Case Study: Interview With Acquisition Entrepreneur Tania - Acquira

Case Study: Interview With Acquisition Entrepreneur Tania

What You’ll Learn:
  • Tania’s unique experience with acquisition entrepreneurship
  • How Tania feels about her experience with Acquira
  • How she got started with acquiring a business through Acquira
  • How Tania ensures a successful close with business acquisition

Introduction

Recently, we sat down with Tania Rembert, an alumnus of the Aquira Business Buyer Acceleration Program who is on her way to close her first business purchase.

She’s an interesting lady with a vibrant personality, and we had so much fun discussing her experience with acquisition entrepreneurship, how she got into it, her experience with Acquira, and how it’s been so far in the business purchase process she was going through at the time.

Now, here’s the conversation so you can sit down with us too:

What’s your background with Acquisition Entrepreneurship? What attracted you to it?

My name is Tania Rembert. I come from a family of entrepreneurs from Poland. And the reason my parents were entrepreneurs was that nobody would hire them because they didn't speak English.

My mom was a beautician and my dad was a barber. I grew up having to clean the shops and everything with my parents every weekend. And I was a shampoo girl.

My family was also professional volunteers. So when I wanted a career for myself, I decided I wanted where I could do good and make money at the same time. I ended up making a career in nonprofits, where I'm the founder and president of a nationwide nonprofit that helps other nonprofits identify, define, measure, report, and improve their outcomes.

How did you find Acquira?

During the pandemic, my husband and I decided we would together buy a family business. And that’s when I was reading all the information about Acquira. It really matched up with what we wanted to do. We wanted to buy one business, make it as good as it could be, and then snowball it into buying another business and just put those same systems into place.

And so we kind of already had that vision, but we didn't have as much articulation around it or as much experience as it seemed to exist in Acquira. That's when I decided to do the Acceleration program.

What were the initial challenges you faced in your Acquisition Entrepreneurship career?

At the very beginning, we had to figure out where to get the money from. And so we decided we would do the 401k rollover with my account. In some families, if they had to roll over all of their retirement funds, it would be even more of a sacrifice, right?

It was only a 30-second conversation. My husband asked, “Are you sure that's a good idea?” I'm sure in other households, it might have taken 30 days. But, you know, he knows that this isn't my first rodeo. And I told him, “Well, the money is there for our retirement, so I could either leave it someplace and hope that it makes 8% or I could double it in one year.” It'll still be there for my retirement, but it'll just be bigger.

For my other challenges, I had to decide this was something I wanted to commit to. I mean, I put it in my calendar for two hours every night that I was going to do the gauntlet or acceleration program stuff. And I would do my reading, do my videos, do my homework and read for two hours every night. It was just like a project, you know?

How do you find the balance between husband and wife and business partners? Have you encountered any of those conversations yet or do you anticipate them coming?

No, I think we work very well together. We've been together since I was 19 and he was 22. We bought his business together. I mean, he has two other partners, but we've always been partners, you know what I mean?

Also, he was with me and supported me the whole time I was developing my nonprofit from the ground up. And I think he was always impressed with some of the things that I could do because I was in charge by myself. We work very well together, you know, I'll ask him for his opinion on things.

So it turns out that the company we're buying is in his content knowledge area. He is a certified industrial hygienist and certified safety professional. That's the kind of business we bought. On the other hand, I know how to organize systems and lead people. So in the past, it's always worked out where I would be able to help him figure out how to automate something or how to make a spreadsheet work, or how to do something with technology, while he was running his business.

He's seen me run and grow a business, so he never second-guesses me. We just work well together. We're just like best friends. So, yeah, we don't have any issues.

One thing that I could offer is that we actually have our best business meetings when we go out to dinner together. You know, we definitely send emails back and forth. And we are respectful with each other about communicating and responding. We ask each other questions, depend on each other, and trust each other like colleagues. But our best business meetings are always when we go out for a business lunch or dinner. So that's something I can offer that has always worked for us over the years.

So what's it going to look like? Is he going to be pretty involved in the business?

Ok, so I'm going to be doing all the business stuff. I'm 99% owner. He's a 1% owner because the SBA said that would make it look like a better deal.

Well, so I'm going to be the person who is like the visionary making sure everything is working out. I'm the one who is right now doing one-on-one with the employees. I'm the one who is figuring out the SEO stuff with the website. I'm the one who's doing all the business management. I'm the one working with the employees to rewrite their job descriptions and their roles and responsibilities, and figure out who wears what hat, when, why, and where.

And then Brian is just going to come in and be like a technical friend. He's going to be able to bounce ideas off of everybody. And if we're troubleshooting, he'll share his experience because what we want is to put together all the upgrades, good ideas, and systems here for the next place. So we want Brian's ideas and expertise that he's built up over the past 20 years of having his business.

What was your state of mind before stepping out to find a business?

Oh, yes, so a really great thing about going through the Acquira program is I think it helped me come up with an investment philosophy, which is something I never thought of or even heard of because I didn't get my MBA. But I felt like going through the two programs was like I got an MBA — a mini MBA.

Anyway, I didn't have an investment philosophy before that, so I just thought my investment philosophy was how much I have to invest. So I only looked at companies that I could afford and how much I could make from them. If it didn't have those two things, then I wasn't interested.

So, did you care about what industry it was in?

No, I did not.

What steps did you take to bring your business purchase to a successful close?

I think that the broker was the hardest hurdle. I think that what happened is he's had a little too many tire kickers in his past — people who would show interest and then not actually commit. So I had to let him know I didn’t need him to babysit me. I wanted it to close as badly as he did.

I didn't realize how many things had to get decided after due diligence, which took 45 days. And that's one of the things that the broker was troubled about. I didn't realize that after due diligence, the APA wasn't an easy thing. It still took 3 to 4 weeks for the APA to get signed. I guess I just thought that based on the LOI, the APA would be easy and quick, but it wasn't. 

Then once the APA was signed, I thought “Oh, great, we're ready”. But that’s when the bank and SBA started their job.

I thought the SBA and the bank were already doing their job the whole time we were going through due diligence and the APA. But what I found out was after the APA was signed, they brought in their lawyers and their accountant. Then they started looking at my information and asked me what they really needed.

Then I had to go and do all this paperwork.

If you could go back in time, would you change anything? What would you do differently?

I guess I wouldn't have argued about the closing date because nobody had any control over it anyway.

How do you feel about stepping into a new business as the owner?

What I like is that everybody seems very excited. So, all of the staff are totally on board. I've been doing a lot of the practices and meetings that are in the traction book already with the staff. One meeting at a time, I've done all my one-on-ones and I've put everything on paper.

I have my vision tracker, you know, and everybody seems totally on board and excited. So that's how I'm feeling about starting. I'm excited that I have a good team that is really excited about the positive differences we're going to make, you know? They were all very nervous because their impression was, “We're in a good company. It's been here for 30 years. Now, we're going to have a new boss.”

But after all of our initial meetings and everything, now they realize how much better it could be and how much these operational changes are going to really improve their everyday experiences and how much more streamlined it'll be and things like that. And so it's fun that they are so receptive. I love that. I think that's a great thing.

Also, it is nice to partner with Acquira because I feel like there's no ulterior motive. Like, even after signing everything with you guys, it's like you guys really are looking for a win-win.

And so when I’m talking to the employees and they ask, “Can we change this?”, I answer “Yeah, that's a win for you. It's a win for me. Yes, it's a win-win.” You know, I've been using that word. And so they're very excited that all the changes we make are to make everyone's life better.

If you’re interested in learning more about how acquisition entrepreneurs like Tania work with Acquira to buy a business and take ownership of one, talk with someone from our team. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

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