Artwork for podcast Before You Buy or Sell a Business
Professional CPA Shares His Experience Acquiring & Running 3 Different Businesses
Episode 139th May 2023 • Before You Buy or Sell a Business • Jared W. Johnson
00:00:00 00:47:02

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In this podcast episode, host Jared Johnson, welcomes Ken Kirkpatrick, a business acquirer who has acquired multiple businesses and is always on the lookout for more.

First Steps

Ken graduated from UNLV with an accounting degree and worked for Citibank before joining KPMG, where he got certified as a CPA. After three years with KPMG, he was approached by a small group of casinos looking for a comptroller/CFO and decided to take the plunge into the casino business, where he worked for 15 years. Ken describes himself as cautiously optimistic and always looking for new opportunities to acquire businesses.

In this continuation of the conversation, Ken Kirkpatrick talks about his work experience, which includes working in the gaming industry and trying different industries, including consulting and manufacturing. He worked for an individual who owned about 15 locations in town, bars and restaurants, and one main casino and hotel. He was treated very well and acted as the owner's personal CPA, ensuring that the financials were sound. Ken also discusses the intense nature of the gaming industry and the control standards that must be met to keep everyone happy on the Gaming Control Board side.

Running a Non-medical Home Care Franchise

Ken discusses how he transitioned from working for someone else to buying his own business, a non-medical home care franchise in South Texas. He also talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the home care industry and the challenges of being a private pay business. Kirkpatrick shares advice for anyone looking to buy a business, emphasizing the importance of buying receivables and having working capital. He also discusses his plans to relocate to South Texas before ultimately deciding to commute between Texas and Las Vegas.

Manufacturing Laboratory Devices

The conversation continues with Jared and Ken discussing the process of appraising businesses and the importance of not overpaying. Kirkpatrick shares his experience of buying another business, MSI Products, after feeling bored in Las Vegas and looking for a small business to work on when he's in town. The company sells laboratory devices and had been owned by a family in San Diego who put it up for sale after the previous owner passed away from cancer. Kirkpatrick quickly responded to the ad and was one of the first to look at it, eventually buying it. Negotiations for this company were straightforward, and the buyer paid almost the full asking price while also obtaining an SBA loan and a small owner's loan held back. The quality of the product is superior, making it difficult to get knocked off in China. The conversation also emphasizes the importance of understanding accounting and finances for small business owners.

Acquiring a Live Pet Store

Seeing the potential for growth, Ken acquired a live pet store franchise that was located near his home. Despite the high price, he recognized the store's outstanding numbers and potential for growth, especially during COVID, which saw a rush in pet purchases. Ken also mentions that the Southern California market does not have a real-life pet store due to state law, and he plans to expand his business to cater to that underserved market. He emphasizes his desire to serve the community and provide a trustworthy source for people to get healthy, well-bred puppies for their families.

Ken’s Outlook on His Entrepreneurial Journey

As a successful entrepreneur, Ken revealed that his motivation to succeed and provide for his family stems from growing up poor and wanting to create a better life for himself and his loved ones. He also shared that his experiences in the casino business taught him the importance of hiring the best people and treating them with respect and that he tries to create a family-like atmosphere in his own businesses. Kirkpatrick emphasized the need for humility and valuing the opinions of his employees, who have a better understanding of the day-to-day operations.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this program are my own and/or those of my guests. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of my employer.




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