Startup Acquisition: How to Attract Potential Buyers

Startup Acquisition: How to Attract Potential Buyers

A couple of questions on Quora about whether there’s a “buyer wanted” listing service for startup owners who want to sell their businesses prompted me to write this post. To my knowledge, there isn’t one (yet), but the questions got me thinking. What can entrepreneurs do to increase the appeal of their startups for potential acquirers?

People start businesses for lots of reasons: hopefully visions of a huge payout at exit aren’t the primary motivator to pursue entrepreneurship. But given that planning for an eventual startup exit is something founders should address from day one, and since most exits are through acquisitions, it makes sense to keep that possibility in mind and to avoid any screamingly obvious blunders that could close off one route to exit.

How to think about startup acquisition

You’ll notice that all the actions above are the same ones that will build a sound and successful business: which if you’ve chosen to enter the startup arena should be your primary focus. Planning for an exit is hugely important, but it shouldn’t drive your decision-making. It’s just too tough and risky to be an entrepreneur without having real passion, belief in yourself—the business you’re building and the market you’re serving—plus commitment.

If you lack those motivators, your worry won’t be how to attract an acquirer for your startup, it will be how to stay in business.

Have questions or need help with your financial strategy? Tell us about it in the comments section below or contact us at Early Growth Financial Services for a free 30-minute financial consultation.

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David Ehrenberg is the founder and CEO of Early Growth Financial Services, an outsourced financial services firm that provides early-stage companies with accounting, finance, tax, valuation, and corporate governance services and support. He’s a financial expert and startup mentor, whose passion is helping businesses focus on what they do best. Follow David @EarlyGrowthFS.

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