What is 365 EIR Program?

The 365 Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program is part search fund, part independent sponsor, part multi-disciplinary management trainee program.  The program is designed to give you, the aspiring entrepreneur, a guided path into business ownership with a focus on Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA).

Our growth at 365 Holdings has been fueled by our founders ability to  source, underwrite, acquire, operate, and grow small businesses.  The 365 EIR Program trains aspiring entrepreneurs to follow that same process and provides them with the needed investment capital to execute on a small business acquisition.

EIRs work as a full time employee at 365 Holdings in a functional role within one of our business units.  In addition to your full time operational responsibilities within 365 EIRs spend their free time working to leave 365 to become the Principal Owner/Operator of their own company.  To support that effort 365 Holdings will provide mentorship, training, support, capital and other resources to support the EIR in their transition into entrepreneurship.  After successfully leaving 365 to run their new company full time as Owner/Operator you remain a part of the 365 Family of Companies and get ongoing support and mentorship from 365.

Core Principles

A handful of core principles have guided our thinking in the development of this program. They are as follows:

Circle of Competence

Image Credit: Shane Parrish at Farnam Street

This mental model was developed by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger to help describe their selection criteria for companies to invest in. We have learned at 365 Holdings that our Circle of Competence is in acquiring and growing eCommerce Brands specifically. EIRs may choose to pursue eCommerce as their acquisition search focus or they may pursue other markets. We’re fine with either - the training that EIRs receive will be a holistic skill set and can apply to many businesses. What’s most important is that the ETA search is focused on the EIRs Circle of Competence! We will spend time defining and refining this criteria with our EIRs. Your Circle of Competence can grow over time but it is critical that any new business venture fits into your current Circle of Competence when you begin it!

“It’s not what you think you know.  It’s what you know you know.”

Hedgehog Concept

Image Credit: Jim Collins

This framework was developed by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great.  We layer this concept on top of the Circle of Competence to help further refine ideal acquisitions.  The Hedgehog concept insists that a company focus on the intersection of the following three criteria:
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What can you be the best in the world at?
  • What drives your economic engine?
Applying this methodology to 365 Holdings we see the Hedgehog Concept at work:
  • Passion - Building the 365 team and being the best second home for eCommerce Brands
  • Best in the World - Growing eCommerce Brands with Digital Marketing and Operational Excellence
  • Economic Engine - Our 365 Flywheel
As an EIR we will work with you to refine your criteria in answering these questions.

Platform Focus

We believe you can divide small businesses into two categories: lifestyle businesses and platforms. The focus of our EIRs is to find platform businesses. There is nothing wrong with owning and operating a lifestyle business; it simply isn’t the focus of this program. For example, we view 365 Holdings itself as a platform business, and the brands that we own are our lines of business. A few attributes of platform businesses, as we would describe them, include:
  • Multiple Lines of Business - the business has (or can develop) multiple product lines, streams of revenue, profit centers, locations, sales channels, etc.
  • M&A - the business has the ability to grow strategically through acquisition.
  • Management Team - the business can reach a scale to be run by functional department heads such that the owner/operator can eventually take a month long vacation and the business will continue to function.
  • Durably Scalable - the business must have a fundamentally sound reason for existing a path to continued profitable operations and growth for decades to come.

Investment Thesis Development

Internally we use investment memos to document our acquisitions. In our memo structure we have a variety of qualitative and quantitative criteria but the memo ends with a seven question checklist. The checklist essentially ensures that the acquisition fits our Hedgehog Concept. EIRs will be expected to develop their own robust thesis around their search criteria that incorporates the principles of Circle of Competence, Hedgehog Concepts, and Platform Focus. The EIRs’ search will then focus on sourcing, underwriting, and qualifying specific acquisition opportunities based on their thesis.

Leadership Development

To run a company you must be a leader.  Full stop - no excuses.  If you can’t lead people you can’t lead a company.  We are looking for EIRs who are natural born leaders.  We have an internal leadership development program and we expect that our EIRs will be head of the class in that program.

Who is a good fit to be an EIR?

What businesses are a good fit for ETA?

What are the specifics of the deal?

Think you are ready to be in our EIR program?
Click the button below to apply!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t know what kind of business I want to buy?

That’s great.  Part of the EIR program is all about figuring that out!

How long will it take to find a company to buy?

The short answer is “it depends”.  Finding a great company to buy and ultimately closing on the acquisition can take many months or even years.

What happens if I decide not to acquire a company?

That’s ok.  You may go through this process and decide owning a business isn’t for you.  In the mean time you will have done some great work, gained valuable experience, and learned a lot!

I have been searching for a business to buy and am really just looking for some support and potential investment in my search - what should I do?

Apply today!

What if I want an investment from 365 but I don’t want to participate in this EIR program?

We love hearing a good pitch - please contact us!