The FORT Podcast: Brent Beshore

Brent Beshore is the Founder and CEO of, a company investing in family-owned businesses. Brent is also the author of The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business in a World of Imperfect Buyers. In Episode 21, Brent and Chris discuss the history of the company, doing deals, mentorship and tons more.

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2:10 – How did you start this business?
2:55 – What are the benefits of running your company out of Columbia, MO vs. a major market?
5:13 – What are the common characteristics of companies that you acquire?
9:27 – When talking with these founders, what is the relationship like in terms of selling them later on?
14:10 – Do you find that as you grow, you see the people that come to you are more aligned with what you are looking for?
16:28 – Is your traffic inbound or are you doing outbound marketing?
18:07 – How has “The Messy Marketplace” been received, and has it led to more growth for Adventures?
20:02 – Writing a Book
21:58- What are some of the questions you love to ask potential businesses early on?
27:10 – What is your role in getting a deal done?
28:35 – How do you learn about buying a business and keeping everyone on board motivated to keep running it the same way?
30:50 – Once you buy a business, how is it determined how long current management will stay on?
32:16 – How do you define the “line” of we are here for you but you are your own company and need to run it?
34:57 – Have you ever recalled a time where the company was caught in conflict and how are those conflicts resolved?
37:05 – What are common tools that you use to work on with companies?
41:44 – Is there a common thing that small businesses are not doing well in marketing that can be easily fixed?
44:26 – What does Google Analytics do for a business?
47:02 – Owner Earnings vs. EBITDA
53:40- How do you determine what a ‘boring business’ is, and what industries are you interested in these days?
58:05 – When you start redistributing to investors, does it ever come off as a sign of weakness?
1:01:36 – How much time do you spend reading?
1:02:50 – How important is your morning routine to you?
1:03:58 – Do you have a favorite book?
1:04:25 – What is something you think few people believe?
1:07:49 – What advice would you give your 21-year old self?
1:08:45 – Do you have a mentor(s)?

Episode Summary

At the outset, Beshore emphasizes the significance of mentorship and constructive feedback, noting how it plays a vital role in personal and professional development. He encourages listeners to seek out mentors and be receptive to their guidance, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. The conversation sets a tone of introspection and growth, as Beshore shares his journey and the lessons he has learned along the way.

As the discussion progresses, Beshore delves into the dynamics of acquiring businesses, elucidating the importance of transparency and clear communication. He highlights the need for articulating business values and models clearly, as it attracts opportunities that resonate with the company’s ethos, thereby streamlining the acquisition process. Beshore also touches upon the scaling of relationships and the benefits of a strong network, underscoring the long-term value of cultivating connections within the business community.

Navigating the complexities of deal structuring and business acquisitions, Beshore sheds light on the crucial aspects of understanding incentives and simplifying situations to facilitate smooth transactions. He emphasizes the importance of clarity and simplicity, stating that these elements are key to successfully navigating the intricacies of buying a business. Beshore’s insights provide listeners with a nuanced perspective on the financial and operational considerations involved in acquisitions, emphasizing the need for a clear and straightforward approach.

The conversation then shifts to the role of analytics and customer understanding in business operations. Beshore highlights the significance of heat mapping and customer behavior analysis, noting how these tools can optimize user experiences and enhance business efficiency. He challenges the notion that branding is inconsequential for small businesses, asserting the tangible impact of a strong brand on a company’s success and its ability to attract the right kind of attention.

In the final segment of the podcast, Beshore shares his thoughts on specialization in business, cautioning against the potential dangers of becoming too narrowly focused. He advocates for a balanced approach, evaluating each business on its own merit while being mindful of industry dynamics. Beshore’s perspective encourages a thoughtful and discerning approach to business, promoting versatility and openness to opportunities.

Throughout the podcast, Brent Beshore provides a wealth of knowledge and practical advice, drawing from his extensive experience in acquiring and operating small businesses. His insights into deal-making, business operations, and the importance of relationships offer invaluable guidance for professionals in the private equity space and beyond. Beshore’s candidness and depth of knowledge make this episode a must-listen for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of the business world, acquire businesses successfully, or simply gain a deeper understanding of the principles that drive successful operations and relationships in the professional realm.

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