The First Step Starts With Us

We can help you decide what’s next for you. And your company.

Leave A Legacy

SELLING YOUR BUSINESS

Selling your business isn’t easy. We know how hard you’ve worked, how much of your life you’ve invested in it. Now you’re thinking about options and what’s next. There’s excitement, stress and maybe even some guilt. We get it. We can help. It starts with a relationship built on trust, integrity and experience.

Make An Impact

JOIN OUR TEAM

Running a business is challenging. If you’ve always wanted to lead a company, why not earn the opportunity to lead one of ours? We’re always looking for dedicated, passionate people who believe they have what it takes.

What Our People Say

There was so much trust and confidence in dealing with Chenmark. Selling to them was the right decision for me.

Booth Hemingway / / Founder, Piscataqua Landscaping

Rarely in business do you get an opportunity to have such an impact with each and every project.

Dave Schwetz / / Director of Technology and Innovation, Chenmark

For any owner who’s looking to sell but wants to keep their dream alive while ensuring the well-being of their staff, talk to Chenmark.

Bruce Glaicar / / CEO, OK Frozen Dough

Chenmark is a family business and we were a family business, so for us it was a great fit.

Steve Lawton / / CEO, Sitescapes

Weekly Thoughts

I Said No F*ing Brown M&Ms!

While we are more of a Smarties group, we were interested to learn this week that brown M&M’s carry relevant significance despite being the worst color for a candy variety.  They are also the most notable thing about a backstage concert rider — the legal document that outlines terms for concert promoters — for Van Halen’s 1982 World Tour.

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Cash Money

Our regular readers will know that our metric of choice is Free Cash Flow.  This is because the crux of our strategy relies upon our ability to purchase cash flowing businesses from retiring owners, and then, over the long-term, using the cash flows from those businesses to fund the equity requirements for growth—whether it be supporting internal growth initiatives or writing a check for our next acquisition.  Without free cash flow, our strategy stalls. 

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It’s the Little Things

We’ve written previously about Admiral William McRaven’s popular 2014 University of Texas at Austin Commencement address, which argued that “if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”  He goes on to say that if you begin your day accomplishing one small task to perfection, you will be encouraged to go on to accomplish another task well, and then another, and then another, so on and so forth.  By the end of the day, you’ll probably have accomplished a lot. 

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Green Eggs and Ham

Many look at limitations as excuses for why something cannot be done. We simply don’t have enough time, money, talent, space, {insert reason here}, to achieve a certain outcome. For example, a reasonable person might think it impossible (or implausible) an author could write a best seller using only 50 words.

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How To Introduce Yourself

There’s a lot of work that goes into closing a deal.  You have to find a business, figure out if you’re interested, convince the owner you’re the right fit, agree on a price, conduct diligence, negotiate legal terms, and secure financing, among many other things. 

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Lessons From The Godfather

We think most would agree that The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made.  This week, we were interested to learn that at the time of production, success was far from certain.  Francis Ford Coppola himself was not the studio’s first choice to direct the film, and once in the role, he clashed constantly with studio executives.  From a Fresh Air podcast with Coppola: 

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Three Things

Our first post of the year always revisits three core concepts that continue to shape our thinking. Dare to Be Great Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital is one of the great writers on the investment process. We enjoy reading each of his very popular memos. Early in 2014, he published Dare to Be Great II which, building on the original Dare to Be Great, discussed the necessary conditions for exceptional investment performance. From the memo: “For years I’ve posed the following riddle: Suppose I hire you as a portfolio manager and we agree you will get no compensation next year

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Results

Like our children, we love all of our values equally.  However, the most uncomfortable (at times) value we uphold is our desire to Keep Score.  This is because it is possible to chase better, play the long game, and put the team first–but not produce results.  That’s a tricky situation.

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Small Business CEOs

This week, we stumbled across the work of Adam Bryant, author of The New York Times Corner Office column, in which he interviews CEOs of various companies about leadership and management.  In October, Bryant published his final column, “How to Be a C.E.O.,” which reflected upon his findings from 525 interviews over the course of almost 10 years.

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(Small Business) Market Wizards

Before we started our first “real” job, our soon-to-be boss gave us Jack Schwager’s iconic Market Wizards, which featured interviews with some of the world’s top traders across financial markets–people like Paul Tudor Jones, Bruce Kovner, Michel Steinhardt, and Ed Seykota (if you don’t know these names, they are impressive traders).  

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