How does SFA increase my chances of successfully acquiring a company?

Searching for a company to buy is exciting, but it can also be a grind. You contact thousands of owners. You face rejection and disappointment daily. Searching is an arduous on-the-job learning process. And, historically, there has been a 30% chance that you wouldn’t find a company to buy within 24 months.

SFA is a game-changer. Our 3-week training program gets you up the learning curve in record time. On-demand coaching, advising and mentoring help you avoid the costly errors most searchers make when dealing with sellers, valuing businesses, constructing offers, conducting due diligence and closing the deal. We help prevent you from going down rabbit holes and we make sure your pipeline is full. This gives you backups in case a particular seller pulls out, and the confidence to walk away if deal turns out to be less than ideal. In short, we’ve got your back! By helping you search more intelligently and more efficiently, we dramatically expand your effective search time, giving you a much better chance of not only buying a company, but also buying a better company.

What exactly is on-demand advising?

You want to be a CEO, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. Smart business people surround themselves with advisors and mentors they can count on. SFA searchers have limitless on-demand coaching and advising. No appointments are needed. Thinking through potential industry ideas? Take 5 minutes to challenge your reasoning. Preparing a seller call? Do a role play first. Submitting a LOI? Discuss the structure and possible seller reactions before sending it. Whatever the question, all you have to do is ask and we can think through the answer together. At SFA, there is no such thing as a stupid question; we can have as many discussions as you like. The SFA team has vast deal experience to share with you, and a wide network of other people should you want to reach out further. In short, we are 100% committed to your success and will do anything we can to support you in your quest to find, buy, and run a company.  

What are the advantages of a single source of equity?

In the search fund model, searchers give a large portion of the equity to their investors, and in return they should receive far more than just capital. Capital is a commodity. Searchers should make sure they also get all the advice, mentoring, and support they need during the search and post-acquisition from truly committed investors. This fundamental contract was the very basis of the search fund model as it was originally conceived.

At SFA searchers get an amazing array of resources, but most importantly, they get unparalleled support from the SFA team and its investors who are dedicated coaches, advisors, and mentors. We are fully engaged alongside our searchers and we devote 100% of our time and attention to helping them succeed. We are not buying ”options” to see if they find something we like.  We are totally committed to the success of each of our searchers.

In addition, since we raise an investment fund for each cohort, SFA searchers can confidently tell sellers that they are backed by fully committed capital. This is a huge advantage when talking to sellers. And since you don’t need to convince multiple investors to back your deal, the probability you will complete a deal and the time it will take to do so are greatly improved. In fact, getting deals done couldn’t be more straightforward. The SFA team works hand-in-hand with its searchers right from their very first contact with the seller. By the time the deal is ready to be funded, we will have followed its evolution, in detail, through the entire process, and built the investment case in collaboration with the searcher. If at some point we jointly conclude the deal is not worth doing, we make that decision together too and move on to the next one. At SFA, you won’t have to maintain distant communications with 15 investors who have little financial skin in the game during the search. Instead, you will develop strong, trusting relationships with a team you work with every day.

At SFA, we believe there is nothing more powerful than having a trusted equity partner who is totally committed to your success.

How does the SFA model increase my potential financial gains?

SFA starts by offering searchers favorable economics, then ups the ante by increasing the probability of success, thus raising the expected returns to searchers. We believe the present value of your future earnings is higher because we decrease the risk of failure through the support and resources provided by SFA.

In addition, however, at SFA you benefit from having what one investor calls the “ultimate partner.” You have the SFA team and the fellow members of your cohort as partners during the search and later when you are a CEO, without having to give up 40% of your equity as you would in a partnered search. That is another huge difference.

Add these advantages up and you will see that we truly have our searchers’ success at heart.

How does working collaboratively boost my search?

Exactly as in startup accelerators, our searchers get tremendous value from working collaboratively with the other members of the cohort. There is certainly a lot of sharing, and there is no competition at SFA. The culture at SFA fosters collaboration. SFA searchers know exactly what industries their fellow searchers are looking at. They know what deals the others are working on. They help each other. They exchange best practices. They cheer each other on. They are excited by each other’s successes, and they support each other through their challenges. Camaraderie is an exceptional aspect of our accelerator model that begins during the search, and will last for years to come.