How to Buy a Small Business Information
Starting companies is hard.
If you are here, you probably already know that.
Startups fail 90% of the time.
And if they survive they rarely reach $1 million in sales and even more rarely $100k+ in profit for the entrepreneur.
I know because I’ve been there. Dozens of times.
Wandering in the wilderness with a new startup. Trying to find the elusive product-market fit.
You work really hard just to find a few customers. Way harder than anyone ever should.
And in the end, you rarely have anything to show for it.
What if you could skip the broke wandering in the wilderness phase?
And instead, make real money on day one.
This is what I am here to teach you. How to be an entrepreneur through acquisition.
Buying a small business may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
I’ll share all I’ve learned during these last 10+ years buying and building businesses.
This comprehensive step-by-step course will teach you how to buy your first small business and save you from some of that time and frustration.
I have an MBA from the University of Chicago, but realistically I figured most of this out by trial and error.
I wasn’t handed anything and you won’t need to be either.
This is the path that no one ever tells you about. Not your boss. Not your teachers. Not your parents.
It took many years of observing how others approach buying businesses, doing my own deals, making a thousand mistakes, and finally finding solutions that work.
Eventually, I got it down pat.
Cash flow delivered while you sleep.
Although I’m constantly learning something new, I have discovered many things that work for me every single time.
I will walk you through my entire process. From the way I find businesses to buy, my thoughts on what to look for when evaluating a business, how to negotiate a price and creatively structure a deal, and finally how to close and ensure a successful transition.
I’ll share my templates for everything and walk you through deals we’ve done. You will see my thinking each step of the way so you won’t have to guess what to do next.
This is not a course for entertainment.
I am here to help you buy a small business yourself. Not waste your time with high-level stories.
I want to change your life and make you an owner.
We will outsmart the startup hustle culture while still achieving the business owner’s lifestyle.
This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes work.
But together we will put you on a path that all private equity people know to consistently generate wealth and freedom.
You can replay these videos and return to these templates as many times as you wish. No rush.
At the end of this course, you will have the confidence and tools to buy your own small business without fear.
What you’ll leave with
1. A Concrete Plan
Understand your skills, decide on what your target deal looks like, and set up your legal entity to be ready for your acquisition.
2. Streamlined Search Process
Finding the perfect business to buy is hard. We will start to build top-quality deal flow together. You don’t have to settle. By the end, you will have contacted brokers, owners, and marketplaces in your space.
3. First Deal Analyzed
How do you know if you’ve found a great deal? We go through how to diligence your deal qualitatively and quantitatively with financial modeling templates and diligence checklists.
4. Lifelong Community / Network
Searching is more fun with friends. Your acquisition peers will hold you accountable in your search. And our ever-expanding list of trusted service providers will give you the confidence to close a deal.
5. Creative Finance Options
We go through creative ways to fund and structure your deals for maximum returns and minimum money upfront. You don’t need as much money as you think you do.
6. Confidence to Close
When you find the right business to buy, you will have the resources, tools, service providers, and network needed to close quickly.
Here’s what you’ll learn
- Why Buy then Build
- Setting Up a Legal Entity (US)
- Choosing Your Niche
- Q&A: Do I Search Solo or With a Partner?
- Q&A: Do I Need a Technical Co-Founder?
- Q&A: Uneven Capital Contributions with a Partner
- Sourcing Overview
- Dealflow Sources – List of Marketplaces, Brokers, etc.
- Proprietary Sourcing: List Building & Emailing Guide
- Outbound Email Scripts
- Paying Finder’s Fees
- Building Outbound Target List Example Live
- Building Outbound Target List Notes
- Outbound Acquisition Targets Template
- How to Find a Local Business to Buy
- Live Sourcing Session + Q&A
- Qualitative Diligence
- Qualitative Deal Analysis Template
- Financial / Quantitative Diligence
- Financial Terms to Know
- Financial Model Template (Quantitative Deal Analysis)
- Due Diligence Questions
- Legal Templates – NDA, LOI, APA, etc.
- Diligence Checklist (Asset Sale)
- Diligence Checklist (Equity Sale)
- Due Diligence Q&A
- Good Reasons for Selling
- Green & Red Flags in a Deal
- Live Deal Analysis & Growth Planning
- Q&A: How Do I Protect Myself Against Fraud?
Valuation & Negotiation
- Negotiation Walkthrough
- Negotiation Flowchart
- Valuing a Business
- How to Value a Software Business
- Revenue vs Profit Multiples
- Valuation by Company Size
- Managing Seller Expectations
- Negotiation & Deal Structure Q&A
- Deal Breakdown: Ottomatik
- Deal Breakdown: Scout
- Margin of Safety
- SaaS at a Low Price
- Q&A: Seller Wants a Crazy High Price. How to Talk Them Down?
- Q&A: Should I Renegotiate After Learning Something in Diligence?
- Q&A: How Do You Value a Business With No Revenue?
- Q&A: How Do You Factor Technical Debt Into Your Valuation?
- Q&A: How Do I Buy a Cash-Heavy Business?
- Q&A: Should I Make a Deposit for the LOI?
- Q&A: Should I Personally Guarantee a Seller Note?
Financing & Closing
- Structuring a Deal
- Structuring a Deal with Outside Investors
- How to Find Investors
- Building a Track Record
- Real Sample PE Deal Structures
- Transfer Worksheet Template Walkthrough
- Asset & Login Transfer Template
- Closing Mechanics & Escrow
- General Transition Guide
- How to Get a SBA Loan
- How to Get Non-Dilutive Acquisition Financing (Guest Lecture)
- SBA Loan for SaaS
- Asset Purchase vs Equity Purchase
- Planning to Exit
- Financial Modeling for an Acquisition Deal (Guest Lecture)
- Hiring & Managing Developers / Product Team
- Hiring SEO Writers
- SEO Writer Sample Job Description & Form
- Constellation Software – Largest SaaS HoldCo
- Minimizing Taxes on Exit
- Structuring a Holding Company
- Finding Your Competitive Advantage
- Q&A: Should All Companies Be Separate or Together?
- Q&A: Berkshire Inspired Private Equity Models
- Partner Deals & Discounts
- Supercharge Your Growth
Hello! Colin here 👋
I wish I discovered acquisitions earlier. I wasted years on countless projects struggling to get off the ground.
Until I learned that you can just buy a working company. And creatively structure the acquisition so you don’t need much money to do it.
After my first acquisition I was hooked. No more elusive product-market fit. Instant customers and a business with real revenue to grow.
Now we get cashflow from every new acquisition on day one at our holding company. It has been life-changing for me and I know it will be the same for you.
I can’t wait to see you on the other side.
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