August 25, 2022

Dealmaking Hacks: How to Save Time While Searching For A Biz to Buy

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Dealmaking Hacks: How to Save Time While Searching For A Biz to Buy

Unconventional Acquisitions

August 25, 2022

Time is money.

You’ve heard it a million times before, most likely from some talking head you found while scrolling TikTok.

But here’s what that means when it comes to finding deals.

In the world of dealmaking, you’ve got to be diligent and intentional with where you’re spending your time and energy. 

The idea that time = money is especially true when you’re in the beginning stages of sniffing out a good deal. 

You’re sifting through numerous leads and are constantly refreshing BizBuySell.com trying to find your next small business target. 

Here at Unconventional Acquisitions, we’re always looking for ways to streamline this process of buying businesses because if you don’t…you’re wasting your time and losing money. 

We wrote an article recently about the five must-have processes you should have in place for effective dealmaking. 

One of the processes we mentioned is that if you’re sourcing new deals, you should be using a CRM software (customer relationship management). 

This will help you keep track of all the details about the current owner, location, financing options, and reminders about when to follow up.  

That means you can officially say goodbye to all those spreadsheet tabs or random notes on your phone and make things a little simpler for yourself. 

From deal tracking to storing email templates to sending leads to automated reminders on when to follow up, a CRM platform will keep your brain organized. 

First order of (boring) business, what is a CRM platform?

A CRM platform is just a not-so-fancy way to organize information. The great thing here is that you can be as detailed (or as not) as you’d like. 

We’ll walk you through some examples of how to use a CRM system below, but if you’ve never seen one before, here’s how one of our UAers uses her CRM of choice, HubSpot. 

As you can see, our UAer, Sara Ross, uses her CRM tool to organize the deal name, stage, amount, downpayment, SDE, and last day of activity. She also stores contact info for her main point of contact. Photo source: Used with permission by Sara Ross via the Unconventional Acquisitions Facebook Group. 

When it comes to dealmaking, you can quickly implement a CRM to track deals and monitor potential leads through every stage of the deal pipeline. 

Still not convinced you’re up for trading in your old-school spreadsheet? 

Here are three ways to use a CRM to help you keep track of deals:

1. Monitor new leads and follow up with old ones.

A massive time suck during the initial stages of the deal-making process is when you’re stuck keeping tabs on all of your potential leads. 

This is where an organized and easy-to-follow CRM comes in.

Wait, you want me to be an entrepreneur and also be organized? Ok, we get it. The initial setup may seem daunting and feel like it’s slowing you down. However, the only thing that sucks more than having to get organized is finding out someone in your pipeline sold their business to someone else because you missed your follow-up. 

Automating these business processes and customer interactions can make deals happen for you!

When it comes to potential leads, here are the details we typically recommend tracking in a CRM:

  • Name
  • Contact info
  • Website
  • Estimated value
  • Probability of success 
  • Date added
  • Last touchpoint
  • Next follow-up date

Once you’ve input this information into the platform, you can also track where your leads are in the process.

Some of the most popular CRM tools out there are HubSpot, Monday.com, PipeDrive, and Nutshell. While some of these tools offer free versions, others will be a small investment, but it will save money and save time in the long run.

2. Leverage automation and create workflows.

You can eliminate many of your manual tasks when you start using automation and workflows in your CRM tool.

There are hundreds of different ways to set this up, but we recommend keeping things simple. 

When a lead moves from one stage to the next in your deal pipeline, you can trigger an automation to engage with them without having to do anything manually. For example, you may simply have it trigger an email automation or a marketing campaign.

If you’re into using a project management tool to manage tasks, like Asana, ClickUp, or Monday.com, you can also have your CRM tool create follow-up tasks for you.

Need to remember to start drafting an LOI? CRMs can help with that.

Want to have an email template created to communicate with your leads? CRMs can do that, too.

You can also create specific reminders to reach out to your accountant or attorney after a lead has moved into a different stage of your deal pipeline. 

You can make your workflows in your CRM as simple or complex as you would like. Here’s a high-level example of how they work. Photo Source: Sendinblue.

Here are some basic workflows we recommend:

  • Assign a lead to a specific sales rep, depending on how your deal team is structured
  • Send a link to book a call or send a reminder email before your scheduled meeting
  • Create a new deal after a prospective lead has submitted a form

You can also set up a workflow that’s specifically intended to nurture your leads, depending on how far in advance your lead has been in your pipeline. 

If you stick to buying businesses within the same industry or franchise, creating a nurture workflow could also help you answer any FAQs about you or your general deal-making process. 

3. Organize your current deals in your pipeline

Using a CRM tool can also keep you organized when it comes to keeping track of deals that are currently in progress. 

If you’ve got several points of contact (ex. co-owners, SBA loan contact or bank loan representative, attorneys, operators, etc.), you can add them as contacts in your CRM and tag them in the entry for each deal. 

Here are some examples of the categories you can set up in your CRM to help organize your deals: 

  • Deal name
  • Deal stage
  • Cost of the deal
  • Down payment
  • Seller’s discretionary earnings
  • Key point(s) of contact (i.e. SBA/bank, owner/operator, etc.)
  • Product or Service (Industry)
  • Last activity date
  • Next activity date

New to dealmaking? We’ll walk you through how to refine your current deal-making process and find the ideal business for you to buy in our small biz buying course.

…or maybe you’re looking for next-level support and a community of other dealmakers so you can hands-on help with all of your questions? If that’s more up your alley, you should join our mastermind.

Remember that time is money.


Yours Unconventionally,

Codie & Ryan

Co-founders – Unconventional Acquisitions


If you want to learn more about how to find and buy businesses, check out these articles👇

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