Ten Commandments of Business Acquisitions pt. 6

Breaking It Down: The Sixth of the Ten Commandments of Business Acquisitions

Our Ten Commandments of Business Acquisitions has been so popular that we have decided to break it down. To briefly discuss each of the Ten Commandments, and its import and impact.

The Sixth commandment: "Don't Openly Criticize Your Acquisition Target"

Many prospective buyers make the mistake of openly criticizing the business they wish to purchase. Some prospective mistakenly believe that by "knocking" the business that they hope to buy, they can convince the seller/ owner to reduce his or her or its expectations relative to the business and ultimately, the asking price.

Unfortunately, the practical effect of this approach can be to slow the acquisition momentum and potentially kill the deal. For many business owners, particularly those who founded and built the business, the business and its employees are truly members of the family.

The business owner has painstakingly built the business and is proud of it. The business owner most typically wants to know that his or her business will be in good hands after the transaction is consummated, and that the employees (and customers and the business itself) will be will be well taken care of.

You can attract more flies with sugar than with vinegar. Your likelihood of success in buying a business will increase substantially if you as the prospective buyer develop a close and strong relationship of confidence and trust with the business owner and convince him or her or it that the business is appreciated and will be valued and taken care of going forward.

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Benjamin Calkins

Benjamin Calkins

Ben Calkins is a well-educated, top-rated, and highly experienced business law attorney.

Ben Calkins is an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School. After law school, he clerked for a Federal Judge before joining one of the World’s largest law firms, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Mr. Calkins has also worked at, and been a partner in, several of the most prominent “old style law firms” in the World.