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How do I access the “hidden” market of businesses for sale?

There are two ways:

1) Use a buyer’s M&A agent.

2) Do the legwork yourself and start direct approaches in that industry.

Your objective is to get hold of the business owner and ask them if they’re interested in discussing an exit strategy. A good way to maximise your success rate is to look for businesses where the owner is approaching retirement age. You can sort by date of birth on various director listings or company registrars in your target area.

Once you’re having the discussion, the first call is only to build rapport and see if this is someone you can work with before you make an offer. You also want to get to know the business. Don’t go in too tough with the negotiations at the start.

Discover how Chelsea Corporate sources M&A opportunities and off-market businesses for sale.