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10 Lessons I Learned From Failing My First Acquisition

via Entrepreneur

Even though my first acquisition went to the grave, these ten lessons prepared me for my next venture.

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) is quickly becoming a household term among aspiring entrepreneurs who do not desire to start a business but would rather purchase an existing business (not a franchise) from someone looking to transition out of their business. I was attracted to this option because you already have revenue, customers, employees and a system to grow the business post-acquisition.

In 2019, I purchased a business that managed and operated cemeteries. Pretty unique, right? This business brought in seven figures in revenue and served a market that would be here regardless of recessions or economic downturns. What I did not expect was COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic threw in numerous unforeseen obstacles that impacted our revenue growth, labor costs and overall growth strategy. We went from planning to double the business within 12 months to liquidating assets, removing myself from the payroll, taking on a second job and downsizing the business to survive.

Unfortunately, we struggled through the aftermath of the pandemic and eventually had to shut down operations in 2023. Despite my business failure, I learned ten key lessons applicable to entrepreneurs, franchise owners and small business owners.