Over the last several decades, Relay has had the privilege of working with many successful search partners who attained outsized outcomes for themselves and their investors. While each searcher CEO is unique, those who are most successful tend to share a few common characteristics:
Strong discipline: While searching is a thrilling experience, at times it can also be difficult, monotonous, and taxing. While having a strong investor group to support you helps immensely, a searcher’s discipline remains paramount. The most successful searcher CEOs are able to maintain consistency in work ethic throughout the vicissitudes of searching, operating, and exiting their companies.
Sales skills: Sales skills are essential throughout the search fund journey. Whether it’s selling yourself to investors, convincing business owners that you’re the right acquirer, or pursuing new clients for your business, being a successful searcher CEO requires excellent sales skills.
Technical skills: Technical skills equip searchers with the expertise needed to analyze potential target companies thoroughly and manage their enterprise post-acquisition. These skills include the ability to evaluate financials, assess market dynamics, and identify growth opportunities, among others.
Bias towards action: Being a successful searcher requires consistently taking many novel actions on a daily basis. Each week of the search accounts for ~1% of a searcher’s runway. As such, having a bias towards taking action is crucial towards making every dollar count.
Willingness to learn: A willingness to seek feedback, digest information, and act on suggestions from your investor group, advisors, and board members is crucial in a searcher’s ability to expedite their learning curve.