Welcome to the “Show Me The Way” podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Joe Suhor to discuss his experience of laying out plans on his kitchen table, through his journey of acquiring over 80 businesses, and ultimately his sale of that business.
Ep. 3 — From Kitchen Table Acquisition Plans to Selling the Business with Joe Suhor
Who is Joe Suhor?
Dave opens by introducing Joe Suhor, and discusses his funeral home business, Wilbert Funeral Services. Dave asks Joe to talk about his background and his experience in his career.
- Joe discusses his experience working in Kansas City, and how he was offered to buy the business shortly after.
- Joe says he saw an opportunity with his company then dives into the pressures that come along with owning a business and how he overcame those.
Dave asks Joe what the strategies were for tackling this project.
- Joe says he called experts in the industry for advice and learned a lot working through this process to help him be successful.
- Joe said he had to work to turn the operation around, but note that the company had to grow through acquisitions first.
Dave mentions a quote from Joe in his book, Quiet Plans Exciting Results, in which Joe says “the team will carry you a long way with your company.” Dave asks what he was looking for in establishing his team.
- Joe recalls searching through connections in Kansas City, and brought together an advisory board of business people, attorneys, executives, etc.
- He added that his company tried to promote from within, and for many years, it was successful by having a strong training program.
Wilbert Funeral Services and the Funeral Industry
Dave asks about his experience expanding his business in the funeral home industry.
- Joe said his business owned 45 manufacturing plants, and with that you go to national meetings and conferences.
- At those conferences, he recalls meeting other executives and CEO’s in the industry, building relationships, and receiving advice and guidance that helped him succeed.
Dave asks Joe what aspects in doing acquisitions bring him joy.
- Joe says the smaller operations acquired had no idea about selling the company.
- He notes that because he knew the family, there was a lot of trust and guidance involved to make everything work.
- Joe then describes his experience giving classes at the organization to teach others how to acquire a business.
Dave asks Joe how Wilbert is involved in working with other companies in the funeral industry.
- Joe details the many things Wilbert does in the funeral industry involving caskets, fluids, etc.
- Joe says that while he did not plan for the company to be where it is now, you have to be willing to change the plan to move forward.
The Process of Selling a Successful Business
After 80 acquisitions, Dave asks Joe to reflect and share the public announcement about his company.
- Joe shares his journey through the sale of Wilbert Funeral Services.
- Dave and Joe discuss the pressures associated with running and growing a business, and how success pushes you forward.
Dave asks Joe what advice he can give to those who are going through succession planning or will be going through it soon.
- Joe begins by noting that if you plan it properly, it is not such a big jump.
- He then continues discussing some specifics of the deal, his involvement in the company, and what he is planning to do upon completion of the same.
Dave asks what advice he would give to people going into business or working to grow a business.
- Joe states planning for the unexpected will help a business survive.
- He also encourages people to surround yourself with great people that challenge you and foster growth.
Dave asks Joe about his experience working with elected professionals, and how he has helped them throughout the years.
- Joe says he started years ago with President Reagan, and has also worked with a friend to start the organization LHT (Legacy, Honor, Trust), which specializes in high profile funerals.
- The organization also buries all policemen, firemen, and EMT’s that die in the line of duty free to the families throughout the United States and Canada.
Dave closes out the show by sharing where to learn more about Wilbert Funeral Services and information about Joe at www.wilbert.com.
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.