Mar 18, 2020
Robert Hirsch from Freedom Factory discusses 'How To Leverage On Other Peoples' Money for Buying a Business'.
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Transcript of Podcast
Hey everybody, Robert Hirsch from Freedom Factory here, and I want to answer a question that we get a lot, which is, how do I pay for a business. Now after doing this almost exclusively for 20 years, all you do is see these deals go through. And what looks normal to me is really different to a lot of my fellow entrepreneurs.
And so I was with a group of entrepreneurs speaking to them last night. And what they told me is they said, Robert, I don't have 2 million sitting around to buy a business, you know, maybe a private equity guys or venture capital guys, or more successful entrepreneurs. But that's not me. And I thought about it and I gave a little bit of a chuckle and I realized that they're probably not the only entrepreneurs that think this. And so I wanted to talk about different ways to pay for a business. So there's a couple ones that are pretty interesting. You can do it either through equity or through debt. Right?
So let's start with equity. So equity, you can
put together an investor round to acquire a company. You can secure
it by the business. For me, I do better with just a few investors,
not a lot of little ones - the friends and family. And that can be
nice for smaller things.
But for me, I like one or two sophisticated investors if I'm going to raise an equity round. But the reality is, I think for most businesses this size, I liked debt for in 90% of applications, and we can talk about what the difference looks like in a little bit.
So there are different types of debt. My favorite kind of debt when I'm buying a business is seller financing. So if the seller is selling a great business, and you've probably seen some videos of mine talking about the difference between you'd rather buy a great business at a good price and a good business at a great price. So if you're selling a great business and the seller is confident in their business, they'll be happy to take a note on it.
Sometimes it's as little as 10 or 20% when you're trying to bridge the gap. Sometimes it's as much as 90%. I've seen 90% solid carry just secured by the business, and if you're not successful, the business goes right back to them and they like their business. So they're happy to do that.
There's also bankers, but it's so funny, the old Axiom about
bankers wanting to lend you money, when you don't need it, and
don't lend you money when you need it. In my experience, that's
been true. If you've got a successful business, the lending of
money on it, but they're going to want you to collateralize it with
your other business in most circumstances.
So bankers are there, and if you've got a great banking relationship, maybe it works out well. But what I've seen work out the best is small business loans or SBA loans, small business administration loans. And you can do it as with as little as 10% down. So if you're buying, let's say you're buying a business three X and it's 2 million, that means it throws 666,000 a year in free cash flow.
And if you can buy that for $200,000 you look at stock valuations and things along those lines, but when you're buying a business at three X and you're putting 10% down, as an entrepreneur, I can't think of a better deal than that. An SBA loans had their own restrictions. You have to put a personal guarantee on it. I think they cap it at $5 million currently. We can talk you through all the complexities of what that looks like, but SBA loans are great. And then, the big thing in terms of the plan that you put together is talk about your stupid human trick or the one thing you do better than anybody else.
I've talked about it many times in the past and I'm pretty good at sales and marketing. That's all I do. All I do is sell businesses. And if I look at a business that has a superior quality product but a sales problem, well that's a great fit for me because I can fix it like that. Or maybe you're a software engineer from MIT and you can build great software programs and you've got this business is on fire, but your software program is held together with duct tape and bubblegum. Well, you can come in and solve that problem right away. So when I buy a business, I try and be strategic about buying a business that fits my skillset.
And remember, when you're buying a business, you don't have to have $2 million to write a big check. And sometimes ironically, buying a business is cheaper than building it yourself. If you're buying 666,000 and free cash flow for 200,000 I would have a hard time building it for that. So I hope this stimulated your creativity.
If you have any questions about that, why don't you give us a call up, freedom factory or anything else and we'll be happy to walk you through it. I'm Robert Hirsch. Thank you so much for watching. Please like and subscribe and we'll see you soon.
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