here are many, many businesses for sale out there, but the majority of them probably do not actually make good acquisitions for the lone acquisition entrepreneur.

Ryan Doyle understands this well.

Ryan is himself a searcher, in the trenches right now looking at listing after listing, trying to find the right business.

Then we have Heather Endresen, a name you may recognize.

Heather is a lender who specializes in SBA loans for searchers, and has been closely involved in countless search acquisitions alongside her team at Live Oak Bank.

The both of them — Ryan as searcher & Heather as lender — joined me to share a list of criteria you should use to quickly dismiss a business that would NOT make for a good acquisition.

Quickly being the operative word.

It's easy to waste weeks and even months of your life on a potential acquisition that a more experienced person could have told you:

"Hey, this is a problem with this business that you should have seen at the outset, and moved on."

We covered 8 such criteria.

These are based on a full list of 15 (we didn't have time for) that you can download on Live Oak Bank's website.

Below👇 is the interview, including links to the points in the interview for each of the 8 criteria.


1. Valuation (play at 12:36)
2. Stupid Margins - (play at 18:26)
3. Going Too Small - (play at 24:46)
4. Bolt-on vs. Platform - (play at 31:31)
5. Competing with Private Equity - (play at 34:00)
6. Geography - (play at 40:06)
7. Red Flags - (play at 50:39)
8. Needs to Support Leverage - (play at 57:27)