Far too many business owners think the deal is done when a price is agreed to, or even worse when they are introduced to someone whom they perceive to be a great acquirer. Often this is someone who treats them well and tells them how amazing their business is. This is obviously not the case, and there are numerous pitfalls along the way. You need to be clear about what the critical steps are toward closing. For example, a detailed Heads of Agreement (also called a Term Sheet) goes a long way when it comes to dealing with the important issues upfront before the lawyers get involved. Even after this, don’t take the pressure off. The longer it takes to finally close the deal, the greater the chance that it will fall through. Another typical cause of deal collapse is the due diligence process. Acquirers will be looking through every detail of your business for anything that could increase their risk or, in their minds, reduces the value of your business. To avoid this, make sure you have shared your skeletons before you finalise the deal. Surprises during due diligence are not good – even good surprises can affect the deal's momentum!
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