Little Engine Ventures buys multiple small businesses per year.
Location: Within 180 miles of Lafayette, IN
Industry: Open minded. Prefer >30% gross margins. No real estate. No franchises. No problem.
There are more than one million small businesses with sales between $1-$25M in the United States. That’s a ~$5T market size. There are approximately 10,000 businesses that meet our criteria within 180 miles of Lafayette, IN. We intend to own the best 100 we can find. You can think we are crazy, you can try to copy us, or you can join us.
All great businesses started small. Many small companies have enduring profitability and can compound capital at high rates. With sound management they won’t stay small forever. Often, the owners run out of time or passion before their visions are realized. Without an employee or family member ready to purchase, the dream is at risk.
We win hearts and minds of owner-operators when we align on Time, Team & Vision.
Time: We like to keep things simple and go fast. For the business seller, this normally results in an all cash deal, closed promptly with people they can trust. When a small business owner decides to sell, it’s a gut-wrenching, personal choice. When they get emotionally ready, they want it done now.
Team: Many small business owners have convinced friends and family to join them in pursuing their vision. If the team isn’t all family, it becomes like one quickly. It’s important to sellers for LEV to retain this group of people as we take it to the next level. So far, the opportunities we can put in front of team members has been one of the most valuable aspects of our partnership.
Vision: For many owners these companies are their babies… and it’s not all about the dollars when it comes to transitions. They want someone who can take care of their baby, see it grow and mature. We want to align on the vision. And, we want to see the company through the next phase. Owners understand how course corrections must be made, but the general theme is something we both value highly.
We know what it takes to be an owner. This is really hard for an individual to do part time, and not an area where large buyers are fishing. The challenge is partially impact and partially because the sub $10M enterprise functions differently. Transaction and friction costs must be managed differently. We dedicate our full time and effort to excellence in this area. It’s unique, but it’s ours, and we aim to be the best.
Today we work in Agriculture, Finance, Service & Manufacturing industries. We sell Non-GMO seed corn, finance B2B transactions, fix auto and heavy equipment glass, oversee brewing, haul trash, and help people experience skydiving. We are fascinated by lots of things other people find boring. It’s a simple idea taken seriously.
We believe our speed of investment (current record is 45 days from first meeting to cash wired), retention of employees, shared vision of future, and evergreen structure make us considerate owners for the long term. A business is often an instrument to accomplish more than just profit. We believe they should improve lives of customers, employees, vendors, neighbors, and beyond.
What goals do you have for your business? How can we help you? We would love to chat.