Listen & Learn Podcast ™
Ted Leverette - Street Smart Way to Buy a Business
It may take a while for the audio to play because there numerous street smart tips. It’s worth the wait.
Play the audio above to hear “The Street-Smart Way to Buy a Business.” You will discover how we do what we do and you will glean dozens of facts, tips and strategies you can use to advise clients or to buy a business. Please contact us if you might want to join our group or if you want us to help you buy the right business the right way.
Our Code of Ethics is our foundation that earns praise from clients and professionals.
This webpage shows what people want you to know about our advisors. Click a name, below, to skip ahead.
(This webpage, About Us, is about our mission.)
Below we are featuring testimonials written to some of the advisors who use our know-how:
Robert Nice, John Martinka and David Sweeten.
But first our founder . . .
Ted J. Leverette
The Original Business Buyer Advocate®
(president of “Partner” On-Call Network LLC)
From an executive working for a billion dollar international company who wants to buy a business with a transaction value up to $7 million:
“Hi Ted, I couldn’t wait to get out of the office today and review my notes from our conversation this morning. I’ve been in the corporate world 19 years and I don’t recall a conversation as productive as that one. This is my first business purchase, so I am very happy with all the tips that you shared with me. I need to review my 5 pages of notes this weekend, and start in on your book, “How to Buy the Right Business the Right Way.” Given your comments, I will postpone reading your other book, “How to Get ALL the Money You Want For Your Business Without Stealing It” for the time being. In the meantime, I will start a simple project timeline, using the syllabus and book as reference. I will stay in touch with you as I continue my preparation, and am very much looking to learn more from you during this process. Again, thanks for your time and willingness to share your knowledge.”
It’s like fishing with dynamite, thanks to your evaluation and suggestions to refocus and improve my search methodologies.
Robert Connelly, Business Buyer
Ted, thank you for conducting the Searcher and Search Evaluation on my current efforts. You delivered both strategic and tactical value that will change my search process. Strategically, your explanation of the need to ensure congruity of all parts of my search process was invaluable. I now understand that my search is a multi-targeted marketing campaign. Further, that each tool in my search process and every contact with owners either builds upon the next success or tears down the effort.
Tactically, you delivered practical, but blunt feedback on each of the search steps where I provided information and I appreciate your delivery. I now know what aspects won’t work and can make the appropriate changes to match the strategy. Finally, at each step today, you provided insightful commentary that has served as seasoned advice to help me become better informed. Thanks Ted!
Terry Morehouse, Business Buyer
Ted is a knowledgeable source of information on all aspects of business.
Tom West, President, Business Brokerage Press
The money I paid you for your system has been earned many times over, and will serve me well in the future. I now have two part-time Associates and just added one fulltime Associate who has thirty one years in the banking business. I brought in the Associates because I literally cannot handle all of the leads. I plan to open another office in another city. I have modified some of your initial materials to fit my specific needs, but I utilize probably 80% of the base materials that YOU developed. We currently have three INDIVIDUAL buyer clients and two CORPORATE buyer clients. Your “Business Buyer Advocate” consulting system has been central to us obtaining these clients and we follow the trail map that you developed. Your system works! I have two seller clients and use the “Business Seller System” extensively. The process of “Assess, Value, Prepare, and Market” is central to our process and clients/prospects find the “system” very attractive; and, it relieves a lot of stress in their minds. I expect a number of seller clients in the near future.
Bob Biggerstaff, Strategic Advisors, LLC
Ted is not only a man of his word but he goes way beyond his obligations to help his colleagues become successful. His experience and knowledge in the “business transfer world” is the best I have come across. If you are considering a business relationship, do not hesitate.
Bill Ranieri, President, Ranieri Business Consulting
You have done an outstanding job putting together a first class program.
Keith McLeod, Business Centre
In 1996 I began using the system of consulting created by Ted Leverette. The system, training and support enabled me to start and enjoy my own fun and lucrative consulting practice. My experience with you as my mentor and guidance counselor is unmatched by anyone I’ve worked with in my long career. Your skill and experience and your desire to help your teammates succeed shows up when you bring people on board into your organization. Your honesty and integrity means more than your skills (which are huge) into your relationships. I recommend you and your services to any enterprising person who wants to excel as an entrepreneur and as a consultant. Please use me as reference if you wish.
Gene Pepper, ABC Alliance Business Consultants, Inc.
I have known Ted for over 20 years and he is a person of high integrity and has tremendous drive. He often works harder for others than they do for themselves. Follow Ted’s advice and you will be better off than you were.
John Martinka, Business Resource Center
I want to tell you about a company that you should contact which specializes in buyer side advisory work, and has truly perfected the search process for businesses not listed publicly for sale.
I rarely recommend third parties in our industry so rest assured these folks are top-notch.
The name of the firm is “Partner On-Call Network” (POCN) and they offer a tremendous service called Business Buyer Advocate. The head of POCN is a gentleman named Ted Leverette. For over 35 years he has focused on the buy-side of deals. In the past few years, he has assembled a team of professionals who are truly dedicated to assisting buyers.
Ted and I have spent a considerable amount of time together and I like what I see. I believe in his philosophy and approach, and above all, he shares my unrelenting commitment to helping prospective business buyers.
Besides their search work, they provide buyers with an advocate who wants to make sure you buy the right business, not just any business.
No matter had badly you want to buy a business; first you have to find one. A POCN Business Buyer Advocate can introduce you to some of the best businesses for sale that you cannot find on your own.
And don’t forget the importance of timing. The longer you spend looking, the more it costs you, especially if you need the income.
Richard Parker, Diomo Corporation
Ted brings a unique and proprietary system to buy-side engagements that allows business buyers to maximize their confidence through target selection, due diligence and closing.
Jeff Snell, ABI, CBI, Principal Broker & Founder, ENLIGN Business Brokers
Ted is one of the most experienced and qualified individuals there is when it comes to assisting and representing business buyers.
Toby Tatum, Business Broker, The Russell Group
Ted is truly a unique resource in the Mergers & Acquisition arena! From one perspective, he is a pioneer in this industry – Ted created the concept of the Business Buyer Advocate®, which is the foundation of success for his nationwide business consulting firm, “Partner” On-Call Network ®. From another perspective, he continues to test new and innovative strategies – Ted is committed to exploring Best Practices, and nurturing his “Partners” for success. I recommend Ted and his firm as a resource for someone seriously interested in business acquisition, growth strategies, and/or succession planning.
Lori K. Smith, Owner, Innovative Services, Inc.
Thank you for helping me launch my consulting business. I had been trying to shift my focus from listing and selling businesses to working for buyers for the last three years. I had some success but could not understand why I was struggling.
After being a business broker for over 20 years, I thought I had a good system to work with clients. Thanks to your guidance and the 30 plus years that you put into the Business Buyer Advocate ® client reference manuals, I understand how to do this right. I am now building my business and looking forward to the future.
Since this is a very different approach to working with business buyers, I would be happy to talk to business brokers who are interested in adding your system to their practice. You constantly amaze me with your understanding of our industry and how to improve business for a colleague. You have the ability and experience that leads to better decisions every day.
John Halstvedt, President, BizResources, Inc.
Ted is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to working with a buyer throughout the business buying process. He is a seasoned business buyer advocate and essentially wrote the book on the buyer advocate concept. Ted is the ring leader of “Partner” On-Call Network, which is a great resource for anyone interested in making an acquisition and doing it the right way.
Dan Pellegrino, M&A Consultant
Ted helped me understand the complex dynamics of the business-for-sale market that helps me explain it to my clients on a daily basis.
Steven Beal, Beal Business Growth Consultants, Inc.
I have worked with Ted for over 9 years and have never met a person who works harder for others as Ted does. He is constantly trying to help each of his “Partners” achieve the success that he knows they can achieve. His knowledge and skills in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions is unparalleled. I would be more than happy to speak to anyone about Ted Leverette and how he can help you be successful.
Jeffrey Smith, Partner, “Partner” On-Call Network
If you are seeking expertise in the business buy/sell/value/improve arena, look no further. Ted is one of the most knowledgeable I know in this business.
The Business Buyer Advocate methodologies are more important to me than the information. It is not about the info. (There are many business consulting and dealmaking informational books, videos, social media websites, and other resources that are readily available.) But our processes, our skills that we share with clients, and how and when we help clients when they need it. That is what differentiates us from other advisors and it empowers our clients.
Jeff Smith, Consultant
Sample of testimonials written to Business Buyer Advocates and “Partners” On-Call
Here’s what people have to say about John Martinka
After spending (wasting) a great deal of time reviewing local and national broker listings and kicking tires, I was referred to you. I checked your references and found them very solid. 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 Distributing, Renton, WA
To me, the advantage of working with you rather than dealing with brokers and similar individuals was that you were on my team and had no responsibility – fiduciary or otherwise – to anyone else. Having closed the transaction to purchase National Concrete Cutting, Inc. just under two months ago I wanted to thank you for your guidance and counsel in my business search.
Matthew P. Finnigan
John Martinka organized, on behalf of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club, Washington State, and the Rotary Club of Antigua, donated over 200 computers to private and public primary schools across Antigua and Barbuda.
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 realize your efforts are appreciated.
Ken Becker, Pres., Burhans-Sharpe Sales, Inc., Seattle, 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
I wanted to write to summarize the tremendous value you provided to me as consultant in my acquisition. I started as a relative novice in the business of buying and selling companies and in addition to assisting in finding and acquiring the right company for me you spent the time upfront educating me on the buying process. Beyond the expected “hard” advice and analysis on company financials, deal structure, due diligence elements and a hundred other things your value extended to the “soft” areas. Without hesitation I would use your services for my next acquisition and encourage any business buyer – experienced or not – to secure your help. The price is small compared to the return.
Scott Fallon, President,
Pacific Coast Systems, Inc., Redmond, 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.
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
Thank you again for your counsel on our recent business opportunities. Your questions and observations really got to the issues quickly and provided perspective that has proven very profitable? Finding you has been a real relief.
Jon Stevens, TSG, Inc., Kirkland, WA
I found the entire process of finding and purchasing a business under your guidance actually enjoyable. I was able to avoid so many costly and time consuming mistakes. 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 me and the seller focused on 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 me and the seller 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 with that service alone.
Michael Lund, President, NW Legal Support, Seattle 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
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 was fortunate to witness your seminar. Your use of direct quotes, anecdotes and lots of stories captivated your audience for three hours — not bad when you consider the class was after business hours. Your students had more energy on the way out than on the way in. I peeked at some of the evaluation forms. One student summed it up perfectly, “John really knows his material. He made a complicated topic easy to learn.”
Ted Leverette, President, Business Valuation Network, Inc.,
North Palm Beach, FL
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!
Robb Stilovich, Tacoma Monument Works, Tacoma, 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
Hey John, thanks a million (dollars I hope). You’ve been an amazing help to us.
Donna Buckingham, VP Softwear Clothing, Redmond, WA
You have been very accessible and have been a good asset in reviewing things with me. I can certainly say that you know what to look for and have provided good reassurances along the way.
Doug Bagnell, Pres. 4th Dimension Computers, Olympia, WA
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 wanted to put into writing a few comments about the value of the advice and counseling that you have provided me about buying a business. [In just your training class] I received more practical, useful information than I got from all the books and articles I have read on business buying, and I’ve looked at quite a few on the subject.
Basil Zabek, Dayton, OH
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 am writing this letter to express my satisfaction with you and your services. Just weeks ago, the possibility of buying a business was my dream, but I had no plan on how to accomplish it. I also had no assurance that I could even find a business…I may have purchased a bad business or paid too much, risking my investment and livelihood. Thank you for your efforts on my behalf.
Gary St. John, Portland, OR
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, or have ever talked to.
Craig Bradford, Pittsburgh, PA
Thank you for your program. It was well presented, informative, humorous, clear, concise and well received.
Fran Bryant, Francorp, Kent, WA
It must give you great pleasure to fulfill your mission – matching up buyers with sellers to the advantage of both, or steering them clear for all the right reasons.
Elizabeth Pray, CPA, Seattle, WA
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
Thank you very much for coming to CareerMakers Wednesday. As you could see, there was quite a bit of interest in the subject, as evidenced by the large number of people that showed up. Your presentation certainly added a lot to our offering.
Jim Meyer, President, CareerMakers, Portland, OR
The information you presented was a wake-up call to our members.
Dick Watson, Secretary/Treasurer, Washington Motorcoach Association, Snohomish, WA
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
Our group really enjoyed your talk. Several people commented to me afterward how much they appreciated the information you provided as well as your presentation style.
Daniel Whitaker, South King County CPA Society, Auburn, WA
I recently had the pleasure of working with John Martinka. For the first time I can see clearly what my most profitable (and enjoyable) areas are and where I was spending a lot of time with little result. The results have been stunning! I recommend Business Resource Group without reservation to others who want improved results
Jody Levinson, Troutdream Graphics, Redmond, WA
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
Your presentation at my TAB meeting was very good. After spending many years doing formal presentations all over the country, I recognize good speakers. I liked your use of humor and anecdotes as well.
Kathie MacIndoe, Vice President Fiberlay, Inc., Seattle, WA
The last time a speaker grabbed our audience like this was when we had Dr. Spitzer, now Gonzaga University’s President. That’s about the highest complement I can pay.
Dave Fagerstrom, North Seattle CPA Chapter, Seattle, WA
Many thanks for your excellent presentation yesterday at our “Business Breakfast Clinic.” I could tell our participants were gaining a great deal of information from you. Thank you for helping to make our program a valuable one for our business clients.
Barbara J. McCarthy, Senior VP, Frontier Bank, Everett, WA
The amount of information presented and the interactive nature of the seminar format was very helpful. As promised, the simulation at the end of the meeting helped reinforce the basic principles. Thanks again for all your help.
Robert Bainbridge, Arden Hills, MN
I just wanted to drop you a note to compliment you on the quality of the valuation and the cover letter, as well as your professionalism. I am very much amazed at how quickly you were able to turn around the report.
Thanks again — the report, your insight, and ideas will be very helpful as we try to find a way to put together a deal where everyone wins.
Blair Bush, Bellevue, 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 who is assembling their own acquisition team 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
John, I feel most lucky that I met you. You have provided encouragement, insight and prodding to make the dream happen. I hope you will use me as a reference. Your method is a great help for those who don’t know the details. You did not do the work for me. It has more value when you learn the job yourself.
Bob Mitchell, Redmond, WA
Here’s what people have to say about Robert Nice
I have worked with Robert H. Nice for approximately 10 years now. He guided me through the entire buying process when I bought a division of my family’s operation in 1996, including due diligence, creating a business plan, negotiating the deal with four brothers, obtaining financing and closing the deal. Robert has played the role of Advisorary CFO for many years and has assisted me with the acquisition of two more businesses. I can recommend Robert without reservation, and I think he will be a great addition to your professional team.
Keith Heavener, Heavener Supply Inc., Souderton PA.
As a small business owner, I have really appreciated your financial expertise and steady guidance helping me to grow my business. You also were an invaluable asset as I pursued and purchased a second business with you coaching me every step of the way.
Nevin Dieffenbach, Dieffenbach Chips, Womelsdorf PA.
Here’s what people have to say about David Sweeten
David J. Sweeten, CBI, BCB, CPA diversified his business brokerage (Sweeten & Sutton Brokerage, Inc.) to include being an Authorized Business Buyer Advocate trained by “Partner” On-Call Network LLC.
I’ve worked with David off and on for years. He is one of the few true professionals in our community, and one of only two or three I will share a client with.
John F Dini, Principal, MPN Advisors LLC
David is a hard working, driven, solutions-oriented business broker who knows how to make deals happen. He always takes great interest in both buyers and sellers to ensure a smooth transition and to facilitate their ongoing relationships.
Jeffrey Katz, Director of Finance and Lending, Community Development Loan Fund
I have known and worked with David for over 10 years. I have always found him to be a top-notch professional and very ethical in all his dealings. He is very deal savvy and puts his clients’ interests first. Great guy to be associated with!!!!
Keith Chapman, Managing Director, Horizon Business Group, LLC
David Sweeten is a knowledgeable, practical and effective professional and I would recommend Sweeten & Sutton Brokerage, Inc. to anyone looking to purchase or sell a business.
Mark Edgmon, Attorney, Granstaff, Gaedke & Edgmon, P.C.
I’ve had the opportunity to refer clients to David and have never been disappointed. He is masterful in making a thorough and practical assessment of any business and coming up with the right price and approach to get the business sold. His ability to find buyers while keeping the listing out of the public eye really gives his clients confidence that they can list their business with him and not run the risk of hurting client/customer confidence.
Greg Richards, Managing Partner, Pattillo, Richards & Harpold, P.C.
David is clearly an outstanding top-notch professional who brings instant credibility and super results to all of his business deals and other varied work assignments. His on-going success is obviously due to his integrity, extensive highly-relevant experience, deep subject matter expertise, good judgment/decision-making, common sense, and his unique ability to build strong relationships with buyers, sellers, financial institutions, service providers, and others.
Johnny Miller, Johnny Miller … Contracts Management & Legal Services Consultant, CON-TRACTS.COM
David is extremely competent and very experienced. I have worked with David in the past and the results more than met the client’s expectations. I recommend David to anyone requiring the highly specialized needs of a professional business broker.
Kit Corbin, Executive Vice President, Grubb & Ellis Company
Each “Partner” On-Call Network office and each Business Buyer Advocate consulting practice is independently owned and operated. Business Buyer Advocate ® and “Partner” On-Call ® are registered trademarks of Ted J. Leverette.
Ted J. Leverette
The Original Business Buyer Advocate ®
“Partner” On-Call Network, LLC
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