Another Business Closed: How This Acquisition Entrepreneur Bought a $1.35MM Company

Team Acquira
-  July 18, 2023
What You’ll Learn:
  • Why adopting creative strategies like innovative financing structures and unique relational clauses can contribute to acquisition success.
  • How establishing a strong rapport with the seller can significantly impact the outcome of business transactions.
  • Why brokers play a crucial role in the acquisition process and how to deal with the challenges they present.

The entrepreneurial journey can be daunting, filled with uncertainty and challenges.

Finding ways to navigate the licensing requirements of the acquisition, dealing with brokers, and determining your investment thesis are all critical steps in the acquisition process. None of them are easy.

John Jacobus recently navigated each of these issues and more to close on a $1.35 million sheet metal fabrication company in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the video below for his story or read on to learn more.

Finding the Right Business To Buy

In the verdant region of the Pacific Northwest, John found a company specializing in fabricating and installing metal flashings, roofing, gutters, and downspouts for residential and commercial structures. The deal was finalized at $1.35 million dollars, roughly two and a half times the Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE).

“The deal was structured through a creative acquisition financing structure, which was a mix of a seller note, earnouts, and deferred payments over time,” John explained. 

To buy this business took six months of intensive negotiations and strategic positioning.

Buying a Business: The Role of Brokers and Building Relationships

John’s partner discovered the business through a broad-based search, scanning the west coast and Arizona. They found the business listed on a broker's site, which started a six-month marathon of discussions and negotiations.

“We benefited from the broker’s involvement,” John admitted. He also highlighted that while the broker's guidance was instrumental, his attempts to maximize profit for his client added a challenging dynamic to the process.

Building Trust and Understanding

It's often said in business that relationships matter as much as, if not more than, the deal itself. This is particularly true in the world of business acquisition, where a good rapport with the seller can be a crucial determinant of a deal's success. John recognized this early on in his acquisition journey and took a rather unique approach to forge a strong relationship with the seller.

The seller had amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise that could not easily be replaced after running the business for three decades. To ensure the successful continuity of the business, John realized that he needed the seller's commitment for an extended period, and for this to happen, a strong working relationship was a necessity.

The 40-Hour Caveat

Understanding someone – their motivations, work ethic, personality – within the limited time frame of negotiation meetings is a challenging feat. So, John introduced an unusual clause in his Letter of Intent (LOI): a stipulation that he and the seller would spend at least 40 hours together before the deal could be finalized.

“And even that was a bit of a gamble,” he explains. “Because how do you get to know someone, frankly, in a year or two, let alone 40 hours?”

This move wasn't just about ticking a due diligence box. It was about getting to know the seller personally and professionally, understanding his passion for the business, his workflow, and his expectations for the future of the company. This 40-hour caveat was a chance for John to determine if the two could form a functional, healthy working relationship over the long term.

The gamble paid off. The seller agreed to the clause, and their time together paved the way for a solid partnership that would extend beyond the closing of the deal. Today, John credits his successful acquisition and the smooth transition to this well-spent time with the seller, demonstrating the undeniable value of relationship building in business transactions.

“He's effectively my partner for the next seven years,” John asserted.

Buying a Business: Excitement and Advice

John remains excited about his journey into entrepreneurship despite the complexities and risks associated with the acquisition. After all, buying a business isn't easy.

“It's about 90% excitement and enthusiasm, and 10% ‘Oh, I better not screw this up,'” he shared, encapsulating the blend of exhilaration and nerves that accompany such a pivotal moment.

Asked for advice for fellow acquisition entrepreneurs, John emphasized the importance of resilience, diligence, and continuous learning. “Go through the work of filling in your knowledge gaps,” he urged. “Keep at it, and it really does work out.”

The Training Journey with Acquira

John found the training program offered by Acquira immensely helpful. He shared how the program provided a comprehensive framework for evaluating the worthiness of potential ventures. 

By executing the playbook almost to the letter, John was able to navigate through the acquisition process.

“I got a ton of value out of the Acquira training,” he declared. The ability to access a Success Coach was also an invaluable asset for him.

Beyond the Training: Workshops and Networking

Besides the training program, John also attended an Acquira workshop in Denver a few weeks before closing the deal. 

The workshop was an enriching experience for him as he got the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs who were in similar situations. The keynote speaker at the workshop was just able to buy a business – a plumbing company in Texas – and shared insights on the transition period, providing timely advice for John.

“Even at the workshop, I got tremendous value from talking to others and listening to their experiences,” John asserted.

Acquira: A Valued Advisor and Partner

John found his engagement with Acquira to be greatly beneficial, describing the company as exactly the kind of advisor and partner he had been seeking. 

From the training to the workshop and ongoing support, every aspect of his interaction with Acquira was rewarding.

“All aspects of my engagement with Acquira have been great. I've really gotten a lot of value out of signing up,” John admitted, grateful for the assistance he received during his journey towards business ownership.


The fact that John was successfully able to buy a business was a combination of diligent efforts, strategic decisions, and the guidance provided by Acquira’s team.

Like all of our business buying partners, John’s journey began with our Accelerator Program. The program is designed to help business buyers find and close on a deal within seven months. But space is limited. To see if you’re eligible, simply fill out the form below and someone will be in touch shortly.

Key Takeaways

  • Navigating the entrepreneurial journey requires strategic planning when you buy a business.
  • Creative strategies such as innovative financing and relational clauses can make a significant difference in successful acquisitions.
  • Building a strong rapport with the seller is an invaluable component of the business transaction process.
  • Brokers play a critical role in the acquisition process, despite the potential challenges they might present.
  • Utilizing structured training, workshops, and supportive networks can effectively fill knowledge gaps and enhance acquisition strategies.
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