Episode 148

Startup to Stability with Dean van Zyl

This week on The Exit: Dean van Zyl was fired from his first three jobs, and in his own words, “wasn’t very hirable”. He turned to entrepreneurship out of necessity, which has led him to start multiple businesses and achieve numerous exits in three different countries. Dean’s first successful business grew to such an extent that he couldn’t get out. In his own words, he “was the business”, he was too involved in the day-to-day work, and the size of the business meant those who had the funds to acquire it, weren’t the type looking to run it. After multiple changes including bringing on a new partner, building up the management team and putting procedures in place, Dean successfully exited. But what took five years could have been achieved in one if the business was better set up for an acquisition from the beginning. Since selling that business Dean has built and exited a number of companies, all of which were designed for exits from the start. Listen to learn more about Dean’s experience and his advice for setting up a business with an exit in mind. 

Dean van Zyl is currently the Founder and CEO of National Adhesive, the fastest growing Sealant & Adhesive company in Northern America. Dean’s initial business venture was Founding The Courier Connection, which he developed initially to improve turnaround times for stock from Johannesburg to Swaziland for Swazi Design, his main business at the time. Within a very short period of time it grew to daily line haul deliveries between Johannesburg and Swaziland and eventually he sold it to Triton Express.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deanvanzyl-na/ 

Dean’s Current Company: https://nationaladhesive.com/

Instagram @Deanvanzyl_ : https://www.instagram.com/deanvanzyl_/ 

For a Free Flippa Business Valuation: flippa.com/freevaluation 


Steve McGarry

An entrepreneur, content creator, and investor based in sunny Tampa, Florida. In 2015, while living in San Francisco, Steve sold his first fintech startup LendLayer to Max Levchin’s (founder of PayPal) consumer finance company Affirm.

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