Building a good team is important right at the outset of your search. You will need an attorney almost immediately, to review any confidentiality agreements or letters of interest that must be signed. However, you should also begin to think about the other team members you will need early on in the search process. A good accountant is essential to the adequate review of the seller’s books, and possibly in addition, an independent auditor. Other consultants you need may depend upon your own skill levels and the nature of the business. If you will need outside funding, a financial consultant may be needed. Depending upon your own background in the functional business areas of sales and marketing, operations, engineering and manufacturing, you may or may not require outside help. An environmental consultant is increasingly needed whenever real property is involved in the transaction, to assure that no hidden problems exist.
Be sure that you investigate any strangers thoroughly, to assure that they have the competence that you expect, and to avoid the chance of involving the unscrupulous. Referrals from trusted acquaintances who have used someone in the past is ideal, but if you do not have such contacts, check out others as thoroughly as you can. It is also important that team members work together smoothly, that they are able to communicate well and to treat each other with respect.
This article is an overview of step five that is explained in further detail in “How to Acquire the Right Business” by John Psarouthakis and Lorraine Uhlaner; Published by Xlibris, 2009. This book covers the 15 key steps involved in the complex and demanding process of buying the right business. It includes the search, selection, evaluation, pricing, negotiation, closing and managing the start of an acquired business. Buy this book.