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At Pailor Capital, we invest in aspiring entrepreneurs and support them on their journey into business ownership.

Investing in the Future of Small Business

We look for energizing individuals who we believe will inspire and motivate their future teams.

How We Invest

We are all-in on small business. We invest in traditional and self-funded searchers, holding companies, franchises and are open to looking at any creative small business opportunities.


Types of Investments

We like to invest where we can add value, typically in franchising, services, software, and analog companies with a tech enablement opportunity. But we care more about the searcher knowing what industries they care about and think they could thrive in.



More than an industry, we like to invest in passionate searchers, who have exceptional self-awareness, display leadership qualities that will positively impact the people who will work for them, and have enthusiasm for lifelong learning. 


Who we invest in

For traditional searches: We invest alongside others in the search space and typically make a 1/4 to 1/2 unit commitment. For Self-Funded and other SMB investment opportunities, we write checks up to $250K. We are a fit for searchers looking to add operators who know what it's like to run and build small businesses or franchise brands.


Investment Size

Who is this "we" anyways?


We is just me.
Hey there! 👋 I'm Stef, and I've worn many hats as a small business owner. From launching businesses like Mile 22 Bags (acquired), The Insight Studio (acquired), and Pailor without external funding to acquiring and still managing Cactus with my husband, I've also delved into the franchise Massage Envy with two locations, which I eventually sold seven years later. Not to mention, I dipped my toes into the venture-backed financial technology space with Fundid.

Amidst all this, I was also a bit involved in our family business that my husband and I own together (he’s the operator), 12 Taco Bells 🌮 sprawled across Western Montana. Over the past 15 years, navigating this entrepreneurial maze has given me invaluable insights into the world of small business.

One significant revelation while working on Fundid is the multitude of ultra-small businesses where dedicated owners put in relentless effort, yet don't reap the expected time or financial benefits. Notably, a significant portion of these unsung heroes are women. This realization has fueled my commitment to finding solutions and landed me firmly believing that aspiring entrepreneurs should consider buying existing businesses rather than starting from scratch. ⭐️

Which is what leads us both here today.  I'm now actively investing in aspiring entrepreneurs like you who would like to buy an existing business.  I hope that I can be helpful to you, bring a sense of humor to the daily struggles of operations, and provide a little bit of capital. 

There are many ways to approach buying a business.

Here is just one.  I put this together for the many people I talk to about buying a business.  It doesn't mean it's the right way and definitely not the only way. It's just how I think about it. I hope you find it helpful.

You're probably


  • Do you prefer to invest in traditional or self-funded search?
    While the majority of my investments are currently in traditional search I actually prefer self-funded. I'm in this space because business ownership has changed my life so I want to create more business owners (specifically women!) and self-funded is the best way to do that. My goal would be to invest equally in both and when I back traditional searchers I hope that once they are successful with their search and exit that I can help them do a self funded deal.
  • Do you recommend buying franchisees?
    Yes and no. Emerging franchise brands are still a bit risky and legacy brands (that are good) are hard to get into unless you are true private equity. It's also hard to get solid returns in the franchise space. If you are looking at franchises I'd recommend focusing on brands with a long history of solid financials. One of the biggest barriers in the franchise space is the liquid asset requirement by the franchisors. So if you are thinking of this space I'd just say you probably don't want to do the traditional search model.
  • What other search investors do you recommend?
    There are so many fantastic search investors but the few that I can vouch for are: Instiutational Investor: Peterson Partners, Search Fund Partners,and Hunter Search. I'm biased as these are all firms with team members in Utah, where I live, so I have gotten to know them better then others and mostly think the people working at these firms are fantastic. It's important to have investors that are operators/CEO's on your cap table...I have a list of operator friends (most are past searchers) who invest that I happily connect to searchers I meet.
  • How do you think about vetting a business?
    If you look at my guide for buying a business I have a first step of 5 questions that I believe saves me time. These might not be the right questions for you but I think you can look at them and develop your own questions that will help you speed up the process while also taking emotion out of the process. Is EBITDA over $500K (self-funded) or $1.5M (traditional)? If no, kick it out. I get that plenty of people would be happy with less than $500K, but if you want or need investors, save yourself the trouble - it will be hard to get a deal done at a lower number. Is the EBITDA margin over 15%? If no, kick it out. Calculation → (EBITDA / Total Revenue) Has the business been operating and PROFITABLE for at least 5 years? If not, kick it out. Does more than 25% of the business's revenue come from 1 customer? If yes, kick it out. Is the existing owner also the primary salesperson for the company? If yes, kick it out.
  • What does "Pailor" mean?
    Pailor is a mash up of my two daughters names, Taylor and Paige. I chose this name as a reminder to myself that business ownership is a fantastic path to achieving gender equality and creating distributed wealth specifically for women...which are things I care deeply about when I think of my daughters futures.

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