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In Episode 145, Julie Nirvelli’s salsa company was on the brink of bankruptcy, despite having distribution agreements with big-name retailers like Whole Foods and Kroger. Nirvelli struggled to scale because she had a negative cash flow cycle. She had to buy raw material, design packaging, market her product, and then sit around and wait for her distributor to pay her weeks later.

She sent a last-ditch email to four potential acquirers – and you won’t believe what happened next.

Despite having distribution at Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway, salsa-maker Julie Nirvelli found herself on the brink of bankruptcy. She sent a last-ditch email to four potential acquirers – and you won’t believe what happened next.

Julie Nirvelli started selling her homemade tomatillo salsa in farmer’s markets and quickly translated her grassroots success into contracts with Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway that saw her salsa on the shelves of more than 2000 stores.

In Episode 124, Claude Theoret got almost four times revenue for his company, in part because he built a powerful financial model that demonstrated the growth potential of his business to acquirers. Find out the steps he took to build an attractive acquisition.

Four years ago Nexalogy CEO Claude Théoret was counting the employees he had to lay off. His company had burned through their $600,000 seed round of investment and he was running out of cash. An ugly split with a former co-founder had divided his team, and Théoret had to turn to his wife for a $40,000 loan.

Jump ahead to today and things are a little different for Théoret who just agreed to be acquired by Datametrex AI Limited for $5.75 million. 

In Episode 130, Harpaul Sambhi had a successful exit, but one of the things that nearly derailed the process was how dependent his business was on the social media platforms that were essential to his product. If your business is over-reliant on a single employee, customer, or promotional channel, listen now as Sambhi discusses how he overcame this obstacle.

Why LinkedIn Acquired This Dorm Room Startup

Harpaul Sambhi’s company was 8 days away from bankruptcy. So why would LinkedIn want to buy it for millions?

While still a student in university, Harpaul Sambhi had an idea about how to leverage social media networks as a recruiting tool, and Careerify was born. Bootstrapping the business himself, Sambhi reached out to his dad for financial support, and his dad signed over the value of their family home to his son’s vision.

 

In Episode 133, Tevya Finger mastered the Valuation Teeter-Totter. Finger’s cash flow could have been compromised, as hair salons are notoriously slow to pay invoices, but he found a way to get their cash early. Listen now to learn his secret.

From Paper Sketches To $441M Sale

Oribe sold in early 2018 for $441M, but in 2008 they were just a few sketches of shampoo bottles on a piece of paper. Tev Finger shares the surprising tactics they used to drive revenue.

Tevya Finger, President and CEO of Luxury Brand Partners, wanted to start a luxury hair product company and quickly raised $6M in capital from investors to begin Oribe Hair Care.

Before they could really get their products off the ground, the 2008 economic crisis hit and $2M of their start-up capital was frozen by the bank. On top of that, Finger was also worried that no one would want to spend money on luxury beauty products during this time.

In Episode 152, David Hauser bootstrapped Grasshopper into a recurring revenue juggernaut. His model was so well designed that Hauser and his business partner walked away with $165 million in cash and additional stocks from Citrix. Find out how he did it.

This Grasshopper Learned Well

David Hauser’s Grasshopper is a masterclass in building a business to sell. With no venture funding and fewer than 40 staff, Grasshopper was acquired 12 years after its founding for $165 million in cash and $8.6 in Citrix stock.

David Hauser and his business partner founded Grasshopper in 2004. The company offers a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs, targeting a core market of businesses with 1 to 10 employees. Over the course of 12 years, they grew Grasshopper independently, without outside investment — a rare feat among fast-growing technology companies.

In Episode 137, Tomas Gorny’s mission-driven approach to simplifying website hosting set him apart in the industry. Listen in to find out how you can also differentiate yourself from your competitors.

From Broke To A $1B Sale

Gorny built his first business- and lost it. He was determined not to let that happen again.

Tomas Gorny and his partner started a website hosting company called IPOWER in 2001 with nothing more than a credit card. Over the next six years, they built the business to $40M in revenue, which is when they merged with Endurance, a competitor.

They ran the merged company, with Gorny as the largest individual shareholder, for four years and then sold the combined entity to a private equity group for $975M in 2011—just 10 years after Gorny started the business. 

In Episode 156, George Bandarian II focused on what he calls ‘customer delight’. By turning his customers into his biggest supporters, he was able to take his family business from a remnant of a dying industry into a huge exit. Find out how customer delight created a world-class company.

From Technological Obsolescence to a Multi-Million Dollar Exit

From a service no one wanted anymore to a growing business and a strategic buyer, find out how AMI was rebuilt to sell.

George Bandarian II took over AMI, his family’s microfilm business in 2000. Recognizing a need for change in an evolving marketplace, Bandarian restructured AMI’s services to become a digital transformation agency, helping corporations preserve paper records online and automate manual paper-based processes.

Many small businesses struggle when the founder steps away. In Episode 141, Stephanie Leshney discusses how she helped transition her family’s business, Ross Organic, after taking over the company from her father. She has some great strategies if you’re planning to exit from a family-owned enterprise.

How To Sell Your Family’s Business

Ross Organic was a family business, so when Stephanie Leshney took over from her father, she knew she had to make some changes if it was going to grow into a more valuable company.

Stephanie Leshney was the third employee at her father’s company, Ross Organic, a leader in the sales of eco-friendly ingredients used by cosmetic manufacturers.

After more than a decade of working for her father, Leshney and her sister pitched their dad on taking over his business. He agreed, and 10 years later Leshney attracted a strategic acquisition offer from one of the largest cosmetics companies in the world.