February 2, 2021
 min read

SMB Acquisition Tip - Be Transparent and Don’t Overreach

As I have highlighted on my website, I'm proud of our record of growth by acquisition (7 acquisitions and 2 strategic investments in other companies). In every transaction, we try to listen closely to the needs of the seller to ensure there is a good fit and all parties are aligned.

I had the opportunity to connect with a business owner over the summer, and we had a nice conversation and agreed to reconnect 6-9 months later. I of course set a calendar reminder to follow up at that time. I heard from the owner within 3 months. They had had a personal change of circumstances that made them interested in a deal.

After learning a bit more about the opportunity, it was fairly clear that the deal wasn’t a good one for us - the geographic region wasn’t great, and we didn't have any management there, and the deal size wouldn’t justify dispatching someone to that region. Within 10 minutes, I was up front with the owner and pivoted instead to giving him my best advice on who I would try to sell to if I were him, and we even discussed valuation methodology, and I even suggested a business broker that I thought could be appropriate.

Although no deal was to be had, I enjoyed the conversation and came away with the feeling that he appreciated my honesty, transparency and SMB M&A tips. In this small world, and an even smaller industry, that kind of good karma hopefully comes back around at a later date.

Subscribe to my newsletter

I occasionally write about running a family business, sustainability, SMB acquisitions, and other topics. It would be great to have you along for the ride.

Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong.