How acquirers look at your company

There comes a time for many founders when they are ready to pass the baton of running their business to someone else. It’s a rare founder who wants to go from zero to running and scaling a large, long-term company. When that time comes — you may have expectations on what you would like to exit for, or have read stories about other company valuations — I thought it might be useful to share some of the other side’s viewpoint. So, here are some of the criteria we use at Scaleworks when evaluating a new opportunity.

Rule 1: Don’t lose money

The cliche is “rule number two: read rule number one.” Make sure any acquisition you consider is at a fair price and that you have identified some low-hanging fruit opportunities for improvement that you are confident in your ability to execute on.

What does a fair price mean?

For us, it means a price we have confidence we can either pay back over time from cash flow, or sell the business on a profit multiple for at least the same price we bought it for.