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Columbus Entrepreneurs' Podcast is primarily for members of the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). Our members include business owners with a majority ownership in companies with at least $1 million in revenue. The stories are inspiring and focus on core principles of EO, including speaking from experience instead of advice giving, building peer learning experiences, and focusing on the top and bottom 5% of our lives. EO is a global organization that offers many benefits and learning opportunities. If you would like to learn more about EO, please visit

Jul 4, 2017

In this episode, Michelle Galligan joins Kevin to talk about her experience with entering into a joint venture. She shares her lifeline, and how she went from working in a firm to starting her company, and the steps taken to get to where she is today. She shares some advice on working with investment bankers, as well as the rationale behind her decision to maintain and grow the value of her company.


Key Takeaways:

[:30] Michelle was born in Springboro, Ohio, while it was still a small town. She originally went to school to be a chemical engineer, and then switched to the business school. While she was still in school, she worked for Ernst & Young, and discovered her knack for data.

[2:55] Due to family circumstances, Michelle had to take a leave of absence from her position with Ernst & Young. This ended being up a great opportunity to explore working in business development. Following this, Michelle talks about her journey through corporate America and how she ended up starting her own business.

[6:12] Michelle talks about the business, financial, and personal struggles that defined the first few years of her business — from joining with investors, to buying out the investors, and getting out of debt to move the company in her own direction.

[11:17] She ended up hiring an investment banker to find someone to sell the business to. She entered into a joint venture with GBQ, which allowed an opportunity to build the business without debt and let Michelle focus on growing the company.

[15:45] Sixteen months in, they aren’t quite where they imagined they would be. They are still working towards full integration of their back office, and they had to re-evaluate their business coming from some of the smaller branches. GBQ is a BDO Alliance partner, and they are unique because of their leadership offerings. They are now working on building partnership agreements with different firms across the nation to offer inner leadership and accounting project work.

[16:25] When deciding which investment banker to work with, the same two recommendations kept coming up. They ended up going with a local bank called Copper Run, but this coincidentally also started the relationship between Michelle’s company and GBQ.

[20:43] Michelle talks about the transaction process of signing on with GBQ, and the deal actually going through, from the pricing of the transaction to the due diligence, and how the whole process set the company up for success later on.

[24:40] In addition to her company, Michelle has been doing some side-CFO work, which has been very fun! She is also working with a local tech company right now, working on some things to get ready for growth. She has also taken up diving as a hobby. Coincidentally, many of the people she dives with are also entrepreneurs!

[27:44] Her next focus is learning the expansion piece of her business. She has a plan to gain twenty strategic partners in four years, in the hopes that each can be grown into an actual location.

[30:12] What made Michelle decide to do a joint venture instead of selling her company? Ultimately it’s because 100% of the value is significantly less than 50% of the value it’s going to be, and it has allowed her to focus her time in the right places. The joint venture was more like a partial sale because it allowed her to clear the debt of the company. It also allows her freedom in her schedule and decision-making.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Columbus Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization