Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” When it comes to buying your first business, the ability to effectively run a business is a different skill set than what is required to complete an acquisition. As a result, many successful companies and/or executives underestimate the complexities involved in closing a transaction.
By far the largest hurdle that first-time business buyers need to understand is that sellers don’t have to be rational. A buyer can develop all sorts of financial models projecting certain rates of return on various capital structures, but a seller rarely cares. Their internal rate of return is not calculated on a spreadsheet, but rather, by what they’ve been able to provide for their family and what they hope to enjoy in retirement. A successful transaction, therefore, must meet the personal goals of the seller while protecting the financial goals of the buyer.Read More