Scaling, Exiting, and Business Partner Pitfalls

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About Our Guest

Jean-Eric Plamondon is a born entrepreneur, buying and selling four companies before the age of 31.

Jean-Eric has owned and operated a variety of businesses, including a residential painting franchise, several e-commerce websites (retail and wholesale), an industry-leading scrap metal recycling business, several international export companies (commercial, retail and industrial), and more.

On top of his entrepreneurial experience, Jean-Eric has also built an incredibly diverse and powerful resume working for, and consulting with, several companies, including Canada’s 4th fastest growing company in 2018.

About this Episode

Scaling, Exiting, and Business Partner Pitfalls

Jean-Eric Plamondon turned a simple idea into a $5,000,000 growth machine. How? By scrapping old farm equipment, Jean-Eric was able to quickly and effectively take over a niche in the market.

After working on closing a deal to take over that company and dealing with personal marital issues, he decided to walk away from the deal and instead pursue a new farm clean-up business, in which the referrals kept rolling in. In Jean-Eric’s words “Farmers talk, so the business just exploded”.

Along the journey, these challenges were thrown at him:

  • Creating his first competitor from a previous business partner who used his knowledge, only to take half of his customers and employees
  • Dipping commodity prices that ground the business to halt
  • A divorce in his personal life that ultimately pushed him to exit the business

With a 67% gross margin and almost $5,000,000 in sales at the peak, Jean-Eric is well placed to share his wisdom and learnings when it comes to starting, growing, and exiting businesses.

What you will learn in this episode

  • Why needing a business partner for reasons other than synergy is a bad idea
  • Lessons learnt on selling a business when your revenue is $0
  • How you’re not always in control when you exit a business
  • The importance of cash flow, timing, and how small tweaks can help you scale
  • Why your business should always be prepared for Macro factors

Connect with Jean-Eric Plamondon

Show Notes

(12:20) Jean-Eric’s finance vendors pulled out of the deal to take over the initial scrap metal business when they discovered something about his personal life, forcing him to readjust and reconsider his approach.

(34:30) The timing of cash flow in a startup is imperative to success. Learn Jean-Eric's game changing business hack that helped him stay on top of his cash flow.

(37:00) If you want to avoid fallout between business partners, Jean-Eric’s advice is to be 100% sure that you need a business partner in the first place.

(45:56) Going through a difficult divorce, his hand was forced when he was faced with a difficult choice between business and family. In his own words, “you sometimes don’t get the option to choose when to sell.”

(46:53) Jean-Eric shares his remarkable tale about how an employee of the business stepped up to buy it, even when their revenue was $0 due to the commodity price crash.

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