Top Ten Tips for Buyers
1. There are NO perfect businesses… don’t expect to find one. If after reviewing information on an acquisition opportunity, you initially like the business, even if just marginally, have the broker schedule a meeting with the owner. You always learn more when visiting with the owner and touring the business.
2. Ask the business broker any and all questions. There are no stupid questions.
3. Picture yourself as the owner of the business you are considering.
4. Ask yourself what you would do to improve the business.
5. If you find a business you like, make an offer. Finding a business is difficult and if you delay you may miss a terrific opportunity.
6. If you like the business, make an offer based on your own valuation and risk assessment. Do not be discouraged by an inflated asking price.
7. If you really do have other investors—find out specifically how much they will contribute, what their expectations are relative to return on investment, and keep them involved throughout the process.
8. Make sure your acquisition profile is realistic. Such as having sufficient cash to invest in the purchase of the business (size and type) you desire.
9. Don’t over-leverage and maintain a reserve in the event the business may require additional working capital in the future.
10. Use advisors (accountants and attorneys) who have experience in “deal making”; because not all do. Their inexperience or attitude could cost you more than their fee. Remember they work for you.