How2Exit: Mergers and Acquisitions Interview With Acquira CEO Hayden Miyamoto

What You’ll Learn
  • What types of businesses Acquira likes to invest in.
  • Why Acquira looks for businesses of a specific size.
  • Why business size is the most important criterion when looking at growing a company.

Determining what size of business to acquire is one of the toughest decisions an Acquisition Entrepreneur (AE) can make. Assuming you have the funds, you want to ensure that it’s big enough to support any growth initiatives you plan on instituting, but it also has to be small enough to not attract attention from private equity buyers. 

In a recent interview with the podcast How2Exit: Mergers and Acquisitions, Acquira CEO Hayden Miyamoto talked about what he believes is the sweet spot valuation for a company and why Acquira tends to prefer those types of businesses. He also discussed a number of other topics including SBA lenders, investing in a recession, and how assets can be a hedge against exposure to economic turmoil.

Watch the interview here, and we’ll break down some key points below.

What types of businesses does Acquira invest in?

I would describe the [ideal] business as something that provides a kind of physical product or service with a pretty high average ticket value and a 50 percent high margin to a serviceable market that's at least 100 miles or more. So that's often home service companies like HVAC techs who will come to your home. But it could also be granite manufacturers or cabinetry manufacturers. It’s the same concept. 

What's the target that [Acquira wants] people to look at?

The target is between $750K and $1.5 million in SDE. That's typically too big for most individual buyers and too small for financial buyers. It took us a couple of acquisitions to realize that, actually, the business size is the single most important [criterion]. Because there is kind of this incremental fixed cost to becoming management-run. And that's what we're all really going for.

The business size is the single most important [criterion].

Moving from owner-operated to management-run

You have this owner-operator, who's kind of accidentally and organically grown a company to the size that it's typically bulging at the seams. And typically, these companies have, I would say, between 20 and 40 employees. And that's a really weird, awkward growth phase because you're still too small to have any kind of executive layer.

If you think about an efficiently run organization, you will have a lower level of customer-facing employees. You might have managers who should ideally manage seven-to-ten of those people each, which means about 50 people. Then you have enough room to support an executive.

On getting SBA approval

We have a 100% hit rate in terms of converting partners who want an SBA loan to an SBA loan. But that might have been after going to two or three banks, in some cases. Every bank has different underwriting criteria. Sometimes they'll just change it on you all of a sudden.

If you could change one rule from the SBA, what would it be?

I would just like some clarity as far as truly understanding their guidelines around minority rights. That’s for me, personally. But if I'm thinking more for the utilitarian good of all people buying businesses, I would say seller retention or seller involvement.

How assets can help hedge against a recession

You can hedge against [a recession] if you have high asset value. So one of the things you look at is, if this business comes with a purchase price of $4 million, but it comes with $2 million dollars worth of equipment and inventory, if a recession hits, you could probably turn that around, even at a discount and make a lot of your money back. So, if [the business value] drops 50% in a recession, but I can do this, I've hedged myself a little bit.


If you’re interested in learning more about how Acquira can help you acquire a 7-figure cash-flowing business in under a year, schedule a call with an Acquira representative through the form below.

Key Takeaways

  • Acquira recommends that our AEs look at businesses valued at $750K and $1.5 million in SDE.
  • We have a 100% success rate in getting our partners’ SBA loan approval.
  • An asset-heavy business can be an excellent hedge against a recession. 

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