Investing in Businesses Large and Small

Please note that Trish’s webcam has been having issues so her video may appear a bit foggy. Additionally, this discussion took place before COVID-19, as such you may want to consult your investment professional before acting on the information herein.

In this SVIC interview, Trish Higgins shares her strategies for conducting due diligence, purchasing “traditional” businesses, and sourcing deals from unexpected places.

Trish Higgins works as Partner at Chenmark Capital. Her company focuses on acquiring small businesses. She helps retiring owners and current entrepreneurs by providing them with liquidity, helping them to preserve their legacies, and position their companies for long term success.

In This Talk, You’ll Learn About:

  • Setting up businesses
  • Making a prudent first investment
  • The differences between startup investment and buying traditional businesses
  • Advantages of Customer Service
  • The process of sourcing deals
  • Personal and impersonal touch in Business
  • Breaking the ice when you find a lead
  • Conducting due diligence
  • Financing your deals
  • Dealing with business owners
  • The nuances of family-run businesses
  • Risk-taking at an early stage in the business
  • Decision-making
  • And much more!
Investors Therapy Session #5: Trish Higgins and Jordan Thibodeau discuss investing in small businesses

Episode Notes:

1:07 How did Trish set up her business?

4:14 First investment Trish closed on

5:48 Difference between investing in a startup versus buying a traditional business

8:22 Are there moats that you look for when buying a business?

11:47 Advantages of customer service  

13:45 Sourcing deals process. How much time do you take each day looking at new companies to invest in?

17:40 Losing personal touch in large organizations versus fostering it in small companies

22:10 Dealing with people and how it can affect a personal business

25:05 What do you do to break the ice when you find a lead?

27:31 How does a due diligence process work?

33:08 How do you finance your deals?

36:28 What’s your point of view on the small business market where you’re trying to get deals?

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42:30 How many businesses do you analyze in a year?

44:33 What’s your strategy of dealing with the owner of business?

50:09 A company’s AR/AP ratio

52:16 Buying family-run operation versus being the family-run operation company

58:00 What are some components or details of car-wash?

59:09 Is there a specific strategy to analyze the company to make it work?

1:00:12 Taking risks at an early stage of business.

1:03:27 Structure of Trish’s family business.

1:05:28 Issues in decision-making process.

1:07:59 Structure of Trish’s family business, part II. (Responsibilities of each member)

1:10:18 Trish’s blog: https://www.chenmarkcapital.com/

1:10:50 Is there an exit strategy after 20-30 years or are you planning to hand your business over to the next generation?

1:14:53 How do you make better investment decisions despite knowing that risk exists?

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Recommended Reading:

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

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