Who are you and what business did you start?
I am Amanda Dixon and my business is Barney Inc, an M&A advisory firm that specializes in digital agencies.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
My husband and I founded Barney to provide agency owners with the sell-side representation that was nowhere to be found when I made my own successful exit.
Describe the process of launching the business.
We knew that our success would depend to a large extent on our ability to bring the best buyers to the table, so we built up and organized a national database and rallied a sense of community around it. Those relationships are going strong today and are why we know exactly whom to match with our seller’s post-exit goals.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We carved out an attractive space for ourselves as an M&A firm that understands what digital agency founders need – how their valuation process works, what drives them, what their goals are post-exit. We understand because we’ve been there, and that really resonates with our audience.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The M&A market for agencies has exploded and will continue to grow. There has never been a better time to sell your agency.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I’ve learned that you need both “big bad goals” that are extremely ambitious and smaller, bite-sized incremental goals along the way. The combination is everything.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Email is a key channel for us, in combination with our buyers’ database on our website. LinkedIn has become an important inbound acquisition tool as well.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank was my business mentor even though he didn’t know it.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Always show up for your clients. That means actively focusing on the quality of your presence, not just being there.