Rodney Ott of Cornerstone Business Services in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Warren Buffet once said, “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.” When it comes to buying a business, past performance is important. But you can’t get so tied up in historicals that you forget to ask the right questions about future performance:

– Management team –What’s their vision for success and does it match yours?
– Culture – Where do new ideas come from and how well is change embraced?
– Customers – Are customers stable and satisfied? Do they operate in declining, flat or growing markets?
– Maintenance – How well was equipment maintained and what’s the expected life? What is the annual capital requirement to maintain the equipment (capex)?
– Capacity – How much room do you have to grow?

Buyers and sellers take heed: These answers aren’t going to show up on a P&L or balance sheet, but they’ll have a significant impact on the overall success (and value) of any acquisition.

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Rod grew up in a family construction business and comes from an extended family of entrepreneurs. He understands the challenges and commitments that come with business ownership, and the importance to the client of the best possible business transaction result.