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Navigating Business Acquisition & Growth Strategies | Richard Parker – Episode 165

Top tips from Richard Parker.

1. Knowledge.

If you first figure out what business is right for you, and I touch on how you get to that, then it’s easy to find. And by going back to the first step, it’s knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, you have to learn about the process.

2. Right questions.

One of the things, having the right knowledge, for example, we see many, many people who send an inquiry to a seller. Seller doesn’t know who the hell they are. They’re sending an inquiry to the seller and says, send me your tax returns. Like, what are you smoking crack? I’m not, how am I gonna send you my tax returns? Sure, right, no problem. It’s understanding how you engage with them, what you need to provide them with, and also the engagement with a seller to make sure that you’re asking the right questions.

3. Statistics in our business.

Our business, and I know that’s a very generic statement. But let me jump into that a little a little further. Statistics in my universe, which is the universe of people looking to acquire businesses are horrific. 90 over 90%. That means 94% 90, over 90% of people begin to search the buy business never complete a transaction. I mean, it’s horrific. Our, our businesses, this almost a complete reverse, because 82% of the people who use our program and consulting acquire business in six months, but let’s look at the 90 percenters. Typically, they start out they have absolutely no knowledge, no expertise, no experience, no track record, and they think the only thing that they could align this process to is buying some property. 




business, businesses, acquire, process, work, good, failures, buying, seller, love, steps, terrific, area, years, startup, sell, entrepreneur, great, numbers, money


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:00

Welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. I’m your host Debra Chantry-Taylor. I’m a certified EOS implementer and FBA accredited family business advisor, and a business owner myself with several business interests. I work with established business owners and their leadership teams to help them live their ideal entrepreneurial life using EOS EOS as the Entrepreneurial Operating System. The guests on my show Come on, and they authentically share the highs and lows of creating a successful business, and how they turn things around in their business using EOS tools and traction. Or as it is, in this case, they’re actually experts who specialize in working with established business owners.

Richard Parker  00:52

The decision became pretty obvious to me that I had to get into my own business. And it became obvious to me very quickly, that going into an existing business versus trying to start something up was going to be infinitely more successful. So I walked away from the deal, but it really started me thinking about what is the average person who doesn’t have experienced buying businesses do if they want to buy a business? I became very intrigued with this idea. What does the average person do? So I said, you know, I’m gonna devote some time to figuring out this marketplace understanding it because I was more curious than anything else. So what are the areas where buyers get stuck, and they can’t dig themselves out of a hole and get into their own way, or the financials, the numbers of a business are the easiest thing to deal with. It’s math. They either are or they aren’t. Numbers don’t lie, people lie.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:51

Today’s guest is really exciting. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fox News, Inc, entrepreneur, you name it. He’s been there. He has purchased 13 businesses and looked at hundreds of others. And he’s got more than three decades of experience under his belt. And today, he is here to share with us how you can buy your dream business, or how you can grow your business through acquisition. Hey, welcome to the show. Richard. It’s lovely to have you here. Richard Parker, CEO of DMO.

Richard Parker  02:20

Thank you, I appreciate you having me. I’m looking forward to our conversation. Absolutely.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:24

It’s gonna be fun. I’d love you to tell us a bit about your story. I think you said on the first of February be 34 years. Yeah, it’s

Richard Parker  02:32

hard to believe. I wish it was 34 years that I’ve been on this planet. But it’s 34 years that I’ve been in the m&a world. And sometimes I think what I feel like it was like I was 18 years old, about an hour and a half ago. So it’s very bizarre. But on the other hand, you’ll look at that and say it’s been an incredible journey and a lot of fun and Time passes quickly. And I’ve been in every aspect of the m&a game, as you mentioned in your introduction, as a buyer of 13 companies, one co investment at co investment and a wide swath like I acquired businesses with enterprise values from $50,000 to over 200 million. And I’ve also been on the so I’ve been on the buy and sell side advisory side buy and sell side. And then in two, in the year 2001, after a failed transaction, a failed transaction purposely failed that I decide to you send an offer on and being inspired to do a lot of research, I devoted a year of my life to researching this whole m&a, lower market, and ended up publishing a program that teaches people how to buy businesses. So going back in time I got into this because because of a failed personal event, I was working for a company I lived in Canada, I live in South Florida now I was working, working in Canada doing quite well as 29 years old is making about seven I think was about $72,000 a year which at that point in time was quite significant that was 1989 9090. And then through my own brilliance I managed to be informed about or told about how I can buy a stock in the stock market on margin where you put up half the money to buy twice the amount of stock and when the stock goes up and you sell it, you pay back the original lower left sounds terrific. Except what happens when the stock goes down. I wasn’t told about that part. And I blew, I blew $60,000 which was close to everything that I had saved at that point that child on the way and realize that I’m going How the hell am I going to get myself out of this hole? And I recognized there was a couple of opportunities, some of them unrealistically you know, trying to go to Las Vegas or what have you, and putting it all on 17 Black that wasn’t going to work. It would have been nice, it would have been a lot less painful. However, I recognize that the the only way he’s gonna get out of this hole is I have to put myself in a position where I didn’t have a limit to my earnings on the upside. I loved my job. I loved the company I was working for. There were some changes going on in the company which played to my favor, but I was I recognized that even if I moved to another company so I get margin We’ll be more a little bit more money, but not it not a significant amount. And I was already being very well paid. And so said, even with reasonable incremental increases, I just couldn’t get out of the $60,000 bowl. And so that’s what the decision became pretty obvious to me that I had to get into my own business. And after doing a very little bit of research, it became obvious to me very quickly, that going into an existing business versus trying to start something up, was going to be infinitely more successful there to probabilities for success. And the data now proves that but I needed to generate an income immediately. So I didn’t have the luxury of saying, well, I’ll go into a startup, and we’ll see how, see how things go for a year. So I mean, I needed money right away. And so I was able to take the skills that I had, which are mostly in sales and marketing, and took one of the product groups that I was, I was the executive vice president of a company, one of those product groups was, was getting sold back to the manufacturer, but I was able to work out a deal to take part of that deal, as well as some others and acquire a small company a manufacturer’s rep business. And that started my journey. And shortly thereafter, even though I didn’t have a lot of money, I recognized that it would be very organic growth was going to be very difficult. It was doable, but it was and it was young, but it was it was going to be difficult compared to this one experience that I had acquiring a business and growing through acquisitions. And so that has been the path that I’ve gone down all these years. And for the most part, by and large, been very successful. I have, I’ve had some terrific failures. And so it’s not all pixie dust and unicorns, but it’s but it’s been a bit, but it’s been quite good. And, you know, the failures have been phenomenal because it’s, it’s how you process them what you learn from them, and make sure you don’t do the same shit again, afterwards, part of my friends, you know, like you make a mistake. That’s all right. Just you don’t want to repeat it when you’re faced with the same scenario again in the future. But there was terrific learning. And then I ended up selling one of my one of my companies back to the manufacturer. And that worked out really well and decided to relocate to South Florida. I had three children at the time of for now and one grandson. And timing worked out well and was better than freezing my butt off in Canada. So I moved to South Florida where I always wanted to live. And I started looking at some companies involved in one adventure here for a short period of time within wanting to get back into the buying of businesses. And I was involved with a transaction that went south by my decision, because as I was involved, I was heavily involved in the due diligence. And they had several entities and one entity was selling another entity, one other entity was moving money to another entity paying bills of one entity from the wrong entity. They weren’t doing anything illegal or fraudulent. I’m not suggesting but the one thing I couldn’t figure out was I couldn’t figure it out. And it was like to tell people is like a big plate of spaghetti. I just couldn’t figure that thing out. And I reckon so I walked away from the deal. But it really started me thinking about what is the average person who doesn’t have experienced buying businesses do if they want to buy a business? It was really I became very intrigued with this idea, or challenge. And maybe it wasn’t a shout, I just wanted to find out. That was my curiosity, what does the average person do? And I financial is in terrific shape. So I said, you know, I’m gonna devote some time to figuring out this marketplace understanding it because I was more curious than anything else. I spent the next year researching the market. And speaking to hundreds and hundreds of Business Brokers, business buyers, successful business buyers, failed business buyers, accountants, attorneys, business owners, business owners who bought their business, like just doing this real deep dive in this whole area. And I found out pretty quickly that there was no help really valuable resources to help an individual who has no experience acquiring a business, but has a desire for entrepreneurship, and wants to acquire an existing business. And that led me to realizing that I had an opportunity to help people. And I had looked at hundreds of businesses at that point, I had incredible files, I always kept a terrific record of everything that I did, how it worked out what the outcome was, if it didn’t work out what I did, how I pivoted how that worked out, and had these these sort of flowcharts in my mind, if you will, and backed up by notes of all of these snares for all of the steps of the business buying process. And there’s about 20 of them, they decided to put all the information into a into a guide that really told people what they need to know what to do and how to do it. And also provide some hand holding because I was financially defying shape. And I really loved this industry. So I said I’m going to make myself available if people have any questions and I’d never charged him for it. Of course, even though some people think marketers think I’m nuts I just do it because I love it. And and I had no illusions of this becoming a business and I’ve told this story countless times where the night before we launched the program, my wife asked me, How many of you think you’re going to sell and I said, Well, you know, if I sell one and I help one person buy the right business or avoid buying the wrong one. It’s good enough for me. And here we are, you know a number of years later sold over 100,000 copies to 80 countries and have helped 10s of 1000s of people. So it’s been just an absolutely unbelievable journey. And, you know, I get up every day and I help people. I mean, it’s phenomenal.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:11

I love it, it’s very reminds me of why I do what I do as well. I mean, I just love what I do. And it’s it’s very easy to do stuff when you love what you do. But buying a business, I mean, I’ve never done it myself, I have to say, I’ve always gone the startup route. And sometimes that’s been really successful. And sometimes that’s been really disastrous. But an established business is a little bit different, right? Because with a startup business, as the founder, you are going in there and you’re, you’re setting the values, you’re setting the vision, you’re deciding, you’re bringing onboard the people, you’re doing all that stuff, like laying the groundwork for buying an established business that’s already there. So how, how do you even start to think about? Well, first of all, like, what kind of business? And then how do you look at to make sure it is the right business?

Richard Parker  10:52

I’ll start with that first question related to things that a founder will do, setting the culture setting the people putting the mission together, determining what some of the processes and procedures are, I look at NC for some people look at that and say, Oh, my God, that’s magnificent. I, I get to create this wonderful project, I can make everything happen, I can really put my stamp on things, etc. And the way I look at it, that’s all wonderful. But that doesn’t mean any of that is going to be successful. Because at the beginning, when you have a clean slate or tabula rasa is going to my Latin class was everything is is unproven. When you have a startup, unless you have a phenomenal amount of capital, I mean, you don’t even have paper clips. And so I’ve done startups, and I encourage people in their entrepreneurial career to at least temp one or two, because it’ll teach you a lot. But I look at it and say that path where it may be looked at glory with some, you know, some ice, I think through a lens, that’s not realistic, meaning, nothing is proven yet. So it’s great to say, well, I’m going to do this, we’re going to do that, here’s the mission that we’re going to have and everything is fine. And then it’s it’s it sort of hits you in the face when reality hits, because generally speaking, the revenues come in, you know, take twice as long and the expenses are usually double. And so I always think about a startup in the in the, like the quote that Mike Tyson halves, where he says, you know, everything is terrific until someone punches you in the face, right? I mean, because then you’re faced with reality. And so, I mean, it’s so true, right? And, and then I look at buying an existing business. And while there may be pieces to it, that you can’t put your stamp on, or the stamp is already there, because there’s a prior owner, and there is culture, and there is a mission statement. And there is a purpose, that is someone else’s culture and mission and purpose. However, you also get the, if you do this, right, you get to the keys to the place on a Monday, and you should be able to take a paycheck on Friday. That’s number one. The second thing is you have revenues, you have profits, you have customers, you have employees, you have systems, you have policies and procedures. Now, they may not all be perfect. And certainly one of the things that comes to your next question about buying the right business, what have you. That’s a consideration for people to understand that every business has blemishes. But getting your if you were to look at this as a race to start a startup, you’re at the starting gate. And with an existing business, you’re three quarters of the way down towards the finish line, you just want to put your mark on it. And it’s very important that you understand to make sure that you’re not delusional, but things that you want to do with the business, because they’re already established. Because I’m a firm believer, I don’t believe in buying distressed businesses or garbage businesses. I like good, solid businesses. That’s why our course is called How to Buy a good business at a great price. And so some of the things that your make sense to change, other ones don’t. And you have to be smart enough to know the difference. And then as far as the right business is concerned, and hopefully that’s that was I got the addressing the two initial questions, the right business. You know, there’s 20, there’s 20 steps in the business buying process. And we can cover off some of them if you want to get into the weeds a little bit. But if you take us to terrific question, because buying the right business, if you were to screw up or do a half ass job or a 50 60% job, on all of the stages of buying a business, you overvalue it a little bit, the terms aren’t perfect, you miss a couple of things and due diligence, nothing major, of course. But if as long as you get that one thing, right and you buy the right business for you, the probabilities of success are going to be very high. And I’m saying that meaning you could mess up a lot of the other stuff. And the key is with the with the with the business you know the business that’s right for me is not necessarily by any music business that’s right for you. The most important thing is you have to match your, your most your your greatest skill set and the mantra that I like to use and I’ve been teaching and preaching for decades is whatever it is that you do best has to be the single most important driving factor of the revenues and profits of any business you consider purchasing. As for everything else you can hire, and so getting it right, as far as marrying your greatest skill and everybody has one shining skill could be sales to be marketing could be account I think could be just logistics could be putting a plan together managing people, whatever that is. That’s what that business needs most to drive the revenue and profit.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:08

Yeah, that’s a really, really good point. We talked about delegating, elevating us, which is where you look at, you know, where do you actually add the most value, because you’re doing what you love and the stuff that you’re great act, because that’s where you will definitely add the most value. But am I right in saying that just because you buy the business, if you think about a traditional kind of accountability, charter structure, you don’t actually have to be, you know, the, the PR person is right at the top, the CEO, the funder, you could actually go in there and really take over the account site, for example, if that was the area that needed improvement, so you can be an owner, and you can have a role in the business.

Richard Parker  15:42

Oh, absolutely. And then the role is, again, what is the most important role as far as driving the revenues and profit Now similarly, because you brought up one very good point, you may determine that the business is what specifically needs to drive the revenue and profits is, is sales and marketing, which seems to be too generic, I think, as most businesses need that, but some needed a lot more than others, and some manufacturing business need manufacturing, know how versus sales and marketing. So in the example that you cite, it could be a case of where well, they may have that in place, that it’s okay, at least for now. And that’s why he’s deemed to be a good business, and it’s profitable, but you look at it and say, Hey, there’s a component of this business that really stinks, or there’s a component that really needs some beefing up. And that’s the area while I may not be an expert in that, I’m smart enough to know that I recognize that if we elevate that, and improve that, it’s going to improve the whole universe of that business. And so that becomes part and parcel with what people need to do after they acquire business is you got to learn the business, you got to get the guts of the business into your belly. And sometimes the skill that your greatest that may not be what your initial attention is being focused upon. Because there’s other areas and that comes with, as I’m sure you know, that comes with leadership, and understanding how to manage a business and people and you know, and of course, entrepreneurship, but being able to take a step back at the beginning, and not jump in, because very often people make this mistake, so I’m gonna go in, I’m gonna change this, I’m gonna get rid of that person, I’m gonna add this person, I’m gonna change those. No, no, no, no, no, what you’re gonna, because they want, you don’t even know how to turn on the coffee machine. And so you kind of go in, take a step back. And I’m going to observe this business for three to six months. And I’m going to really try to understand it. And then I can address areas that I’ve been able to prioritize, because what I think is important, on day one may actually be an urgent item, but it’s not an important item. Versus you want to be able to take a step back and say, Hey, I’m gonna grow this thing over a number of years, I want to deal with this stuff that’s important. I want to work on the business, I don’t want to be in busyness, I want to be in business. And so that requires the fortitude to not have this tendency to, you know, go in with guns blazing. And then you you address the areas that need to be addressed, and you prove upon. And I think

Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:02

It”s really interesting, I know that a lot of people in particular, when they do their startups, they’re gonna go, you know, I am going to take what I love to do and turn it into a business. But actually, an entrepreneur loves the business of business, right? It doesn’t actually matter whether you’re selling widgets, or you’re a service provider, or whatever, or manufacturer, you have to love the business or business. And within that there’ll be areas that you definitely accelerate and shine at, and that you love to do. Is that fair? Because I always think that people think, oh, we’ll do what you love means go, I like playing the saxophone, I should go and do a saxophone business.

Richard Parker  18:34

Well, I think it’s beyond fear. I think it’s very astute. Because what happens people I think, people confuse this concept of passion. Oh, you know what I want a passionate look. You said about the clarinet or whatever. So let’s say for example, someone who’s passionate about the clarinet, well, just because you’re you love the clarinet, you may be terrific playing clarinet, you have that doesn’t give you any skills whatsoever, to run a music store, or a clarinet manufacturing company, or to be a manager band. I mean, there’s no don’t, don’t confuse those things don’t conjugate so they’re, they’re not related. And there’s a you you see an unbelievable amount of people who took what they thought was their hobby and turn it into a business. And what happened is they ended up hating their hobby, because the business wasn’t successful. And so my take on is unless it’s something extraordinary when it comes to hobbies and passions, unless it’s something extraordinary, then you know what, go into the business that’s right for you. You’ll make enough money and then you’ll have plenty you’ll make you’ll have enough money then you’ll have plenty of time and money for your passion hobby. However, if you have plenty Yes, it’s it would be wonderful if you could marry the two and I I worked for the Dalio family office for four years right now with a family office for four years and one of the equations that he had presented to me and and my partner, my late partner, Devin Dalio, Ray son was the formula of passion plus economic economic component equals success. So in other words, if you have your passion, and there’s an economic piece to it, then you could equals two Access. That sounds wonderful. But it’s not always really realistic for people on the lower level. And so but but entrepreneurship, as you said, Exactly. If you get into a business, the right business, your passion develops, it doesn’t start with passion it develops because you’re excited about what you do you get up with energy every day, you’re improving the lives of others, your financial bottom line is improving, you’re building value you’re creating. And so from where I see it, doing this for decades, the passion comes after me like that’s what that’s what I really find, and, and which is great, because then you’re in love with business.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  20:36

Completely agree. So I want to go back a couple of sets, because you actually talked, you said a couple of things that really kind of resonated with me. And that was, you know, failures can be our best learnings. And this is something that I certainly talk a lot about, I’ve had a number of businesses, a couple of great successful businesses with all the money, the toys, the has the cars, and then I’ve kind of lost it all a couple of times as well. So I’ve seen both sides of it. And I actually I actually think that the best learnings, right? Because you actually you learn through experience, you never forget those lessons. And as long as you take those learnings forward, it’s really, really good. I worry that some business people who go into business have never had a failure. If you’ve been in corporate your entire life, for example, you may never have had it, you might have had some failures as a leader, but you’ve never lost the skin off your back. You’ve never sort of been in a situation where you’re well, or maybe you have I don’t know. But it does build resilience. And so what has been there? So one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned, and and what did you take from that?

Richard Parker  21:34

Well, you’re right, and it builds brilliance and resilience, right? If you if you if you leverage it properly. So probably, I’m trying to think it was probably 345 years after I went, it’s my first business first acquisition after that story that I told you about earlier, I found a company that had actually did some work at my family’s home, they were in the wrought iron business. And they, they had a beautiful product. And I looked at this and I thought this was completely underserved market and there was a real opportunity to grow this business. And after a couple of talks with the owner, and they were very, very capable trades people working in the facility in manufacturing and end up acquiring that business. My my thinking was that this is a sales and marketing play. Like these were these dedicated craftspeople. And but completely unsophisticated as far as the sales and marketing side of things. And they were dealing typically with homeowners high end homeowners, hotels, that some commercial and acquired this business and, and, and I was terrible at it. I was awful. I mean, it was a horrible acquisition, because I’m completely misjudged what that business needed. It didn’t need a salesperson when the product for the most part sold on his own, because people coming to see them. What it needed was know how in manufacturing know how, and what, you know, somebody like myself, who was out and promoting the sales and marketing was like, Yes, we can do that. Yeah, no problem. And it here’s the design or whatever. But it really had you at the back into it, because sometimes the design didn’t make sense, or there was engineering attached to it. And so it was the know how of the manufacturing process that drove that business. And I was a sales and marketing guy. So they were really at conflict with one another. And it was a terrific company. As far as the staff, I mean, really, the people were great, but I was 100% the wrong person to run that business. Additionally, another beautiful failure was the one I talked about earlier, where I just pissed away a whole bunch of money. And I found myself in a terrible situation. And there’s been lots of failures along the way where I couldn’t grow a business quick enough. Or other times as an entrepreneur in some of the examples that you cited of people who may be C level executives and they’ve had, you know, they take in a couple of jabs as the as time went on, but they never had a knockout punch. And you know, as an entrepreneur, you have to be able to be comfortable with making decisions making some hard decisions make us indigent, early in my career. Ego and insecurity got the better of me. And I made some terrible mistakes, because I seem to always be afraid to hire people that were smarter than me. And most people are. So that’s not that challenging. But it was like it was my own ego and insecurity. I was a young boss, and I didn’t want those type of people around until they finally realized, you know, when I was able to start checking my ego at the door, and realized by hiring these really talented people, it wasn’t a threat to me, it was a promotion for me, it was really going to help my business. And so that was that. But I failed. Mostly from hiring the wrong people along the way who really hurt, hurt my businesses. And when you say they didn’t hurt my business, my hiring practices, my ego and my insecurities, hurt my business practices, and I was able to finally get past that and be comfortable with myself and realize that, you know, it’s whether it’s in business, whether it’s in life, and I don’t want to get overly philosophical. It’s really it’s not about being right it’s about getting it right or doing right and this long as you have that philosophy, and I dealt with your million millionaires and billionaires and I had clients the same, and in businesses that had been involved with or were advisory services, and the people that are massively successful, they, they, their only mindset is, they just want to build something great. And when I started applying this idea of, of embracing being wrong, because that’s where you really learn, and also loving the fact that I never want to be the smartest person in the room, if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room. And so then that sort of morphed into, and it was because of failures, because I realized that those failures related the people or decisions, they were on me, I mean, they weren’t other people’s fault, they were my fault. It just took me a long time to recognize, give myself a snack backside of my head and realize, Hey, you’re the problem here, not luck, the systems and not these people might your ego is just too damn big. And he got to, you know, ratchet that down. And lucky I did that was early enough in my career. And, and then I have this philosophy that’s really worked for for years and years and years, when I look at something a business or, or relationship is, I’m going to blank, a great blank by doing the following meeting in business, I’m going to build a I’m going to build a great business by doing the following. And laying out what that is, and the most successful people that I’ve met with in business. They just wanted to build a great company, they didn’t care about the money. The money came afterwards. So those failures, I’ve had tons of them. And if you if you give me about an hour, I could list them all out and still need another three hours, because there’s a lot more failures than successes. But but it just took me time. It really took me time to embrace that. I would love to say oh yeah, I was like this from from, you know, from the time I went into business, and I was open minded, and I had no ego. And no, I was a real hothead. And it was a real pain in the ass. And thought I was right all the time. And it just took time for me to, I guess to chill the hell out a little bit. And recognize, take a step back. And when you realize that you’re not the big man in the room, and you can when you align yourself with people that are bigger, better, smarter faster than you, life gets so much better.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  27:16

Because it’s so much easier to write, why would you? Why would you want to be the person doing everything? We want to have people around us who actually make our life easier, and free us up so that we have the time to do those other passions that we talked about? Exactly?

Richard Parker  27:27

Yeah, exactly. It just it for me anyways, I hope most people get it earlier for me. It just took me longer. Yeah,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  27:34

I think Dan Sullivan, he’s got the book who not how and that was a bit of a game changer for me as well, in terms of, you know, it talks about, you don’t need to worry about the how you do it. Who can I get that can actually help me do that. And that’s surrounding yourself with the right people internally in the business, those who are smarter than you who are better at their particular area, but also externally as well. Like, why are you trying to do this on your own? How who can you find that can help you to get to where you want to get to?

Richard Parker  27:59

Yeah, that’s that’s actually a great observation. Because generally a lot of people are willing to help. When I did my work in the daluo family office for four years, they have this overriding philosophy about what they call believable parties find the most believable party in an area that you want to learn more about, and get them engaged. Right, right. I think it’s an incredible philosophy. I’ve always my my version of that has always been to tell people, if if you want to embark upon a new project, whether it’s large, like starting up a business or a component within your business and initiative, the oldest formula for success is just find someone who’s already been successful at it and copy them, or get them to mentor you or work with them. And so you’re not reinventing the wheel. But I think the the book that you’re referring to sounds, you know, even a more expansive and more effectively conveyed way of that type of thought process. And it works. And I don’t know what you found it, but I think people are pretty much happy to help. Some don’t. Some are, some are asses, but most of them are. And most of them are really nice. And it’s a question of just this ask me ask 10 people to help you eight are going to help?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:14

And I think also, yeah, I’ve had I’ve had one knock back once and I was really disappointed because it was a very high profile entrepreneur that I had a friendship with. And I asked him if he would mentor me. And in hindsight, what I realized he said to me, Look, Debra, I don’t have time, and I don’t think I was actually clear enough about what I wanted. So just saying hey, I need some help. That doesn’t really give the person an opportunity to decide if it’s going to work for them because I need some help with this specific area. Right then you some most people will jump in and say absolutely, why wouldn’t we we’d love to help you.

Richard Parker  29:40

We’d love to help anybody and most people that are successful, or have a helping nature because along the way if someone has more than likely helped them, and so they understand the importance of it. And I think you’re probably right that you you may have phrased it the wrong way or requested the wrong way or the expectations were incorrect. versus saying, Here’s what I, here’s specifically what I need. And, you know, you’re, you’re probably right, they would have said, yeah, there’s not a problem. I could do that in 20 minutes a week.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:10

Exactly. Yeah. And they may have said no to in this team.

Richard Parker  30:14

Sounds good. Where we stand right now?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:18

Yeah, I know that, you know, it’s been a challenge, because when you do get knocked back, it can be, you know, be difficult as you get older, you get used to it. Okay. Next move on. Next. Next, yes. Hey, so I just want to, I know that you’ve got 20 steps, and we’re certainly not going to get a chance to kind of cover that we’ve covered a couple of things. First of all, finding the right businesses really, somewhere where you can add value, something that you can get, you can get passionate about not necessarily your passion, but yet passion about running the business. You’ve talked about, you know, obviously looking at the business internally and what it has, what are what are the kind of three key steps what are the three key things if we could take the 20 steps into three key things that people can actually use?

Richard Parker  30:58

Okay, so the, the three key steps and when we touched upon was the right business, but the foundation to everything is knowledge, the majority of people, the statistics in our business, and I know that’s a very generic statement. But let me jump into that a little a little further. Statistics in my universe, which is the universe of people looking to acquire businesses are horrific. 90 over 90%. That means 94% 90, over 90% of people begin to search the buy business never complete a transaction. I mean, it’s horrific. Our, our businesses, this almost a complete reverse, because 82% of the people who use our program and consulting acquire business in six months, but let’s look at the 90 percenters. Typically, they start out they have absolutely no knowledge, no expertise, no experience, no track record, and they think the only thing that they could align this process to is buying some property. Well, I bought, you know, I bought a house, and how different could be buying a business, I’m gonna get a broker, they’re gonna help me to show me a bunch of business. They’re gonna help me through the process. I got an attorney who’s going to do my negotiations, how are you going to value a business? And we’ll you know, yeah, yeah, we’re gonna get to the finish line. And every one of those assumptions, which are really common are the 180 degrees to what they’re supposed to be doing. Because first of all, business broker is not going to help most, almost all business brokers represent the seller, they’re there to provide you access to businesses for sale to be a buffer between you and the seller, but that they’re not going to provide unbiased advice to you, they’re not your ally, not your team. And most people start off just starting to indiscriminately search business for sale databases online, which are typically controlled by business brokers. And interestingly enough, Business Brokers only sell 10% of all businesses in America, for example. And they spend all their time looking at business after business after business trying to figure out which if any, is right for them. It’s the complete opposite approach. Because if you first you figure out what business is right for you, and I touch on how you get to that, then it’s easy to find. And by going back to the first step, it’s knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, you have to learn about the process. And I saw a study a few years ago, when they were talking about how long people spend online for certain issues like planning a vacation, it was like, you know, the average is 7.6 hours or, you know, another thing, there was other things along those lines of, you know, considering there was considering a construction product project was like, you know, a 14.2 hours, there’s a whole variety of how long people spend on live look at our time. And when I’ve had conversations and done seminars, and interviews with hundreds of 1000s of business partners, they don’t spend any time. And that’s why they fail. So getting the knowledge that you need is critical, because there’s 20 step, this is not a difficult process. It is complicated, but it’s not difficult. So you want to drop, break it down into bite sized pieces. So you have the knowledge you have the coin, understanding the right business, then understanding that there’s no such thing as a perfect business that you and I talked about. Earlier, it’s got warts, got blemishes, if there’s anything major, you have to solve for it, or if it’s going to put you to cause too much exposure, and you can mitigate the risks. You know, there’s other businesses that are for sale, and then the various steps of the process. If you go through all of them, like where to look how to look, contacting the seller, one of the things you know, having the right knowledge, for example, we see many, many people will send an inquiry to a seller, they don’t sell he doesn’t know who the hell they are. They’re sending an inquiry to the seller says Send me your tax returns like what are you smoking crack? I’m not gonna send you my tax returns. Sure, right. No problem. It’s understanding how you engage with them, what you need to provide them with and also the engagement with a seller to make sure that you’re asking the right questions and when they provide you with a certain response. What are the answers for example, one of the best questions I’d like to ask sellers is seller sellers two things one, what keeps you up at night? Because whatever keeps them up at night at a business is often very problematic. Some of them may or may not disclose it. The other thing I like to ask sellers which most people when I tell them this think I’m a little can’t figure out at the beginning is how much vacation do you take? And I’m not interested in buying a business from a standpoint of like Avenue Did you get to stuff like I’m looking to think of vacation, but I want to understand how much time the seller is able to take away from their business on their own on vacation, and the business can still operate? Because the answer will dictate what I’m potentially getting into. If they tell me Oh, it takes six weeks of vacation, no problem hardly calling to the office, will they know they, they have good staff? They take care of things. The seller doesn’t micromanage I have. So I’ve had sellers who tell me I’ve been taking a vacation in 14 years. And they say it would pride. Right? And so you know, either one of two things, either they don’t have enough staff, or their staff is incompetent, or they’re micromanaging things. And so also, when you go and meet with the seller, and you have these, the interview with the seller read a question and answer, how often do they get interrupted? Are you taking phone calls? Are they meeting? Are their staff interrupting them? How does the business operate? So those type of questions is another stage of the process that people need to understand not only the questions to ask, and the answer’s to look for. And the last thing that I’ll touch upon, because we can get into negotiation and due diligence, is I think people should really understand that they should have a conversation. And take it understand that you go into this process, in a good way. methodically, research and questions beget more questions as you go through the process. And so one of the areas where buyers get stuck, and they can’t dig themselves out of a hole and get into their own way, or the financials, the numbers of the business unless they’re not accurate, or like that original, what I talked about, like a plate of spaghetti, the numbers of a business are the easiest thing to deal with. It’s math. They either are or they aren’t. Numbers don’t lie, people lie. So before you start getting all wound up about the numbers, it’s very simple. Look at the numbers they are what they are. Your due diligence, is should be focused on that to a small extent. But all the other pieces, the competition, the suppliers, the industry, the employees, the contracts, you know, what is what is the business going to look like? All of those things? So I apologize for the long winded answer, because it tried to rip through 20 sections quickly. But those those are really, you know, some very fundamental points that people need to keep in mind.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:18

The first thing is, you know, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge is that the absolute important and put the time in upfront, you should put more time in upfront, understanding what you want what you’re looking for, before you even think about going and looking at businesses, then it’s about actually asking the right questions of the owner. So what keeps them up at night, how much vacation time they have getting that whole, the holistic view, if you like of the business, rather than just what the numbers tell you and then be methodical. So your 20 steps, obviously going to take you through a lot more of that. But be really don’t just focus on the numbers, the numbers don’t lie, it is about what’s really going on the business. So looking at the market, looking at the competitors, looking at the contracts with the employees, making sure the whole package knowing that no business is perfect, because you made a good point about that. There will always be warts in any kind of business. But knowing where those warts are means you know whether or not you’re the right person to actually take that business forward. Well,

Richard Parker  38:11

That was a heck of a good summary, you just took about 548 pages and put it into about 27 seconds. So kudos to you. It was great.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  38:21

Thank you very much. I look I’m sure that the book is the book and the course obviously go into a lot more detail. I could talk about this for ages, I think they the key thing for me is that, you know, buying a business, you made a really interesting point right at the beginning, there was a lot less risk in buying a business rather than starting a business. And as you said, when you buy a business, even if it’s to acquire something to add to your portfolio, if it’s something brand new, you’re basically going in there on Monday, potentially receiving a paycheck on Friday. So there it is a very different way of doing business, but you have to be passionate about business and about being an entrepreneur. Because that is being a business owner is very different to being a business employee. Right.

Richard Parker  39:01

And I get it when people for many people, it’s their first or first time buyer. So it’s hard for them to even understand what you just mentioned, which is so critically important. And so I and I get that and parts of it can be scary. Like I tell people that you should have a combination of being excited and being scared throughout the process because it’s excited, keeps you motivated and keeps you going and scared or for scared will force you being scared will force you to be diligent and diligent in the process, and diligent at every stage. And the one thing that I think is very important for people that are especially those luck business owners that may be looking to grow their business through acquisition because it’s a phenomenal way to grow your business. The easiest way to grow your business is those that are aspiring entrepreneurs, and take a look at the what’s available to them starting a business or or buying an existing business and that can have prongs to it a franchises etc. is if you have any inclination of being an entrepreneur, of course, you’re not going to know it in totality. until you’re really immersed in it, but at the, at this stage in point, I just think people owe it to themselves to at least explore what is involved, learn about learn about all of this, and then decide whether or not they want to do it. But, but rely on good believable parties, good information, not misinformation about what’s out there, and then go through some of the steps in the process. Because it becomes contagious, you start to see yourself. Yeah, you know, I understand now what my greatest skill set is, I can see myself running this business. And so it starts to get more exciting and interesting along the way or not. And, and if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too. But at least you owe it to yourself to learn about the world of entrepreneurship. Because if you have any interest in doing so, you certainly don’t want to go through your whole life and say, didn’t even try it. I mean, that to me would be ridiculous. I understand some people or financial situation, but you can get into businesses for a lot less than people think. And so just, you know, just at least learn about it and see what’s involved.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  40:58

Love it. So if people want to find more information and get hold of your book or your courses, well, how would they actually do that, Richard?

Richard Parker  41:03

The easiest way is to go to Richard And on that website, I have hundreds of free articles and free reports. So people can certainly go through and read a lot of what I promised the be real world practical information they could put use it immediately, but understand what’s involved. If there’s interest in pursuing it further and acquiring the course, which we sell really inexpensively. There’s a link on there too, to order the course. And one of the things that I’ve always done over all these years is I make myself available at no charge to individuals who purchase our materials, they can email me anytime we could jump onto a phone call, I’m happy to help them. Again, if they go to the website there, there’s going to be so much information that I think they’ll find interesting and covers the whole process all as a matter of fact, the website is laid out into the various steps of the process so I feel pretty confident that I know after all these years and the feedback we get, they’ll get some good valuable information. So that’s Richard

Debra Chantry-Taylor  42:02

Hi, look thank you so much for your time thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing you know that it’s not a what do you call it unicorns and pixie dust and pixie dust that’s really appreciate you sharing some of the the ups and downs in that and I’m sure that will help our listeners thank you so much for your time.

Richard Parker  42:17

Thank you I appreciate you having me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  42:25

Thanks for listening to better business better life. If you want more information or want to get in contact about using EOS in your business. You can visit my website at Debra dot coach that’s dub dub dub dot d v r A dot coach. From there you can also download a free ebook six secrets to get it upon your business. Thanks again for listening.









Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Certified EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

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