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Diligent Due Diligence in Business w/ Elliott Holland

Reading Time: 8 minutes

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Today on Episode #2 of The Sage Executive Podcast, join our host Robb Fahrion and his guest, Elliott Holland, as they talk about doing due diligence and Elliott’s hot take on business acquisition. Elliott is the founding partner of Guardian Due Diligence, helping singe family offices and independent investors who are new to buying companies. Their services involve dealing with the grueling due diligence process by managing it and focusing on finance, accounting, and operations. They’re essentially acting as an additional team to businesses to aid with their growth. Elliott shares the wisdom he has gained over the years to help you become a Sage Executive yourself!

Learn Elliot Holland’s secrets to business acquisition! Listen to the podcast now on The Sage Executive Podcast!

Doing Your Due Diligence

As far as business acquisition is concerned, it’s really important that you understand what you’re buying. Recognize that the seller has the highest motivation to misrepresent the truth at any point in time. Why? For every dollar of profit that they slip into your analysis, they’re going to get four to eight times in value, and you’re going to lose that same amount. When you find a deal that you fall in love with, remember that there is a potential for you to lose money if you don’t approach it with logic and rationality. That’s what advisors are for! Their job is to push you in the right direction.

“The seller has the highest motivation to misrepresent the truth.” – Elliott Holland. Catch the interview on The Sage Executive Podcast!

Make It Good For One Person

In a numbers-oriented world, we tend to always look at how we can make things better, not noticing the foundation on where we stand. How can we do things quickly? How can we increase profits? How can we scale? We continue climbing to get to the top but forget if our hands are gripping on solid ground. You might want to put some thought on your customers and clients! What kind of experience do they get from you? While making your way up to the peak of your business, are you adding to their success as well?

“We oftentimes forget about ‘how do I make it good for one single person and then figure out how that person scales?’” – Elliott Holland. Catch him on this episode from The Sage Executive Podcast!

A Positive Value in World

For Elliot, the best part of leadership is the impact that you’re able to have on people. He’s already had plenty of mentees that have surpassed him! When you look at people in their own bubble, they won’t have that same impact on others because they keep things to themselves. But if you’re able to make people flourish by what you teach them and see them show up in the world, that makes being a leader so worthwhile! Life is not about you, but how much you’re able to give others!

Life is not about you, but how much you’re able to give others! Catch the interview with Elliott Holland on The Sage Executive Podcast!

About Elliott Holland:

I’m Elliott. I founded Guardian Due Diligence, a boutique firm that leads due diligence processes for family offices, investors and private equity firms. Our focus is finance, accounting, operations, and legal diligence.

We’ve helped family offices like Three Arrows Group, Trilogy Investment Group, and The Watermill Group execute high-quality due diligence so they could execute transactions worth millions of dollars of ROI/IRR.

Our goal is to solve the problem for groups new to direct deals in finding a reliable diligence provider. We use proven methods, proprietary tools, and market leading experience to solve the diligence problem for buyers.

How We Work:

  1. Lead Full DD Process: We can work with you to structure a due diligence process and lead that process from beginning to end ensuring the best chance of success.
  2. Confirmatory Due Diligence: You’ve done some diligence work but not sure the deal is good – now what?  We can use our methods to provide a second or confirmatory look at your deal providing a list of key risks to consider before closing.
  3. Build Direct PE Strategy For You In-House: We can set up your direct deal process and business using best practices and our proprietary methods. We’ll work alongside you and your staff building out your direct deal strategy and help execute deals.

Outline of the Episode:

  • [00:06] What does Elliott Holland do?
  • [00:54] The best thing about being a leader – having an impact on others!
  • [01:55] Not forgetting making the experience good for one single customer rather than obsessing over scaling and making things quick.
  • [03:01] Doing your due diligence.
  • [04:16] Recommendations for resources
  • [04:50] Going to the mountains and having a barbecue on a rooftop bar.


Connect with The Sage Executive Podcast!

Diligent Due Diligence in Business Transcription

Robb Fahrion: Hi, everyone, this is Robb Fahrion with The Sage Executive Podcast where top executives share their sage advice. It is six questions in nine minutes, because the wise speak in few words. So let’s get right to it. Question number one and a few sentences. Would you mind telling us who you are and what it is you do?

Elliott Holland: Yes, I’m Elliott Holland, founding partner of Guardian Due Diligence. And what we do is we help single family offices and independent investors who are new to buying companies. We help them execute and get through the grueling due diligence process by managing that process for them focused on finance, accounting, operations and finance. So we act sort of like a corporate development person would act in a company and provide sort of Sherpa like services to help people get through an acquisition.

Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Elliott, thanks so much for being on the show. Really appreciate it. Absolutely. Second question. What would you say? is the best thing about being a leader in business and having a role as a as a kind of top level partner in your organization.

Elliott Holland: Over the years, I’ve had plenty of mentees, and some of them have actually surpassed me, which I actually love. And I think the best part about leadership is that the people who you impact are able to take in what you’re able to give them and sort of flourish, surpass, go do great things show up in the world, again, work with you in the future. And so sort of the investment that you make in the sort of leadership that you’re giving others ends up coming back to you in different ways and might not come directly but it comes to sort of positive value in the world.

Robb Fahrion: I love that. Yeah, I used to actually coach high school football and I was I was decent, but it was always great seeing those players just be man 10 times better than I ever was.

Elliott Holland: That’s right. And that was my guy. I taught him how to you know, block Exactly. I put him on his back back then I wouldn’t go out at him now

Robb Fahrion: That’s right. That’s right. Question number three. Elliott doing great. So we hear from a lot of other executives that acquiring new business and new clients can be challenging, especially with so much noise and so many competitors in the space, I was just curious on what your thoughts are on new business acquisition and how you go about handling that?

Elliott Holland: Sure, I will say, I came out as an independent advisor three years ago, and I tell you, it was humbling, understanding how to get into the seat of acquiring new customers. So really, I had to do the humbling work of you know, eight years past, you know, Harvard MBA. Now it’s time to go crack out the marketing one on one manual and figure out how to do customer personas, how to think about digital marketing, how to think about traditional marketing, how to think about talk tracks, how to think about marketing materials, and all the rest. I think it is tough. And I think the problem is that we’re so used to, how can I scale? How can I scale? How can I scale? I’ll make it quick, but we oftentimes forget about how do I make it good for one single person, and then figure out how that person scales, right? It is tough, it’s not easy, but it’s worth every ounce of it. effort in my opinion.

Robb Fahrion: I love that. Yeah. So having the individual customer scale versus going out and getting 10 customers that, you know, we might not be able to provide quality service for. That’s great. Question number four. Now moving on, what piece of sage advice and this is where you shine for everyone else watching this show would you give to other executives and business leaders that are out there?

Elliott Holland: So I focus mine on business acquisition, because that’s what I know best. I don’t want to go into ballroom dancing, that wouldn’t be relevant. So for acquisitions, I think it’s really important that you understand what you’re buying, and recognize that the seller at that point has probably the highest motivation of any given time to misrepresent the truth. And here’s why. For every dollar of profit that they actually are able to slip into your analysis, they’re going to get four to eight times that in value and you’re going to lose four to eight times that in price. So you really need to be good at doing diligence or you need to be very good at finding your advisors. And so if people find a deal and they fall in love with it. People find the whole deal executing process and they love it. And they can lose a lot of money forgetting that it’s a very grueling process that you shouldn’t go into by yourself if you don’t have a lot, a lot of experience.

Robb Fahrion: Okay, I love that. That’s great. Question number five. Now, what other top executives like yourself obviously would would you like to acknowledge as leaders in the space and and someone that we could have on the podcast that would also provide value to our viewers?

Elliott Holland: Sure. I’ll give you one of my mentors turn colleagues, Annabelle Mendez, who I met at Procter and Gamble years and years ago, and now she has her own business. Another one is my close friend called sail, who has had a very illustrious career in technology and investments. I think both of them will be great.

Robb Fahrion: Perfect, really appreciate that. And then to wrap up, so this is this is a fun one. And we’ve had, we’ve had answers ranging all across the board from wearing a cowboy hat and At the office to just have a drink at the end of the day, but as a fun one after a win and it could be personal business related, whatever it may be, what do you like to do to celebra

Elliott Holland: And my friends know this Well, I’m going to the mountains to hang out. I’m going to our rooftop bar if my friends where I can find one, and I’m barbecuing and talking as much trash as I possibly can

Robb Fahrion: That sounds amazing. What particular mountain?

Elliott Holland: I like the Blue Ridge Mountains here in North Georgia, North Carolina. I just got back from Highlands North Carolina two weeks ago and I was up in North Georgia The week before. So I have my four wheeler and we’ll go

Robb Fahrion: Ah, there we go. Very cool. All right. Well, Elliott Hey, thank you so much for being on last piece. How can people find out more about you about your business? Best way to contact you go ahead and give that information we’d love to put that out there.

Elliott Holland: Absolutely. You can find out all about me at Guardian Due Diligence, calm, just as it sounds, or at on LinkedIn, just linkedin.com backslash Elliott Holland like the country. So if you don’t most places you can find me in very responsible places.

Robb Fahrion: There we go. Awesome. Perfect. Well, thanks again, Elliott everyone, my name is Robb Fahrion. This is the Sage Executive Podcast. For more insights into check out more episodes of our show, head to FlyingVGroup.com/podcast. Thanks so much for being on the show. Elliott. We really appreciate it.

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Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. Robb has helped over 350+ companies build their businesses online and is responsible for building Flying V Group into one of the premier marketing agencies in the United States. Robb and his team have managed over $10M in marketing budget and continue to accelerate the growth of clients' businesses. A love for business and competition is what fuels Robb to create dynamic marketing plans to help his clients grow exponentially.

July 14, 2020



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