Not a day goes by without someone asking us: why are you only searching in Tampa Bay for a business to buy? It’s an understandable question, especially if you aren’t from here. Private equity firms, fellow search funders and other business buyers rarely focus on a narrow geography because of the pigeonhole it creates. So why did we do it?
We are not here to run for mayor (no more political ads!), nor are we advertising a “top 10 list” of why you should move to Tampa Bay. But for those of you not from our town (and even for those who are), we want to share the reasons why we based our entire investment thesis around this area of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Our daily conversations with business owners always focus on our desire to preserve the owner’s business legacy, to retain employees, and to build upon the company’s culture as if it were our family. It always seemed inconsistent to us when others make the same pitch but aren’t willing to live and invest in the community where the business operates. Tampa Bay is home for us: our significant others, parents and much of our extended families reside here. Our familial roots run deep here, and the business we acquire will serve as a natural extension of those roots.
As graduates of Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, our networks of close friends, business partners and former colleagues mostly work and live here. Sam, who previously practiced accounting and corporate law here locally, continues to call upon his professional network to guide our search process. Joey maintains a handful of local investments that are headquartered in Tampa, and continues to meet business owners through such connections. We always say that in Tampa, we are only one person removed from anyone in town. And when it comes to buying, operating and growing a business in Tampa, that community network is a huge asset.
Whether our ultimate acquisition holds a local, national or international presence, maintaining headquarters in a booming metropolis like Tampa Bay will help us on many levels. A robust employee base, lack of state income taxes, beautiful weather, and proximity to beaches, city-life and sports are a few of the many factors that make Tampa an extremely attractive town in which to live and work.
Get Our Hands Dirty
After our acquisition, we will “get our hands dirty” within the operations of the business. That can only happen by being in the office of the business so we can learn from and collaborate with those around us. But we can only do that if we are there in-person, with our boots literally on the ground. Being a “remote leader” or “owner from afar” is a lot harder than it looks. And many entrepreneurs either plateau or get overwhelmed by running a business. We look forward to tackling those challenges head on!
As always, we greatly appreciate intros to business owners and their professional advisers (wealth managers, lawyers, CPAs, etc.) that might help us source a business that is a “perfect fit” for both the business owner and us. And most importantly, may the holidays be filled with happiness, peace and love for you and your families.
Look out for another email from us in Q1 2019 with exciting news!