If you’re interested in buying a business you need to work with John Martinka. Buying a small business is different than anything you’ve done in the corporate world, even if you’ve done deals. Small business acquisition has a lot more subjectivity and a lot less rationality in the process. John is uniquely qualified to navigate these waters and help you reach your goals.
Fred Barkman, Managing Member, Spectra Labs LLC, Fife, WA
You had something to so with the success of Imagine Home Interiors. You connected us with Bob. He connected us with Cindy and Rotary international in Durban South Africa, and I visited them while we are there. That led to our picking botanicals in one of their gardens, which led to our botanical picking project in Ghana, which is one of my next trips.
So thank you for the connection, and Bob has become a very, very good friend over the years. I played tennis with him twice a week when he was in Seattle and now he stays at my place when he comes to Seattle.
Thought you’d like to know that. Thanks John, you’re a good guy. You like to make connections and make this world a better place.
John Hoyt, CEO Picture Source and Imagine Home Interiors
Working with John has been fantastic, a really great experience. We went through a lot, multiple deals and dodged a bullet on one deal. Everything John led me through and coached me on was applicable. [On my deal] we went from intro to closure in 2 ½ months. I give John credit for skilling me up so I could look at companies objectively and not over-analyze. I’m a very happy customer.
Joe Williams, CEO Elmore Electric, Seattle, WA
I met John at the early stages of this and he was instrumental in helping me through the process. In fact, I don’t think I could have done it without his experience and guidance. It’s a process and John gave me the guideposts. He’s an expert at helping clients identify objectives.
Tom Miller, President, Western Industrial Tooling, Redmond, WA
John successfully acted as my advisor/investment banker to help my buy a >$10MM operating business. John is extremely well connected in this market place in Washington, is well regarded by other service providers, resulting in strong deal flow. John also has a unique method of finding available businesses, which often results in a great transaction for all parties. I strongly recommend working with John and would use his services again in a minute.
Bill Tenneson, President, Downstream Partners, Inc., Seattle, WA
While the process was at times slow and frustrating – mostly due to my own actions – your advice and direction kept me moving forward and ensured that I could identify and discard the chaff and focus on the companies that warranted serious consideration.
My interests were your interests, my concerns were your concerns, and in the end the team approach contributed to closing what I regard as a fair and equitable deal. The ability to have you available to use as a sounding board to toss things around with when things got tense and emotional in the negotiation process proved to be an added benefit for me.
Should a person be committed to purchasing a business, I would without hesitation recommend that they work with you.
Read the entire reference letter – Matthew Finnigan reference letter
Matthew P. Finnigan, President, National Concrete Cutting Inc., Milton, WA
I knew that I did not want to work for another corporation and that I wanted my own business. No problem. I would just retain you and you would give me a list of several companies that I could buy (even though you told me that was not the way it worked).
Reality struck pretty quickly and I acquired a great amount of knowledge from you during this process. If anyone thought that buying their first business after they retire from their first career may not be a good idea – THEY ARE WRONG! It is the BEST decision that I have ever made. Here are some tips:
• Rely on John’s experience and support.
• You get out of the search what you put into it.
• Ask John to be present during the important meetings with perspective sellers.
• If you do buy a business – listen to John. Everything that he told me would happen in a business with new owners has happened.
John, I can honestly say that your fee was the best investment that I have ever made. I would not own this business today without your support.
Bob Gordon, Managing Member, Dental Professionals, Seattle, WA
I have just written the final check for the balance of your services. I wanted to formally acknowledge:
• The high quality and unbiased nature of your counsel regarding my recent business search and acquisition
• Your assistance in finding the right business, the right location, the right price and the right structure.
• The value of finding motivated sellers that have not enlisted a sellers’ broker (the untapped market).
• Your sage leadership in difficult situations during the negotiation and due diligence of the transaction.
• The immeasurable value of having a “buyer’s advocate.”
• The substantial value of your services versus the investment. The ROI is substantially positive.
After spending (wasting) a great deal of time reviewing local and national broker listings and kicking tires, I was referred to you.. Once I enlisted your services, my search for a qualified business went into high gear and the quality of the opportunities were excellent. I am a believer in your process and your abilities. You found the business that fit me to a tee (type, location, price, terms) and supported me without hesitation throughout the entire transaction.
Tim Riley, President, Wilson Distribution, Renton, WA
John, I’ve often thought about how fortunate I am to have found and successfully acquired this business. People invariably ask me, “How did you find such a perfect opportunity?” That is when I tell them about you. About the way you listened to my situation, offered helpful counsel and quickly introduced me to the prior owner of MM Comfort Systems. As you know, I tend to have high expectations. In this case, all expectations have been exceeded. I can’t imagine things working out so well without your invaluable support. Thank you for all you did.
Craig Williamson, President, MM Comfort Systems, Redmond, WA
My business partner and I decided we needed a change. Despite our amicability, the question of business value and terms of the purchase became a matter of disagreement.
We both came up with our own formulas for valuation. We were going nowhere fast and the business began to suffer. Upon your agreement to help us the immediate forward movement provided a sense of relief. You guided us through the choppy waters of our business deal, giving us the ability to move on and still remain friendly.
Jay Stilwell, President, Seattle Publishing, Seattle, WA
There is no doubt the acquisition would not have been successful without your involvement. Your ability to understand the seller’s options, motivations and concerns and communicate and negotiate with the seller’s key creditors was instrumental in determining a realistic deal price and structure. In the end, it was a pleasure to sign the “closing” documents knowing that my interests were protected and the company’s future was secure because you had been on my side of the table. I look forward to the next opportunity we can work together to initiate and complete an acquisition.
Read the entire reference letter – Tom McKown reference letter
Tom McKown, President, Industrial Automation, Inc., Seattle, WA
My search for a business started over a year before I meet you and I probably still would be looking had I not retained you. This is not exactly the type of business I set out to find but, as it turned out, it is actually a more exciting opportunity than I had envisioned.
The number of businesses you were able to uncover for me to consider, in a relatively short period of time, was quite impressive. You also helped in the negotiations and kept the purchase process on track. Your services were invaluable.
Robert Baldridge, President, Laser Fantasy, Inc., Bellevue, WA
When I think about the help you gave me with my hunt for a business, the value I received was not in the hours of help, but in the quality of help. You played a key role in helping me achieve my dream of owning a business. Thanks for everything!
Keith S. Jackson, President, Industrial Revolution, Inc. Redmond, WA
Thank you, for providing your support, consultation, guidance and foxhole experience during the heat of the battle in helping me to acquire NW Grating on. Being an ex-banker I thought I had seen pretty much all that there is in small and medium size business, however your program to identify likely types of business candidates and then target them provided an excellent focus to the process.
Your experience and advice were critical in helping close the deal. With you playing devil’s advocate and “bad cop” to my “good cop”, we crafted what I still think of as a fair deal for both buyer and seller.
I would gladly recommend your firm to others needing a professionally done and well thought out business acquisition process.
Mike Luiten, President, NW Grating, Seattle, WA
We appreciate the work you have done for BSSI this year and look forward to our continued relationship. Without your help I would be out of business. I am sure that “keeping us on track” seems daunting, but at least your efforts are appreciated.
Ken Becker, Pres., Burhans-Sharpe Sales, Inc., Seattle, WA
To reiterate, the benefit of having someone like you to bounce ideas and issues off of has been invaluable to us. Your insight and business acumen has allowed us to see through the clutter invariably present in a business acquisition, and ask the truly pertinent questions. I believe Deborah and I will be making better decisions as a result of your involvement in the process. Thank you and regards,
Ken Rice, Pres., Direct Mailing Solutions, Kirkland, WA
John, your help was invaluable. I can’t imagine the process going any smoother. The marketing plan you assisted me with worked – that’s a powerful statement, isn’t it? One of the best investments I ever made was hiring you to guide me through the process.
Alex Johnson, Business Strategy Consulting (sold), Bellevue, WA
I thought that my search criteria would put me in ‘no man’s land’, but was amazed at how many qualified businesses John turned up. On most of the leads, I was the only prospective buyer. John provided valuable search assistance, and having a third party make the initial contact made it easier to talk to prospective sellers.
Tim Johnstone, President, Anywear Shoe Company, Inc., Seattle, WA
I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for your assistance during my recent business search for a manufacturing company in the Puget Sound region. I had been looking through brokers and not really had an experienced partner to bounce ideas off of for about six months before you were recommended to me. The quantity and diversity of the businesses that you located was beyond my expectations (and worth your fee just for this service). I would have never found a business in the niche industry that I purchased and let alone in only seven months. My wife and I are up to our necks getting landed in the new business- it’s great!
Read the entire reference letter – Robb Stilnovich reference letter
Robb Stilnovich, Tacoma Monument Works, Tacoma, WA
John has been a very valuable asset in assisting me in buying a business. Because I had previously bought and sold a business, I knew how complex these transactions can be. I looked at over 30 companies. 95% were not on the open market. I would recommend using John and his services for anyone who is serious about looking for a business to buy.
Stu Childers, Seattle Pump, Seattle, WA
I want you to know I would come to you again, without hesitation, to use your services, because of the way you won my trust and confidence in every phase of this transaction. Thank you again for your excellent work.
John Hoyt, President Picture Source, Inc. Seattle, WA
Thank you for all your help through this process. I really appreciate your expertise and reassuring advice. I especially appreciate the fact that you took the brunt of dealing with Bruce, had you not, I’m sure I would have walked away from this deal. Thanks again.
Shawn Requa, President, Quicklearn Training, Inc, Redmond, WA
Your help was valuable as you helped me narrow my search to appropriate candidates, quickly evaluate opportunities, negotiate with sellers, and stay on target during the inevitable ups and downs of my search. John, I appreciated your availability on the phone and by email. Having you as an adviser and sounding board helped me focus, and reassured me that I was making good decisions in times of uncertainty. As one specific example, your help negotiating with the food processing equipment company kept his savvy negotiation tactics from getting the best of me. Thank you.
Mark Schulman, Half Dome Capital, San Francisco, CA
We appreciated the fact that John is very knowledgeable in his field and we felt very confident with his help. We recommend John’s services to anyone selling a business. His fee is well worth it. His service is excellent.
Richard and Judi MacIntosh, Print Media (sold), Everett, WA
I just wanted to take the time to thank you again for your efforts. You are professional; you are honest; and you are efficient. As you know, I do lots of legal work in the acquisition and sale of businesses. I work with a lot of brokers and other people involved in the marketing of businesses for sale. You really stand above the others in your line of work. Thanks again for all your efforts.
Michael Larson, Attorney (and seller of a family business) Seattle, WA
If you had not stepped in to guide me through the first months I must admit that I probably would not have continued. Of the many attributes you offer, I am impressed with your knowledge of what it takes to be a good consultant. You have learned well all the material, which you present honestly and with integrity. Your training skills mean so much to the person you are working with because you are direct and you have the passion it takes to be successful in this business. I recommend you to anyone, client or colleague, who is seeking consulting assistance or training. Either way, anyone who works with you is very fortunate.
Gene Pepper, Business Solutions, Glendale, CA
I want to tell you how well the locating system is working. I have just started and already have talked to many owners in my ‘core interest group’ 70% are right on target and meet my basic criteria. They are profitable and the owner has a compelling reason to sell. In all cases, to the best of my knowledge, I am the only buyer they are talking to.
Craig Bradford, Pittsburgh, PA
John did a terrific job a getting inside our industry quickly in order to understand the challenges owners were facing. His program was flexible and on target. Reception was great and, as important, his follow up with those who had questions was superb.
Wm C. Pflaum, Executive Director, Contract Manufacturing and Packaging Association
Please feel free to share this letter with your prospective clients—because I’m really happy! Your search system found a winner business. A business I would never found on my own. The questions you provided allowed me to see inside the business like I never imagined. I had owned businesses before, but had never bought one. It’s a completely different experience. An experience made comfortable by you and your system. Put John on your team. I did and it was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.
Richard Susser, Houston Consumer Research, Los Angeles, CA
I wanted to thank you for the work you did for us in the acquisition of CRGI. You helped facilitate resolution when the emotions of the two sides got personal and irrational. You assisted us along the way to make sure the right questions were being asked. Your assessment templates were invaluable. I highly recommend that others take advantage of your services and processes.
Ken Keis, President & CEO, Consulting Resource Group International, Inc. Vancouver, BC
Your brokering efforts helped us to begin this consolidation with a maximum of goodwill. I think you were particularly helpful in bridging the gap between our perspective and that of the seller. Without your services reaching an agreement would have been much more difficult and may not have happened.
Bob Spinelli, CEO Picture Source, Seattle, WA
Thanks for helping me find and acquire On Screen Entertainment. It all sounded so straightforward. Buy a business; and I would have bought a business… doing something foolish. But I was fortunate enough to find John Martinka. Your advice throughout the due diligence process, things to watch out for, what needs to be validated and verified helped me put together an offer which was fair to the seller and fair to me.
Craig York, On Screen Entertainment, Redmond, WA
My partner’s feet are blistered from being held to the fire. But he doesn’t mind because your ideas work.
Paul Clark, President, Seattle Publishing, Everett, WA
One of the things that I have appreciated has been John’s ability to draw out and internalize the objectives, criteria and priorities that I have established for myself, and to be guided by them in his efforts. John has provided invaluable counsel to me throughout this process, and there has never been any doubt that he was looking out for my interests. I would recommend that anyone utilize his services.
Gary Tashjian, Seattle, WA
What a whirlwind! It is hard to believe how much we accomplished since I contracted with you to assist in my search for an acquisition candidate. The experience has been perhaps the most valuable education of my career. It nearly tripled the efficiency of my search. Thank you for your sage counsel and should the opportunity arise I would look forward to working with you again.
Mike Bell, ProCam Machine, Mill Creek, WA
I found the entire process of finding and purchasing a business under your guidance actually enjoyable. I found many other advantages to using your service that you didn’t mention in our initial meeting. For example, your help in keeping both the seller and me focused from start to finish was invaluable. While negotiating with the seller, having the ability to “check with my advisor” always gave me an opportunity to for additional time to ensure the deal made sense. Your supervision and guidance of my due diligence and persistent prodding to double check my numbers gave me peace of mind.
One of the most valuable services that you provided to both the seller and me was your ability to mediate when negotiations stalled. Your obvious integrity and insistence that we consummate a deal that is “fair to both the buyer and seller” created a level of trust with the seller, which allowed him to accept you and trust you as a mediator. This transaction would not have occurred without your ability to mediate. By that time both the seller and I had spent months working on this transaction. You earned your fee with that service alone.
Michael Lund, President, NW Legal Support, Seattle WA