Buying, Building, and Selling a Business Empire
Meet Mike Lander – a next level expert when it comes to buying, building, and selling multiple 7-figure businesses. Now leading other business owners through the art of successful negotiations, Mike’s experience, both as a Procurement Director buying over £400m of services for clients and buying/selling a number of companies as an entrepreneur, is helping other up-and-coming entrepreneurs grow their empires through acquisitions and exits.
A hugely successful guy who is incredibly easy to talk to, this episode of Buy Build Sell hears Mike explain his analogy as to why business deals are a bit like Hollywood films. Further, Mike poses the few key questions you have to ask yourself when you’re just starting out--including the critical moment when you have to decide whether you’re a freelancer or want to build a company.
Steadfastly believing in the importance of finding, dominating, and defending your niche, tune in to this episode to learn more about Mike’s tried, tested, and true strategy about acquiring businesses, drilling down into their core expertise, and how this helped him sell them and move on. Wondering if your company is prepped to sell? You won’t want to miss this conversation with Mike.
What you will learn in this episode
In this episode we’ll cover everything from:
- The mistake people often make when deciding whether to use an advisor in a business sale.
- Whether you are building a business or you are choosing a freelancer path (both are worthy options) but the difference comes down to your mindset.
- The head start you can get by acquiring an existing business, rather than building one.
- The benefit of scale when it comes to a buy and build strategy.
- The magic number for EBITDA.
- The two critical things you need to understand when it comes to selling.
- Mike’s advice on how to start gathering information if you are an entrepreneur looking to build a business to sell.
About Our Guest
Mike Lander is a successful entrepreneur and expert negotiator with a proven track record of buying, growing and selling businesses for seven-figure sums. He’s raised over £6.5m of acquisition/growth capital in his career and grown companies to over £20m revenue and £4m EBITDA.
Mike has a uniquely valuable perspective on negotiating commercial deals, having worked on both sides of the table as a Procurement Director and an entrepreneur. In one of his roles, Mike worked as a Procurement Director for what is now one of the world’s largest RPO/MSP organisations worth in excess of $1bn where he negotiated 100s of deals with staffing agencies.
He launched Piscari in 2010 and leveraged his specialist knowledge and experience negotiating hundreds of deals worth over £400m in total to empower leaders and sales teams to negotiate more profitable deals, especially when procurement is involved.
Connect with Mike Lander
(2:26) Listen to Mike’s analogy about businesses being like Hollywood films. With a hero, a bad guy, and a challenge that you’ll face, Mike believes that the villains will turn up wherever you least expect.
(4:30) It seems really expensive – let’s say it’s worth 5M, and today it’s worth $500,000, having an advisor onboard who has done this before underwrites your risk of getting that $5M.
(6:40) Why it’s really important to decide if you’re a freelancer or if you’re building a business. Why? Because through one you’ll sell day rates, skill, and time. And the other? You’ll try to maximise the capital value of an entity.
(11:35) Mike’s thoughts on why buying a business that already exists is a great way to start building value. (Find something that works, with willing sellers, and take it to the next stage.)
(14:27) Mike walks through a common strategy used by private equity firms (buy, build, and sell) and how the benefit of scale can take a small company from 6 x EBITA to 10-12 EBITA. acquisition-sell strategy – buy and build.
(17:04) The two things you need to know and do at the end of the buy, build, sell period. (One, leave double the value on the table for the buyer. Two, know your ideal number and keep an eye out for the right time.)
(028:15) How the explosion of the internet and widely accessible knowledge has made it more important than ever to find a niche that you can dominate and defend.
(30:13) The importance of talking to a wide variety of buyers to learn more about what they look for. (Hot tip: they like companies that are sector focused, geographically focused, and those that have a discipline focus.)
(35:45) How Mike came to define luck as opportunity meets focus, deep expertise, and perseverance.
(38:25) Mike’s one take-away tip: Have a negotiation and sales process, template, and write it down to better prepare you. Also, try to bring a buyers’ lens to a sellers’ situation.
The ultimate freedom is to own a company that is valuable, scalable, and saleable.
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