How To Find Deals
Maybe you’ve reached a point in your career where you want to grow through deal-driven growth besides your organic growth, you want to buy companies but don’t know where to find them, or maybe you have some ideas of the kinds of deals you want to do but don’t know how to reach them. I can help you. In this solocast episode, I’ll be focusing on how to find the right deals for you.
Go To Intermediaries
In the search for deals, a suitable solution is to gamble on intermediaries. They are investment bankers — common in the M&A space — who will do a ‘side representation’ for buyers who are looking to acquire companies. Their job is to find companies for you to buy or package to sell to someone else.
Investment banking firms will only work on bigger deals. Often in very high numbers in multi-million-scale. There are some other intermediaries for smaller deals, such as small investment banking companies, business brokerage firms or other advisory businesses that do work in the lower middle market.
Your Own Connections Are The Way Out
Not only this would apply to M&A deals, but to any kind of deal: find a strategic alliance to join as a partner. It sounds obvious, but a lot of entrepreneurs don’t do it. The tip is to start with your connections.
Some options are:
- direct connections to help you put deals together
- connections to other professionals in different industries
- someone older in your space who’s looking to withdraw and can offer you some part of the company
- insurance people and potential consultants that may work with you.
When looking for partners, you want to be careful how you share your business information. Especially if you’re on the sell side and M&A deal! You may not want people to know you’re in play if you are buying companies, looking to joint ventures, strategic alliances or licensing deals.
Other Easily Accessible Resources
Different places can become an opportunity to find business.
- Networking groups: In this case, I’m not talking about a business networking group, but a peer-to-peer learning organization. In this type of company, they have a slack channel where you can introduce yourself, explain the kind of business you are looking for and everyone can collaborate by putting out leads.
- Industry conferences: It’s a great tool, whether it’s conferences related to your industry or maybe other industries. My advice is to get to know people in cafeterias and hallways. Sometimes a person you meet there can be more valuable to your business than the conference content itself.
- Online matching services: Some industries have directories and online matching services where deals are listed. It is always very easy to find them in these spaces and especially companies that are for sale online. Don’t just rely on that, those are on market deals available for all to see, but sometimes your best deals are “off market”.
- Social media: Put your business goals out there.You might end up reaching the people you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking to grow through a particular type of deal, to expand geographically, looking to buy smaller companies or, if you want to do some strategic alliances with certain types of companies, put the word out there.
Have Your Company Goals Well Defined
Finding deals takes time, attention, and resources. For a successful hunt, ensure that you have your company’s goals well defined. In this way, you don’t get involved in an unprofitable negotiation.
One of the biggest things in seeking deals is to make sure that you make it a priority. It’s a project that needs a plan, a strong team, and funding. Do you already have a well-defined plan for your deal-driven business goals?
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.