Stephanie Breedlove was the CEO of a payroll and tax accounting firm for households. The focus of their company was families that wanted to legally pay their nannies and caregivers of elderly family members and have a reliable system for it. This new market took off and the company grew to impressive numbers.
After 25 years, Care.com approached Stephanie about purchasing her business. She takes me on that emotional journey and gives some great insight on how the process worked. She is very open about the financials of the business. One of the most open guests I have ever interviewed.
Stephanie tells me how she and her husband saw a need for what was at the time a novel industry. This episode is a great look into the nuts and bolts of merger and acquisitions and what it really takes to do it right. It is also a great example of even if you do put in the work, there will still be snags and problems that come up along the way. Stephanie shares how she navigated those and why she’s glad she took the time to know what she needed from the sale for herself and the good of the company.
What you will learn:
- Stephanie’s background in business and entrepreneurship.
- The beginnings of her payroll and tax firm.
- The 2 year, 4 month growth trajectory and bringing Stephanie’s husband into the business.
- How they found their first clients.
- Switching their mindset from “small firm” thinking to “big business” thinking.
- How Stephanie and her husband learned about their industry and market trends.
- Why “what-if” talks were beneficial to Stephanie and her husband when discussing the future of the business.
- How they went about preparing the company for growth.
- The conversations Stephanie and her husband had before going to market.
- Why they decided to sell.
- How emotion and ego can ruin a deal.
- The relationship with Care.com and how the sale negotiations started.
- Why Stephanie and her husband didn’t tell their executive team about the sale.
- The team of advisors that Stephanie took into her negotiations.
- The start and stop talks with Care.com and how Stephanie handled it.
- The hang-ups that stalled the sale and how they were resolved.
- What it was like to work for Care.com.
- The positive effects of Stephanie’s earn-out and why it was good for the company.
- Stephanie’s book All In.
- What she does now to keep busy.
- The natural high of entrepreneurship.
- What’s next for Stephanie?
Stephanie is a rock star example of how to do a merger and acquisition right. Even if you are well versed in business, it still important to keep learning. Figure out what you want from your business and what you would want from a sale of that business and you will be better prepared for the process. Keep in mind, even if you do put the time in and do everything right, there are going to be hiccups along the way. That’s just reality.
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Stephanie is an authentic voice for women entrepreneurs. She has been walking the walk of a successful entrepreneur for over twenty years. After launching a career in corporate America with Accenture, she found her true calling as co-founder and CEO of Care.com HomePay (previously Breedlove & Associates), the nation’s largest and most comprehensive household payroll and tax firm. Her startup grew to national leadership, was later acquired for more than $50 million, and plays a vital role in the quality and professionalism of the in-home care industry.
Breedlove and her husband founded and self-funded their entrepreneurial endeavor with no prior experience running a business. During the journey of building a company, she also built a life that integrated family and business as complements, not competitors, to one another. To create the life she desired, she often found herself at major crossroads—the kind that alter the direction and outcomes of life and require you to go all in to get to where you want to go.