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Top 10 Takeaways for Successful Deal Making in the Middle Market

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As a tribute to David Letterman, who has announced his retirement from the Late Show, I thought I’d share with you my Top 10 List of Key Takeaways from my fifteen years of deal making experience.  Many of these lessons were learned the hard way so hopefully they help you make the right decision the first time around when you find yourself exploring your strategic alternatives.  These takeaways, which reflect my participation in over 50 engagements, are summarized below.

  1. If you’re not happy with cash at close, don’t do the deal.
  2. Valuation is key but certainty to close is a close second. 
  3. A strong transactional team is worth every penny.
  4. Always “under-promise and over-deliver.” You can’t afford to lose your credibility because once it’s lost, you’re not getting it back.
  5. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  6. The number one source of extraordinary valuation outcomes is competitive friction. 
  7. First get your house in order because prolonged due diligence can derail your deal.  
  8. Always understand your “scarcity value” and make sure the buyer does as well.
  9. You only get one chance to make the right first impression, so don’t screw it up.  
  10. All the negotiation leverage shifts to the buyer once the LOI is signed and the seller enters exclusive negotiations, so make sure the LOI contains fully negotiated deal terms.

If you are interested in learning more about these takeaways, supported by tales of deals that have come before, click here for the full article.