The Welsh Wire: AJ Willit of LogiQuip
“Frankly, if I can do it just about anybody could.” The “it” is coming up with the money and expertise to buy out the owners of a successful Galesburg small business, LogiQuip. And the guy doing it was AJ Willit, current LogiQuip President/CEO.
AJ was brought on board LogiQuip, a healthcare storage solutions company, in 2015 to run the company while the two owners transitioned to other opportunities. But in mid-2016, AJ was asked if he wanted to purchase LogiQuip outright.
The first step was coming up with the money. “There’s a lot of resources out there. And literally, I started Googling,” he says, which got him in contact with the U.S. Small Business Administration. “They have some very nice programs for people that don’t have a ton of equity to put in and need to borrow a ton of money, such as myself.”
AJ’s loan ended up being backed by Michigan Strategic Fund and done by Fifth Third Bank. “It took a team of people from accountants, to lawyers, to lenders, to the Strategic Fund. I mean, it was a ton of people involved in this. And I had a lot of really smart people helping me. I would obviously advise people that if you’re going to do something like this, you should surround yourself with really smart people.”
AJ says buying a company requires time and patience. “There’s gonna be lots of ups and downs. You know, I started everywhere from being really excited to oh, my gosh, what have I done? Why am I doing this? This is the worst idea ever! [To] okay, well, now, I know I’m doing it. Fortunately, we had a good team of people who helped me about the acquisition.”
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