Our firm receives many questions on M&A, but by far the most common question is: “How do I find a company to buy?” The answer is a simple one… start with Google and search for companies that are currently for sale. The search will most likely lead you to brokers. Within each industry, there lies a group of brokers who focus on mergers and acquisitions.
One very popular business broker firm in the Charlotte area is Viking Mergers and Acquisitions. On Viking’s website, there is a section for people looking to buy a business and another for people looking to sell their business. Under the “Buying A Business” tab, there is a business listing of all their clients who are looking to sell their business. There you go – you have your answer. It’s that simple!
What else can you do besides searching online?
I recommend trying a direct mail piece. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You may never know that a company is interested in selling if you don’t ask them! Do some market research and look for companies that can add value to your business.
What else should you look for in a business to buy?
- Location – Do you want to enter a certain city or geographical area?
- Lack of a Succession Plan – This one is hard to tell unless you have a dialogue with the owners.
- Specialized Service/Product – Do you want to offer a new service or a product?
- Culture – A similar work culture will help the merger or acquisition succeed.
Find a list of companies that fit the profile you are looking for and send them a letter or a postcard. This mailing should address your intentions, show off your background, gauge the interest of the business owner to sell, and be short and to the point. After that, it is up to you to either follow up or foster the relationship. If you hear back from a business owner, you can fine tune your approach and learn what worked in your mailing or what you should change in order to make it more effective the next time around. You also might learn more about what kind of business owners are interested in selling and you can target similar business owners with your next correspondence.
Interested in learning more about how to find a company to buy? We will release more blogs on this topic in the near future so stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the team at LBA Haynes Strand for your no cost consultation!