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How I Team with Dozens of Entrepreneurs to Successfully Acquire Online Businesses

In today’s episode featuring entrepreneurs who share their way in operating and scaling up businesses, Steve McGarry welcomes Deven Soni, co-founder of Kingmakers. He reveals details on how they onboard business owners into the trade to grow business acquisitions. 

Deven is an entrepreneur and expert in investing. He grew up reading a lot about market exchange and banking operations, eventually leading him to study finance at university. He also worked in investment banking for years until he gained a position assisting the company in deploying capital into technology businesses. Operating in software service companies to digital media businesses grew his investment side, being a value investor.

Technology Investment

Although technology and value investors did not correlate well years ago, Deven found a method on how to emphasize and incorporate the value of both. He ended up meeting someone who owned a collection of domains with websites that generate revenue. The realization of how much is the potential value in the following websites induced him to make offers. 

In 2009, he bought his first website, an affiliate site for Bobcat tractors, or any similar. And at the same time, he thought there was no way he would operate it. That is why he bought a WordPress for dummies. Deven learned how to transfer the domain and the payment accounts. They spent the first months making a thousand dollars; however, they got a call from a legal call because they’re not allowed to infringe on trademarks. 

Even though all their success went on zero that quick, Deven treated the incident as a lesson, thinking he still ought to learn several mistakes. Years have passed, and he purchased a few businesses. Along with financial management, he collaborated with an individual with reliable operational skills.

Values and Approach

His team is relatively fast compared to different groups. One business could transpire into ten enterprises with millions of dollars within six months. According to Deven, it’s hard to operate swiftly if the team members do not speak the same language.

They conducted performance reviews on a semiannual foundation based on how they had performed relative to their core values. Feedback is based on how the individual meets the core preferences when they bring people onto their team or partner with a culture fit based on their shared purposes.

The process was like building a sturdy bridge to bring people on. And there’s like three essential things to consider for their business: bringing on good people as employees, buying profitable firms, and bringing on excellent operators to run the data. Deven mentioned that they perceive the same way about businesses as they do towards people, sharing their guiding principles. One mistake could turn into a negative snowball culture.

Shifting Into Kingmakers

Even though the team started at zero, the members are experienced differently and have unique spaces. However, they still had to learn various things to form a foundation—from spotting a business, evaluating and financials, legality, and coverages for the team’s growth plan. The group tends to succeed if they fit into the structure. Nonetheless, if one of the verticals have flaws, the acquisition will fail.

Kingmakers would document the process the first time they attempt to do something, so the next person who would continue it would handle the operations right. They try to make things streamlined and straightforward with various types of tools. Deven simplified it by comparing it into a playbook with tons of pages and processes workflows, including its market exchange. 

They could also be good at the acquisition side. Kingmakers can offer assistance, such as finding vendors at conversion rate optimization. This includes onboarding a bookkeeper at day one so that your books would be done flawlessly. Deven mentioned that they collaborate for someone eager to own a business, someone who needs a board of directors that can help, a kind of guidance direction.

According to Deven, people are resonated to the point where they receive a hundred calls a week from individuals or groups that want to work with them. And he was fascinated by that recurring idea. 

Types Businesses Kingmakers Prefer

Since they do digital businesses, they focus more on technology. Because with digital, there is always going to be some single point of failure. And that single point of failure could be a traffic source from popular sites. Furthermore, you only have one monetization source, and that source can be terminated. The most reliable alternative has a software tool that’s reliant on an API that can shut down the end.

They have also shied away a little bit from eCommerce, not to say Deven and his team can be operating commerce and high margin niches, such as supplements or pets. But they don’t like having their money sit on an inventory being compounded through deploying in some businesses and often leverage.

They look for more stable businesses, not those with a massive uptake, but companies with strong diversification of revenue sources and traffic sources. They also root it in their core competence, the wins that they can consistently project. It could be conversion rate optimization. It could be the price.

Personal Empowerment

To create personal empowerment and producing wealth generation, Deven mentioned essential highlights he would explain to himself ten years ago. If he wants to grow something into an empire, then he could develop one. Sitting and working for 40 hours a week while spending time with your family is admirable for Deven, but you can create freedom and empower by advancing for a company. Also, Deven would prefer buying bigger businesses too soon, knowing all the financial setbacks and underlying details.

When many people in this space are helping others get involved in the fact that they have split kingmakers into, as a holding company, into these two little entities of acquirer and kingmakers ops, that’s basically like a significant portfolio of small businesses. And then you have acquired, that’s a training program or an accelerator that’s helping business buyers achieve, optimize and grow businesses.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Steve McGarry:

Hello and welcome to The Exit – Presented By Flippa. I’m your co-host Steve McGary, and this is a 30-minute podcast where we sit down with amazing entrepreneurs who have been there and they have done it. They have bought businesses. They’ve sold businesses. They’ve operated incredible businesses and scaled them up. And we learned some of the nitty gritty details that all of these experts have to share with us.

Steve McGarry:

On this special episode, I get the chance to sit down with Deven Soni, and he is the co-founder of Kingmakers. But before we jump into that, check out the previous interview I did with Jonathan Katon, the CEO of Unsettled. It’s really fascinating. The future of work, being a digital nomad and moving around into these different community-focused coworking events at Unsettled. It’s really, really cool. So check that out in the show notes and the links, wherever you guys are listening.

Steve McGarry:

So on this episode, I sit down with Deven Soni, the co-founder of Kingmakers. The two subsidies that they have are Acquira and the Kingmakers. The Acquira part, it is like an accelerator or training program that helps business buyers acquire, optimize and grow their acquisition. So it’s two pieces of Kingmakers that is really interesting, and the fact that the Deven kind of walks us through their process of how they onboard business owners to buy and acquire and optimize and grow business acquisitions is really fascinating. Let’s definitely dive into it now with Deven Soni, the co-founder of Kingmakers.

Steve McGarry:

What is up everyone? I am here with Deven Soni, the co-founder of Kingmakers. How are you doing, Devin?

Deven Soni:

Doing great. Good to be on. Thank you.

Steve McGarry:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s go through your background and what brought you in to start Kingmakers?

Deven Soni:

Yeah, absolutely. Growing up, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and always kind of been a bit of a finance nerd. Love reading about stock market and banking, all those weird things, and eventually started studying finance at school. Worked in investment banking for a bunch of years at a big Wall Street firm, and eventually through that, fell into an investing role where I was working at Goldman Sachs, helping them to put capital into technology businesses.

Deven Soni:

So we were investing in everything from software service companies to digital media businesses. We invested in companies like Yelp. So we ran the gamut. And I love the investment side of it, but what really was a little tough for me was, I’d always just grown up as being a value investor, right?

Deven Soni:

And in many ways, in most common places, technology investing and value investing don’t really mix, right? You can’t be like, “I buy really cheap businesses,” but then invest in Zoom or something, right? It’s like 400 times next year’s revenue.

Deven Soni:

So I love the technology side. Grew up in Silicon Valley. But basically, as I was searching for businesses, ended up meeting someone that was doing… This is in 2009 or something. Meeting someone that owned a bunch of domains and owned a bunch of websites, and was looking at the cash returns that they were generating. And I was like, “Wait, this can’t be real, right?” Where at the time, things were trading for, like, one times earnings. Because this is pre a lot of stuff, but maybe Flippa was the only platform that really existed at the time. And I was like, “This is crazy. You’ve got to look into this.”

Deven Soni:

I literally spent probably two or three obsessive days on, I think, Flippa, and basically was like, “Okay, I’m going to start making some offers on these things, because this is way more money than making my bank account right now.” I think this was 2009, and there are two things. So I bought my first website, which I think it was an affiliate site for Bobcat tractors or something for, like, 10 grand. And at the same time, I was like, I had no way to run this thing. So I went to Amazon and bought WordPress for Dummies. Literally the same day, closed the transaction, bought WordPress for Dummies, and I was like, okay, I’m going to figure this thing out.

Deven Soni:

Started from page one, figured out how to transfer the domain name, transfer the payment account and just own this thing. And it was going great. Literally I think we’d made 30% of our money back in two or three months from the purchases, making $1,000 a month. And then we got the old call from Bobcat’s legal team, because the business apparently had Bobcat in the domain name, and a cease and desist, because you’re not allowed to infringe on trademarks.

Deven Soni:

So all of a sudden our business went to zero really quickly, in my business. But yeah, so that was the first lesson. Really, I mean, it was still intriguing to me. Also just realized I had a lot to learn, a lot of mistakes that were made, and I think the only way to make some of these mistakes is to spend your idiot tax. Right? In any industry you do. And that was my idiot tax for the space.

Deven Soni:

But that’s how I got in and, and really got hooked from there. And eventually a couple of years later, bought a few more things. Four or five businesses. And really the thing that really changed my trajectory was found a partner that was very, very good on the operation side, where I’d been good on the finance side, and we sort of moved on to starting a fund to go buy a lot of these businesses, which we can touch on later on. [inaudible 00:05:40].

Steve McGarry:

Nice, nice. And we talked briefly about Kingmakers right before the call, but before we get into that, I guess you could call it the inner workings there, the Acquira concept, I wanted to touch on those values. Because I’ve brought this up multiple times in the past, where a lot of times people have guiding principles. They’re fluid a little bit. But one of the things that really drew me to you guys was the just clear, upfront, “These are our values.” And I think that that is something that is so rare currently. I wanted to just highlight that, and I want to just get your thoughts on what your values are, and why you guys approach it like that.

Deven Soni:

Sure. One of the things that has, I think, differentiated our group and our team from many others doing similar things has been just, we move really, really fast. We went from owning one business to 10 businesses that were all around the same size, in the millions of dollars, within six months.

Deven Soni:

I have a partner, Hayden, who we had built this business with Acquira, and in our prior firms as well. And we realized that as we brought people on, a big challenge was the indoctrination and getting to know… We spoke the same language because we’ve been working together so long, but it’s very hard to move fast when you don’t speak all speak the same language. You all don’t share the same values. You don’t realize what your goals are and what you should do, and shouldn’t do, right?

Deven Soni:

For us, it took time, and one of our key influences now under the present Acquira [inaudible 00:07:33] actually took the time to write down everything that we valued and exemplified into these four principles. What we realized is when everyone speaks the same language, you can move a lot faster. You can trust each other a lot more. And that’s the reason we started this. Then we decided to even take it even further and say that everyone’s performance reviews, on a semi-annual basis, are based on how they had performed relative to the four values. All of our feedback is based on, did you meet the core values?

Deven Soni:

When we bring people on and onto our team, or when we decide to partner with someone or invest with someone, it’s always, “Is this person a culture fit based on our core values?” We even had something called a gauntlet, which is basically for people that want to partner with us to buy businesses, they go through this one week process and the first couple of days are really this, “Do you share the same…” Let’s over-communicate what our culture is, and are those things you share? Do you share that transactions have to be win-win? Do you also believe that you should empower every organization to make decisions, and not make it a top-down organization? And if those things aren’t cultural fits or people are wishy-washy, then we say, “Come back when it’s a fit.” Or employees as well, right? Because when you speak the same language, it’s really, really easy to just, like I said, trust each other, and move fast.

Steve McGarry:

Yeah. I like that. The onboarding, just making sure that it’s a fit. Because that’s something that I’ve learned, and many, many operators that I know have learned, that hiring and onboarding people is make or break for any size of a startup. Whether you’re two people or 50 people, it can implode with a bad hire. So that’s really cool that you guys have built out this strong bridge to bring people on. I like that word too. “Indoctrinate.”

Deven Soni:

Yeah. We really thought deeply about it, and there’s three things that are really important to our business. Right? It’s bringing on good people as employees. It’s buying good businesses, and bringing on good operators to run the day-to-day of the businesses, right? If you have good people, good businesses and good teams, everything is going to go well. You’re going to have a lot less stress. People are going to level up really quickly.

Deven Soni:

We think the same way about businesses as we do about people. We have our own set of guiding controls, like if this is there, we’re not going to do it. And similar to, if this is there, we’re not going to hire someone, or if this is there, we’re not going to bring someone on as a partner. Just end conversation. Because like you said one of these mistakes can really just be a snowball, a negative snowball to work culture.

Steve McGarry:

Yeah. Most definitely. So shifting gears into Kingmakers, let’s talk a little bit about that. Because a lot of people listening and watching, they are interested in buying businesses. Let’s say they’re interested in selling businesses. From the buyer’s perspective, what is Kingmakers? Because when I first saw it, a light bulb went off, and I was surprised that I’d never heard of this before, first of all. [crosstalk 00:10:34] Yeah, but what is it?

Deven Soni:

Well we started from pretty much a zero in terms of experience in buying businesses. We all had experience in our own special spaces, but like when you buy a business you have to learn just a tremendous number of things, from how to find a business, how to evaluate it, the financials, how to make sure you’re covered with legal liability, to build a growth plan, to interview the team that’s there to see if they’re a fit, to structure the deal to make it a win-win. It’s like you could get a master’s degree, a PhD in every one of these verticals, and you need to be pretty good, because if one of these things fail, your acquisition can fail.

Deven Soni:

So we realized this. By buying the first 10, 20 businesses, we became very, very good at it. One of the mantras we have internally is, you never do something twice. So the first time we do something, we document the heck out of it, to the point where you could hand it off to my five-year-old and he can handle it. Right? Not really, but maybe in a couple of years. We really try to make things super simple and streamlined. We use a lot of tools.

Deven Soni:

So what we had at the end of this was basically this compendium, a playbook, of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages and processes and workflows of how to buy a business. What we realized is, we were so good at that side of it that the side that became very hard was, how do you actually manage the day-to-day of the business? How do you become really good at learning about socks, or beach towels, or enterprise software for dentists, right? You buy a variety of businesses, but you need to really dive into that niche, but you also need to be good at the buying side.

Deven Soni:

We got good at the buying side, but it was really hard for us to say, “We’re going to be the best in the world at yellow beach towels,” because that’s the site that we bought. So what we decided to do was open up our infrastructure so that it’s similar to what Amazon does with web services. They eat their own dog food, right?

Deven Soni:

So we said it was like, let’s actually partner with people and teach them how to buy a business using our framework. In exchange, we can invest our capital into, instead of buying a hundred percent of a business, maybe we’ll buy a minority stake and partner with someone that can learn everything there is to learn about SAS for dentists. Right? And we can be really good at the acquisition side. We can be really good at helping them find the vendors to do conversion rate optimization, onboard a bookkeeper on day one so your books are done perfectly. Optimize the taxes for the business. You save 50% on exit. All these things that we’re very good at. And we’ll partner with someone who really wants to own a business, wants a almost an exec team in a box, or wants a board of directors in a box, that can help guide some of this redirection, shortcut the process for them to make sure they don’t make any critical mistakes like the ones that we made when we first bought our licenses.

Deven Soni:

We just saw it as a win-win, and I think people have really resonated, to the point where we get probably 1500 calls a week from people that want to work with us [inaudible 00:13:34]. So it’s been fantastic. It’s really finding a [inaudible 00:13:37] market.

Steve McGarry:

Nice. That’s very cool. I’m so surprised, and I’m glad that I’ve learned about it now, but I think that something like this is so key for someone that’s interested in getting involved in the space, because there is so much potential downside, but there’s so much potential upside.

Steve McGarry:

There’s a really great saying that… I had a great conversation with my friend John, who has bought and sold multiple businesses, at the Flippa conference last year. And he was saying that on Wall Street, hedge funds, they have a saying, that’s “Look down before you look up.” So check your downside before you look at [crosstalk 00:14:18] the potential upside. And I think that something like a AWS-style resource hub for people that are getting into buying businesses, it almost de-risks… Not entirely, but it helps with preventing some of that downside.

Steve McGarry:

I know that downside’s important. You guys have maneuvered around that yourself, and you’ve learned and failed and things like that, just like all of us have. But with that said, what type of businesses are you guys going after? Is there a specific niche, or are you guys just really focusing on P&L before the type of business, if it’s e-commerce or content or SAS?

Deven Soni:

Yeah, no, that’s a great question. You know, you said one element of detail. We do both digital businesses and more traditional brick and mortar businesses. I’ll focus on the digital side for this call, and again just touch on the other side very briefly. But on the digital side, I think what we look at… Number one, with a triple underline, is looking down is exactly right. We look at it, which is what are the single points of failure? Where is the thin ice that you’re standing on, and what can shut your business out overnight?

Deven Soni:

Because that’s always the trick with digital, is that there’s almost always going to be some single point of failure. And that single point of failure, it could be that 80% of your traffic comes from one traffic source, whether that’s Google or Amazon or Facebook or Pinterest. It could be that fine, you have 3000 [inaudible 00:15:51] domains, and the traffic comes from everywhere [inaudible 00:15:52] list, but you only have one monetization source, and that monetization source can go away, and your next best alternative is terrible. It could be that you have a software tool that’s reliant on an ATI that can shut down in a day. Right?

Deven Soni:

So those are the things you really try to understand first, and if we have one of these single points of failure, the number one question is, can we mitigate this within 30 days? And sometimes you can, and you can say, look. Well, if there’s only one monetization source that makes all of your revenue, can I call the next 10 competitors’ company and say, “Can someone give me the same deal?” If I can, then fine, I’ll probably take the risk. But if I can’t, then it’s a don’t pass go.

Deven Soni:

When we talk about sector or niche, we’ve had a bias because we do a lot of volume for businesses that have really strong cash cycles. So we’ve shied away a little bit from e-commerce. We do e-commerce in high-margin niches like supplements or pets, and things like that, because those can be high margin. But we don’t like having our money sit on inventory. [inaudible 00:16:50] We like our money being compounded through deploying it in some businesses, and offering leverage.

Deven Soni:

So we look for more stable businesses, not ones that have had a giant uptick over the past year or two. Businesses that have strong diversification of revenue sources and traffic sources, and ones that have upside, right? That’s the downside case.

Deven Soni:

And then when we talk about the upside case, I think we think about upside in two things, right? One is, what are the things that an absolute newbie can do to improve the value of this business? Right? Because the biggest shifts, mentally, that we had in buying businesses was, we started to think that we’re smart. When we started out like, okay, well the owner’s not doing this. We’re smarter than them. We’re going to do this. Right? You do that, I don’t know, you’re just going to get smacked when you really realize. You really have to put your mindset like, “I am less smart than the person I’m buying this from.” Right? Because I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. They did a lot of things well that we’re not going to do well. And you really have to put yourself in that position.

Deven Soni:

Because of that, when we say, what are the one, two or three things that we’re really, really good at? What’s our core competency, and where are the wins that we can consistently project from that core competency? Could be conversion rate optimization. It could be price [inaudible 00:00:18:12]. It could be some people are just terrified to pick up the phone and build a direct advertiser [inaudible 00:00:18:16], right? If we’re really good at that stuff, let’s factor that that’s going to improve. Right? Because that’s also a factor, that everything else is going to go wrong.

Deven Soni:

This is still a good purchase if everything has gone wrong, except this one thing. What’s our low hanging fruit? If we double the business from conversion optimization because we know that you should do a free trial without a credit card first and upsell in this way, and then do a cold call or a textbook. That’s our [inaudible 00:18:41], and we know it improves it. Then let’s say that that works. Nothing else works. Is it still a good buy?

Deven Soni:

But that’s that next level of concepts we look at. Then the third level is, how big is the addressable market, and what are some new distribution channels we can find to attract this additional market? Is it deals with affiliates? Is it increasing paid traffic? That’s probably too much in the weeds, but that’s how we think about stuff. It’s like, downside, the easy wins are the big wins down the line.

Steve McGarry:

Got it, got it. And in terms of, you said there was a week-long period for someone that’s coming into Kingmakers. What are you guys analyzing? What are you looking for with someone?

Deven Soni:

Sure. That week-long gauntlet, we call it, has been a little bit more for people that want to buy brick and mortar. Just, I’ll give you two sentences. We’ve been buying digital businesses for 10 years, and the last year has really become a seller’s market because a lot of people with COVID, especially, want to buy [inaudible 00:19:38] businesses, [crosstalk 00:19:39]. There’s fewer things on the market. So what we found is just that things are expensive in that the risks aren’t going away. Algorithms are [inaudible 00:19:49] happen more frequently. Updates to APIs happen more frequently, so there’s a lot of downside risk, and some of that upside risk is there. So we said, we’re still buying digital, but let’s also see if we can expand into other businesses like brick and mortar.

Deven Soni:

So an area we’re spending a lot of time is things like plumbing and HVAC and things like that. These are companies that are going to be around for 50 years, because we’re going to build a big platform. Let’s build [inaudible 00:20:12] companies that are going to [inaudible 00:20:13] years, not 50 months.

Deven Soni:

So we learned the hard way. We bought our first HVAC, and we realized that like some things were very hard, like people, but digital marketing was very, very easy. It was like going from major league baseball to minor leagues, because we’d been competing with venture fund companies with a billion dollars in digital. But now you’re competing with three 72-year-old plumbers in Midtown, pick your state. So that became very easy for us, but the other side became hard.

Deven Soni:

So in order for us to vet people that we wanted to work with, a little more so on the brick and mortar, because we’ve done so much on the digital, we know really quickly. But on the brick and mortar side, what we’d been doing was basically built a gauntlet, which is basically a one-week indoctrination period where we say, come work with us on a business we already bought, and you analyze the legal risk. You analyze the upside. You analyze the P&L and the opportunities there.

Deven Soni:

At the same time, learn about how we do these things so you can learn about our culture, and spend a week just in our shoes, and doing exactly what we did to see, one. Do you actually like the day-to-day of running a business or [inaudible 00:21:24]? Because some people buy a business before thinking about it. All of a sudden they cut the check, they get the domain, and they’re like, “I don’t like this.” So we want to say, put yourself in the shoes of the business owner for a week or two to really see if this is what you like doing.

Deven Soni:

Then secondly, we can see people that go above and beyond on the exercise. People that say, “Oh, I thought about this idea.” Wasn’t in the program. Those are the people we really want to work with, right? Our folks that are outside of the box thinkers that want to do more, that we can actually learn from, not just teach. So really quickly, when you work with 10 people, you identify the three that really have gone above and beyond to really care, and those are the people we double down and want to work with. Does that add some color into that process?

Steve McGarry:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Just because I was super curious, because you brought it up while you were explaining it right there, is a lot of people being, I guess you could say displaced after this whole pandemic has sweeped through, and a lot more demand around buying a business is around there. Let’s say somebody has quite a large amount of savings that they’ve saved up. They’ve either lost their job or left their job during the pandemic, because they’re seeing a shift happening. Then now digital is an option, or even brick and mortar and something like an HVAC business that’s not going away any time soon.

Steve McGarry:

I love the idea that you guys are actually implementing brick and mortar as part of your strategy. I think that that’s really smart, because that is the protection of the downside that we were talking about a minute ago. So I really like…

Deven Soni:

You know, we spent almost a year analyzing literally, like, 3000 industries, and we looked at everything from default rates for SBA loans, industry growth rates, how future-proof is the industry? Is it going to be taken over by Google or Amazon or Tesla, or automation or offshoring? And what we realized was, the hard thing about digital is that you can say… Everyone buys the person who’s like, “I want to do a roll up. I’m going to buy a hundred of these things.” Right? And then put it all together.

Deven Soni:

But the problem is you can’t find a hundred businesses in one niche online, or you can’t find a hundred pet blogs or digital marketing SAS tools, because they’re not for sale, right? This is a seller’s market, so when something goes up for sale that’s good, that’s going to get sold in, like, two days, and if it hasn’t been sold for two days, there’s a reason. Right? Because there’s so much cash flow in the industry now.

Deven Soni:

So we wanted to find industry, like HVAC and plumbing, where there’s hundreds of thousands of businesses, all of which are run by people in their 70s that are ready to retire, and so we can go to the store and go buy three HVAC businesses or plumbing businesses tomorrow if we want to and put our systems in.

Deven Soni:

And super low default rates are going to be around forever. There’s a licensing issue, so their competition’s limited. The reason we did HVAC and not restaurants or massage parlors or property manage… We went through the [inaudible 00:24:21] process of finding our next thing.

Steve McGarry:

Yeah, yeah. Really well thought through. I like that strategy. So the final finale question that I like to ask everybody is, knowing what you know now, what would you tell Deven 10 years ago?

Deven Soni:

Yeah. I would say that owning a business is a fantastic tool to learn, to create personal empowerment, and for wealth generation. I think there’s a lot of things that… I’m a little older. I’m going to say what I would say to myself, like, 15 years ago, right? When I was in college, versus out of college. But if I had said, what should I do, it would be learn how to run a business, save money and pick a great business to buy that can create a ton of wealth for your family, create a ton of empowerment.

Deven Soni:

If you want to grow that into an empire, you can grow an empire. If you want to sit there and work 40 hours a week and make 600 grand a year and spend time with your family, that’s admirable as well. But I think by owning a company, you can really create a lot of freedom and empowerment, especially if you structure it in a way where you aren’t the bottleneck in the business. So 100%, I think knowing what I know now, I would’ve probably bought a business earlier or bought a bigger one earlier, for sure.

Steve McGarry:

Well said. Well said. Well, last step is to roll out the red carpet. Where do you want people to go and learn more about your projects you’re working on?

Deven Soni:

Sure. So our holding company is called Kingmakers, and it owns everything we do. So Kingmakers.co is where you can go there to see basically everything we’re working on. If you’re literally looking specifically for the M&A side, Acquira, A-C-Q-U-I-R-A.com, has a lot more color on how to work with us, whereas the Kingmakers side is really just more about our holding company. And lastly, feel free to email me directly. Deven, D-E-V-E-N, @Kingmakers, K-I-N-G-M-A-K-E-R-S.co. Couldn’t get the .com. But feel free to reach out any time, feel free to add me on LinkedIn. I’m pretty responsive, but especially with the pandemic, I sit in my office all day. So if anyone has any questions…

Steve McGarry:

Excellent. Excellent. Well, if you guys are listening in on Spotify or iTunes, or watching on YouTube, all the links will be in the show notes to everything that Deven just mentioned. But once again, thank you so much for coming on the show, Deven.

Deven Soni:

Absolutely. Cheers, thank you.

Steve McGarry:

Thank you so much for listening through to the end of this episode of The Exit – Presented by Flippa. This interview with Deven Soni, the co-founder of Kingmakers, was a fantastic one because I love it when a lot of people in this space are helping others get involved. And the fact that they have split Kingmakers, as a holding company, into these two little entities of Acquira and Kingmakers Ops, that’s basically like a big portfolio of small businesses, and then you have Acquira that’s literally a training program or an accelerator that’s helping business buyers acquire, optimize and grow businesses.

Steve McGarry:

I think that that level of fulfillment that these guys must be getting out of helping business buyers come into this space, like myself, trying to find their way, trying to find all these different types of assets that you can invest in, whether it’s on Flippa or from a broker, it’s a really fascinating space to help these new entrepreneurs coming in. And I think that deploying the capital where they need to reach goals is such a fascinating thing to do alongside and help these companies and these buyers get involved with existing businesses.

Steve McGarry:

So that is it for this episode of The Exit. If you guys like it, leave a comment. All the links will be in the show notes, as mentioned before, so definitely check that out and let us know what you think in the comments below. Hit the subscribe button, because we’re going to have some incredible interviews over the next coming days and weeks, and I will see you guys on the next episode of The Exit.

Benjamin Weiss

Benjamin Weiss

Benjamin Weiss is a marketing all-star at Flippa. He has well over a decade of experience running multifaceted marketing programs within the CPG industry and knows just what it takes to drive a business from vision to reality. You will often find him enjoying a cold beer on a hot day in Austin, TX, or you can always find him on LinkedIn.