Kevin Bell

Lesson #1 - How To Buy A Business (Part 1)

Let’s jump right in to the good stuff!

In these next two emails I’m going to teach you how to find 🔎 and acquire 💰 a business.

After that I’ll send you an email on finding and buying real estate. 🏘️ Then we'll go through how to START a business for two jam packed emails.

👉 By the time your done with this sequence you’ll have a solid understanding for acquiring small businesses and real estate as well as how to start and grow a business of any kind.

I’ll warn you, It’ll be a firehouse of info 🚒 💦 But I’ll explain it in the most simple terms I can.

I’ll provide the tools and templates my team and I use AND I’ll share the mistakes we’ve made so YOU don’t have to.

LESSON #1 - Business Acquisition 101

1️⃣ Use ​BizBuySell​ 🔎​​

Start by looking here. Off market deals are great and we will talk about those later, but in the case of small businesses, when you start by looking on BBS you already are through the first barrier; they WANT to sell

How To Use BBS Video

For those that want to read the steps, I created a pdf for you on it. ​How to use BizBuySell​

2️⃣ Define Your Buy Box 📦

Jumping on to BBS and not having a "buy box" is like going for a swim in the ocean as opposed to a swimming pool. You're focus will narrow over time, but in order to do that you need to start thinking about some of these questions:

These are a little abstract, but worth knowing. Here are more practical items to know:

Here is an example for a starter buy box 👇

📓 Accounting firms:

🗑️ Waste management:

3️⃣ Square Away The Money💰

There are a ton of ways to close on these deals. You DO NOT need to be wealthy. That's not the game we're playing here.

Ways deals can be done:



There are so many more ways, but the point is that you have the room to be creative with this. It's not cut and dry.

Part of this might look like you getting SBA pre qualified so that you can have that letter in hand and show the broker & owner that you mean business and you're not just kicking the tire down the road.

4️⃣ Build relationships with brokers and owners 🤝

Now that you're diving into you research on different businesses, think of this as a team sport.

Start reaching out to brokers who are attached to deals you see on BBS.

Twitter Post

Brokers are great... But you know who knows more? The owners.

Have an many conversations with owners as you can. A few things happen when you do this:

Just by talking to owners, you're skipping the line and going directly to the source.

5️⃣ Create Systems ⚙️

The work that you're doing will start to get messy if you don't have some way to categorize and organize what you're doing. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to BE. ​Use this for now​, it will work great.

I'll be fully transparent, I used to do all this alone. That's how it started. But I strongly believe in the ​Buy Back Your Time​ principles and knew I needed help. So I built a team of VAs. ​We help others do the same​

6️⃣ Work on your "pitch" 🗣️

As you get further down the line with specific deals and have more conversations with the owner, it's important to show them you plan to take care of their business with the same care as they have.

Things to say while talking with them to reassure them:

The key here is to ACTUALLY mean all of what you’re saying. The point isn’t to be fake, the point is to express that you genuinely want to leave a legacy for you family.

That’s why we’re doing all of this anyway. That’s why THEY (the sellers) built up their business. But no one in their family wants to take it over… So it’s up to you.

7️⃣ Filter Fast. Focus Slow 🎯

There will be a TON of deals that you look through before you find the one that really checks all the boxes for you. It's important to be able to filter for that criteria fairly quick so you don't waste any time on a dud.

Here is an example of what I use to filter the deal as a "Yes" or "No" in 30 sec. with just 3 questions:

  1. What’s management structure?
  2. Based on the management structure question, it will determine whether you can be semi absentee or not. If you can’t, you’re buying a job. Negative ghost rider.
  3. Do the numbers work? After seller note and SBA, what’s your profit?

8️⃣ Get Creative with financing 💸

We talked about the different combinations that can be used to finance a deal in #3, but heres a real life example of how this works.

NOTES: 👉 An SBA loan is going to require 10% down at the minimum and then fund 90% of the deal. 5% from buyer and 5% from seller still counts. This is HUGE! For 5% down, New buyer now owns a business worth about 2.6M.

9️⃣ Red Flags 🚩

Here are 4 red flags to look for in this process that should send you running the other way.

  1. The seller changes the terms often while negotiating.
  2. The seller wants to leave the business immediately when you take over.
  3. The seller doesn't have references for prior investors and partners.
  4. The seller won't let you talk to employees.

It might seem like they have legit reasons for any of these items. But listen to your "spidey sense". If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't .

🔟 Know your why 📈

I have this as #10, but REALLY this should be one that you are thinking about the whole time through. It should be the foundation to all the time, energy and effort that you put into this search.

WHY are you doing this in the first place?

WHY are you spending your weekends and precious pockets of time in the computer, making calls, talking to owners, running numbers, researching industries?

Personally, I love this stuff, but I don't want to do it for free. I'm doing it to build a different life for my family and to build a bridge out of middle class.

I am NOT buying a job. I'm NOT looking to relocate my family, drop everything and take over multiple businesses where I'm the main operator. That can't be scaled.

If you're on the same page, it's EXTREMELY important that you keep that in mind through your search.


There's a lot involved in biz acquisition, but when you boil it down to the essentials, it's actually pretty simple. It's easy to get caught up in the complexities of each deal and forget the basics.

THE BASICS 👇 (Nod to Codie Sanchez)

We don't invest in deals we don't understand

We don't do complex deals

We don't buy complicated sexy businesses

We don't do crazy discounted cashflows on our first deal

We keep it stupid simple