% of the time.
Ronald Skelton 45:34
I don't hear it at all. So maybe it's not picking up on the mic.
Roland Frasier 45:37
Ronald Skelton 45:37
That doesn't say much. I'm, I'm deaf and have a hearing aids underneath this. So it might be like really loud there. But else is obnoxiously annoyed by it. And I'm like, that sounds fine.
Roland Frasier 45:46
I think there's just there's a group of people that have all of our houses watched. And they're like, if they see that you're walking towards your computer to do a podcast or something. They're like get the leaf blowers out. Anyways,
Ronald Skelton 45:57
so let's just jump back into this. So we had a cool story. Like, is there any industry that you just would totally avoid right now, anything like I just wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole.
Roland Frasier 46:08
I mean, for me, there are a lot of them. So I just like I don't want litigation prone or regulatory prone businesses. So I'll stay away from a lot of really favorable opportunities just because I don't want the exposure. So you know, anything that's governed by FINRA, or HIPAA, or, you know, heavy FTC risk, or FCC risk, or FDA risk, you know, those, it's just so much extra hassle. And also industries that have high capex that quickly obsolescence like an AV company, so they need a lot of capital expenditures, to acquire all of the equipment, and then the equipment is outdated pretty much six months after they bought it. And if they're going to stay in the game, they've got to keep upgrading. I also don't like inventory heavy businesses, because if I can get a business, that's a service business, then I completely eliminate my cogs, right. It's, you know, my cogs category of my cost of goods sold category of the inventory I've got to buy How am I going to fund that? How am I going to warehouse it? How am I gonna finance it? You know, who's gonna handle it? Who's gonna three PL and all that kind of stuff is a non issue in a services company. So, So for me, those are kind of part of the acquisition criteria that, that goes into what how do I identify what I am looking for, is to know what I'm not looking for. So I think it's a great question. It's good for people to know, what do you not want? Because then you can immediately say, that's not for me and go deeper faster into what you do want.
Ronald Skelton 47:44
Yeah, like that. So interesting. That stuff in a box isn't building me much. We had one company we were trying to launch and we literally named it SIB. And to excuse my French, but it was shit in a box, right?
Roland Frasier 47:54
Ronald Skelton 47:54
so we were selling stuff on Shopify, we had it lined up the products we were gonna sell and we just called it SIB productions or products or stuff like that LLC. When Shopify figured out what SIB stood for, they banned us for life from it, they just said not. And it's and I joked, you know, I joked with the business partner that because he was on the phone when they did it, it is like they're really, like so conscious about all the junk that people sell them. They're right. They don't, they didn't want us to, you know, SIB like shit in a box. Right? And that's just, you know, stuff in a box. Where do you call it? And that was my nickname I use for anything where I had to house with inventory, put it in a box and ship it to somebody. I call them SIB businesses. Yeah. And to be nice stuff in a box. But what's funny is Shopify, they asked the business partner, what is SIB stand for says shit in a box. And they're like, No. And they basically I mean, they they rejected his credit card, they didn't strike like shut down the store, we were still setting it up and working with them that they said, Don't ever come back.
Roland Frasier 48:39
Ronald Skelton 48:39
So yeah, but I'm a big fan of like, knowing what you want in the fast like, I like what you said, the fastest way to know what you want is a clear, clear description of what you don't want, right?
Roland Frasier 47:54
Ronald Skelton 47:55
I, I got into owning a pest control company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, because I had some relatives working there. They talked me into it, I buy it. Next thing I know, I'm having to take all the tests and get licenses because they have to hang on somebody and the guy that we bought it from, we're trying to buy it from one wasn't following the rules, and two wanted to retire and we didn't want the liability. So we ended up just getting the used equipment. And some customers. That's where he's at. I came up to you guys to learn more was I bought that went totally wrong, like too small, all these other problems. Then I moved here to California. I live in Northern California in wine country now. And you're like, hey you're gonna make a branch all the way pest control. And in, in, in Northern California, it's like hell no. They're like, why I should because the same rules apply to EPA rules and regulations apply, except for California apply some really mean teeth to them. So if you'd actually spill something in Oklahoma, they say shame on you. You got to clean it up and stuff. Here you could face 10s of 1000s or hundreds of 1000s all refined overnight.
Roland Frasier 49:57
Ronald Skelton 49:57
you know, for a blue color axial, you guys you hired to go out and do this. They're not rocket scientists righ
Roland Frasier 49:57
Ronald Skelton 49:58
there. A lot of them are high school grads that can pass a written exam. They're gonna spill something occasionally. And it's just it's a big risk here. So I believe in the like, you know, what are you willing what tolerances you have to have? What do you, what do you like? What do you not like? And, you know, that's, that's a big play inside of this. So
Roland Frasier 50:22
Ronald Skelton 50:23
we're already at 49 minutes, I've asked you a lot of questions already. What should have asked like, what should we be talking about to make the most
Roland Frasier 50:29
Ronald Skelton 50:29
impact for the customers?
Roland Frasier 50:31
I think we got it. I think we did it. I'm very happy with the things we talked about.
Ronald Skelton 50:36
Cool. So okay, let's just let's do this. Somebody wants to they're new out there. They, they're getting into this space. I am like, I'm not compensated in this way. I might talk to you later about affiliate program or something. At this point, there's nothing there's no agreement between me and you. You're on the show. I just love what you do and who you are as a person. How do people reach out to you and, and, and look at some of the stuff you've got going on? So they can learn this space? Because you share
Roland Frasier 51:00
Ronald Skelton 51:00
Roland Frasier 51:00
Yeah. So I, I have a podcast like you do. It's called business lunch. And we talk about all kinds of stuff like this. And that's a great place to, you know, to connect. You can go to I have a challenge I do that's at get epic challenge. It's a free challenge. And so you know go through there. And basically we talk about kind of more in depth over five days, what are some of the strategies and things like that, and then I'm on social, every word forward slash, Roland Frasier, so tiktok, YouTube, Instagram, there's tons of content I put out all the time on that stuff.
Ronald Skelton 51:30
That's awesome. And I tell you, I've, I've met about a I'm getting close to about 100 interviews. Now I've interviewed and pretty much anybody that's teaching this space, I've taken a couple of the courses for content, you provide the most content, and
Roland Frasier 51:43
Ronald Skelton 51:44
I'm still watching some of the videos there's, there's enough content there that I just go when I, when I'm missing something I've got, I've enrolled, he's got a video on that inside of my, my locker or whatever you want to call it.
Roland Frasier 51:52
Ronald Skelton 51:53
Is it a Kajabi board or whatever you guys are using, but there's something there on this, I just need to dig and find it. So you know, to this point, I have my library now. When I was in real estate, I had I bought a course from somebody that had like 35 different courses. It was like 40 or 50 grand. But uh, it was called the whole enchilada is what he actually called it, it was everything he needed.
Roland Frasier 52:10
that would be (inaudible)
Ronald Skelton 52:10
And it was, it was Lou Brown wrong again.
Roland Frasier 52:13
Okay. He's actually a customer of mine. I he's in our mastermind. That's funny in our deals mastermind.
Ronald Skelton 52:19
Yeah, he's a great guy and ask him about me. I did short sales, he asked me to help him rewrite, rewrite history.
Roland Frasier 52:24
I will, I will
Ronald Skelton 52:25
say he'll, he'll know who I am. But uh, you know, I had that filing cabinet. If something was in real estate, I needed to contract or I needed to learn how to do something. Lou had the whole enchilada, so I could just pull it off, they're gonna look at or, or sometimes you'll be just call him, you know, Hey, man, we got this problem.
Roland Frasier 52:40
Ronald Skelton 52:40
you've, you've provided that resource. And you know, it's not in your free program, it's in the next level up. But that free program that you have is unbelievable value for the amount of
Roland Frasier 52:50
Ronald Skelton 52:50
time. I still, I'm still on your, among all the mailing list, of course, and I'm on the
Roland Frasier 52:56
Ronald Skelton 52:57
the alumni thing, so I just got an email the other day they posted say, here's the whole work book and a one in one chunk. And I was like, mine is no pieces, I grab that too. And every time it's funny as I go back through it occasionally because your, your things change things you want. Like what I thought I wanted when I first got into this space, which was almost two years ago, we did a marketing rollout, which took a lot of my time. And then now I'm back in Okay, what do I want to do next? It's going through those worksheets, again, is extremely valuable.
Roland Frasier 53:25
And they change I update constantly. And I put the new stuff in and you know, like, if you're on the lawn, Greg and I grew up, you know, you know, and I also add them to everybody that's, you know, that's got a part of the program, you know, so whenever we do new agreements, new contracts, new deals, that stuff goes in there. I think that's, that's just part of the giving back to the community. Because ultimately, you know, my goal is that there will be some people in there that bring deals that I want to do and we end up doing them. It's happened several times that we do deals together so it's a win win for everybody.
Ronald Skelton 53:55
Let's remind people how they reached out to you and let's just call it a show after that. Sure.
Roland Frasier 53:59
So I'm pretty much everywhere online forward slash R O L A N D frasier Roland Frasier. You can find my challenge at get epic challenge.com podcast is business lunch and love to connect with anybody I answer all my messages myself.
Ronald Skelton 54:15
I appreciate you having me on here. I've been looking forward to this for a while and we've been texting back and forth and I'll publicly apologize for more ordering hot coffee from you that are hot cocoa that from you the other night at 11 o'clock after, after you confirm the show. I mixed you up with like my wife had been texted me she rocked into the house and said heat up some water. I'm gonna mix some hot cocoa we're under the stars and stuff. And I looked down and I sent it to you.
Hey, I'm, I'm always for hot cocoa. There's never a bad time.
Yeah, luckily it is tell you is making it Irish but that one probably you bother you either. So I appreciate your time. Thank you for being here and
Roland Frasier 54:51
Ronald Skelton 54:52
Roland Frasier 54:52
Cool and is there anything I can do for you?
Ronald Skelton 54:55
You know, I just keep keep doing what you're doing, man. Keep putting out the content because when I come back, you know There's, there's, there's questions that I have. And I always know I can come back and jump in another epic challenge or another,
Roland Frasier 55:05
Ronald Skelton 55:05
another (inaudible) you have and get that stuff done. And you've got a support system around you. That's just unbelievable. A lot of, a lot of people don't understand a lot of people that have been on this show are either coaches of yours or have been coaches for years in the past. I've interviewed a lot of them already. So
Roland Frasier 55:18
oh nice. That's great.
Ronald Skelton 55:20
Yeah. So it's been a
Roland Frasier 55:21
Thank you. I appreciate it.
Ronald Skelton 55:23
Roland Frasier 55:24
Ronald Skelton 55:26
Hey, it's your host, Ronald Skelton. I want to thank you personally for watching the show today and invite you to call our new hotline 918-641-4150. That's 918-641-4150 Call us and tell us about our show, ask questions, suggested guests or even tell me about a business you have for sale and we'll reach back out to you again, that number is 918-641-4150. call our hotline leave us some information. Thank you. I don't want to announce our new channel partners the ITX marketplace since 1998 ITX has created 5 billion in value by selling more than 225 it businesses in 20 countries. IDX works exclusively with it enabled businesses generating between 5 million and 30 million who are ready to be sold in m&a to decision makers who are ready to buy for over 25 years ITX has developed industry knowledge that helps determine whether a seller is a good fit for their buyers before making the match ITX mergers and acquisition marketplace we are partnered with has a proprietary database of 50,000 plus global buyers seeking it service firms managed service providers, Microsoft service providers software as a service platforms and channel partners with Microsoft Oracle ServiceNow itself and the Salesforce space. If you have an IT enabled business you're ready to sell. I want you to visit the I T exchange net.com/marketplace How to exit that link will be in the show notes visit them now. The investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind. The investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind combines that additional peer to peer mastermind introduce first in Napoleon Hills famous book Think and Grow Rich with accountability partnering where your peers help you ensure that you set goals take action and get results. If you want to scale both hash roadblocks and achieve success faster than you might think is possible. I suggest you take a visit over to tiepm.com That's T i e. P m.com. And check out the investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind