How to prepare for acquisition

Learn how to plan your exit in this short course from Acquire.com founder, Andrew Gazdecki

What you'll learn in this course (table of contents)

Time to complete: 27 minutes

You can complete this course in any order you like. We recommend starting with topics you're least comfortable with and then moving on to others for a refresher.


Why is acquisition prep so important? (5 mins)


Andrew highlights six pivotal benefits of preparing your business for acquisition, emphasizing how strategic preparation can streamline the selling process:

  • Ease of Understanding: Clarifies your business model for buyers, facilitating initial interest.
  • Increased Interest and Leverage: More buyer interest leads to competitive offers, enhancing negotiation power.
  • Due Diligence Efficiency: Pre-answered questions speed up the acquisition process.
  • Buyer Impression: Demonstrates commitment to the sale, setting a positive tone.
  • Problem Prevention: Identifies and resolves potential issues early, avoiding deal-breakers.
  • Valuation Maximization: Attracts more offers, potentially improving sale terms and price.

Have questions? Need clarification? Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager.

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What is the goal of acquisition prep? (2 mins)


In essence, we're closing the knowledge gap for buyers. Preparing materials that provide a comprehensive understanding of your business, as buyers often lack complete knowledge about your company.

Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager for help on closing the knowledge gap.

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Basic acquisition prep roadmap (4 mins)


Here are the key steps to effectively prepare your business for sale:

  • Refine Financials: Maintain a detailed 24 to 36-month profit and loss statement, clearly showing revenue and expenses.
  • Develop Data Room: Include detailed business operations, marketing successes and failures, to offer a transparent view to buyers.
  • Complete Online Profile: Use platforms like acquire.com to present your business and personal details, fostering initial buyer interest.
  • Set Clear Outcomes: Communicate your expectations regarding valuation and transition to align with buyer prospects.
  • Stay Engaged: Treat interactions with potential buyers as sales opportunities, ensuring responsiveness and regular follow-ups.

Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager for help on prepping your business for sale.

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Basic acquisition prep docs (5 mins) 


Definition of the necessary documents and materials during an acquisition and how they help.

Clean Financials: Include a detailed 24 to 36-month profit and loss statement and clear revenue/profitability metrics.

Buyer Documents:

  • CIM (Confidential Information Memorandum): Provides an in-depth look at your business's operations and growth potential.
  • Due Diligence Checklist: Answers common due diligence questions upfront, like growth rates and marketing effectiveness.
  • Transition Guide: Details the plan for transferring assets to the new owner, including service providers and platforms used.

Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager for help on prepping your business for sale.

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What are your acquisition goals? (8 mins)


Essential questions to ask yourself and foster an comprehensive view into what you need to prep for:

  • Reason for Selling: Clearly articulate why you're selling the business to build buyer trust.
  • Post-Acquisition Involvement: Indicate your willingness to assist after the sale to de-risk the transition for the buyer.
  • Deal Structure Flexibility: Be open to various deal structures, like partial seller financing or earn-outs, to attract more buyers.
  • Engaging Buyers: Enhance buyer interest by being responsive, honest, and prepared, and don't hesitate to directly inquire about potential offers.

Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager to talk through your acquisition goals.

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What buyers want from you? (3 mins)


Key factors to remember when aligning with buyers and their expectations during the process of selling your business:

  • Buyer Types Knowledge: Distinguish between financial buyers (like private equity) and strategic buyers (seeking business synergies).
  • Data Over Emotion: Prioritize factual data and credible information in your presentation.
  • Realistic Valuation: Base your business valuation on market comparables and realistic multipliers.
  • Streamline Information: Provide clear, essential business details to facilitate buyer understanding.
  • Professionalism: Maintain a professional, organized approach in all interactions and preparations.

Reach out to your dedicated Success Manager to get your prepped for your acquisition.

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