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When you decide to buy a company and you begin to search for the perfect company you will quickly recognize to be successful you’ll need two main skill sets:

1. The ability to find companies for sale that is viable.

2. The ability to successfully qualify the potential acquisition once you find a company that appears right.

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We’re going to examine the first step. Finding companies that are viable. It begins with you defining your criteria for purchasing a business and then pursuing only companies for sale that fit that criterion. As the buyer, you need to use what’s at your disposal to place yourself in the position to have the first shot at the acquisition of the company and to do it in a manner that’s cost effective.

When you are actively pursuing the acquisition of a company you simply don’t know where the next great deal will be found. It may be discovered while reading the paper, by word-of-mouth, or when you visit website. Here are the best ways to find companies for sale:

  • Investment Banker Websites
  • Investment Bankers
  • Venture Capital Firms
  • Newspapers listings in local, regional, and national papers as well as industry papers
  • Business Associates
  • Bank Trust Departments
  • Commercial Banks
  • Consultants
  • Associations
  • Printed and electronic business directories
  • Business Brokerage Websites
  • Product suppliers
  • Trade Shows
  • Accountants
  • Corporate Officers
  • Networking Meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Online Ezines
  • Technology Licensors
  • Magazines
  • Directory of Board Members

These are just a few of the means available to you to acquire a business for sale. Don’t be afraid to be creative in finding ways to locate businesses for sale that fit your criteria. The internet has changed the way we look to acquire a business, and there’s always the option of online businesses.

You will need to be diligent and proactive whenever possible. You can receive notices via faxing or emailing. The internet is the easiest way and it’s cheap. There are a number of e-commerce sites that are designed to promote businesses for sale.

When you are thinking about acquiring an existing business, you need to cut through those companies that aren’t relevant otherwise; you might find yourself wasting a lot of time. Once you’ve narrowed down the list and you think you’ve found the perfect match for you, make sure to call in the experts including your attorney and your accountant.

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