Rob Lichfield on Acquiring Businesses and the FedEx Independent Service Provider Model

Jared W. Johnson Podcast

In this podcast episode, host Jared Johnson interviews business acquisition expert, Rob Lichfield, where they share insights and tips about what to consider when acquiring a business. The conversation primarily centers around their experiences in the FedEx industry, but they also cover other topics such as due diligence, managing employees, and the SBA loan process. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced business owner, this blog will provide valuable information that can help you navigate the world of acquiring businesses.

Rob Lichfield’s Background

Rob Lichfield grew up in southern Utah. He’s been on a Mormon mission to Massachusetts, and worked in a commercial bank with his dad. Lichfield also talks about living on the beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, which he describes as a cool and inexpensive place for American expats to live. 

The Challenges of Owning a FedEx

Rob Lichfield discusses his attraction to the FedEx independent service provider model, which is highly competitive and has undergone many changes over the years. But Rob shares his insight on the challenges of owning a FedEx route and how the company has made it difficult for owners to make a profit. Jared and Rob also touch on the SBA’s approval of FedEx as a licensing agreement rather than a franchise, which opened doors for SBA loans. Overall, Rob advises that someone looking to invest in a FedEx business should consider being an owner-operator rather than a semi-absentee owner.

Acquiring a Winning Business

The conversation continues with Rob Lichfield discussing the importance of buying a winning business and not making too many changes. He compares it to a relay race where one must not drop the baton. Rob talks about the risks of making changes when buying a business, as it can lead to a loss of culture and status quo, resulting in the business going out of business. Having acquired multiple businesses, Rob emphasizes the importance of learning the business before buying and mentions how his brother learned through delivering with his crew for six weeks.


Finally, Jared and Rob briefly discuss a restaurant acquisition that Rob found through when he was looking to get out of the FedEx space. The business Rob acquired, Protein Source, is a healthy, fast casual restaurant that serves protein shakes and healthy protein-based meals, mostly meat-based, with vegetarian and vegan options. They have repeat customers who are into fitness and healthy lifestyle. The business averages about $7,000 in sales a day and $50,000 a week between its two locations.

Rob enjoys acquiring businesses and being a good employer. That’s what drives him to keep going.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this program are my own and/or those of my guests. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of my employer.