Kevin Schneider was one of the most requested members people in our chapter wanted to hear from. So we took a moment to speak with Kevin about his company, growth and recent sale of his company, SOR Technologies.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at the company
I was born and raised in New York and moved to San Diego in 2002. My first job in San Diego working at a resort company in Carlsbad. Even as a kid I had the entrepreneurial spirit. Always trying to find ways to make money and grow a business. I went from selling gum in elementary school to running a mechanic shop in college. My mind is always churning on how to scale a business. I founded SOR technologies with my business partner in 2004. While launching SOR I was also running a programing company called ChasetheWeb. Merging my love of programing with my passion for business created and adapted SOR technologies to the market. My role in the company has always been to focus on innovation and strategy. My partner handled all of the operations which was my least favorite
What is your business?
SOR Technologies is a technology company in the travel industry. SOR revolutionized the travel club space by offering the savings on car rentals, hotels, and cruises in an industry where brand loyalty was nonexistent. Our booking engine compares prices from the leading providers and offers the consumer a discount on the lowest available rates. it's a Costco model for travel. We charge a membership fee and save members money on travel.
Tell me about your company’s growth over the last 3 years? How much growth? What has it been like?
The company has more than doubled in revenue and EBITDA. We also grew to over 400 team members across the globe. Growing a business is a lot easier when you already have revenue. The hardest part was to get to the first million. As the business grows it starts to take a life of its own. It’s very fascinating to obverse when you take a step back
What are some of the top learnings you’ve had based on your fast growth? What recommendations, resources or things do you have regarding things that helped you grow so quickly
1. Create a culture at your company where people value their jobs and feel valued. Make them feel empowered, they are your biggest asset. Most of our leadership team has grown with the company.
2. Trust your intuition especially even when no one else does. I have been wrong way more than I have been right but I am always trying new ways of doing things.
Since you recently sold your business, how important was growth to the exit? How did it impact valuation? How did the buyers look at it? What should other EO members who are considering an exit do as it relates to growing?
Growth, market share, type of industry and EBITDA drives interest. A big part of selling your company is learning to play the valuation game and getting your numbers in line with how acquiring companies view the business. If you have certain items in place you will get a higher multiple for example PCI compliance level one, ERP system and detailed reporting and documentation. Strategic companies and PE firms tend to hire firms to do due diligence. They will hire an HR firm, technology firm etc. The more organized you have everything the easier it will be to sell. My advise would be to be patient on selling. There is a lot of money out there and PE firms and strategic are all begging for deal flow to grow their companies. the process is a lot easier than one would think.
If you had to trade places with any other EO san diego member and run their company, who would it be and why?
No clue. There are so many talented entrepreneurs and great businesses in our chapter, it would be so hard to decide.
What practices, habits or things help you perform at your best?
A balance of work and time off for yourself. Yoga has been extremely helpful for staying more balanced. Staying laser focused on executing your vision. Base hits are sometimes more beneficial than homeruns. Always treat people well.
What would people say is your superpower?
My ability to think differently.
Lastly, what do you value the most about being in EO San Diego?
The entrepreneurs I meet and the energy they bring
You can connect with Kevin Schneider on LinkedIn or in person.
Look out for a bunch more Member Spotlights coming in the weeks ahead! Several of the fastest growing EO companies and the most requested EO'ers will be sharing nuggets of wisdom for us all. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or members you want to hear from!
EO Member since 2009