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Second-time founders have a big advantage in M&A.

But first-time founders can adopt their strategies, too.


Here are six differences in approach that can make or break a successful exit:



First-timers: Ignore premature interest from acquirers.


Second-timers: Proactively build strategic relationships early.



First-timers: Present a generic 'Company Overview' deck to buyers.


Second-timers: Customize their materials to articulate the strategic rationale.



First-timers: Scramble to respond to the acquirer's due diligence requests.


Second-timers: Are always diligence-ready.



First-timers: Get distracted by the deal and take their eye off the business.


Second-timers: Stay focused on execution and key operating metrics.



First-timers: Focus primarily on deal valuation.


Second-timers: Consider the terms of the deal comprehensively.



First-timers: Are devastated when a buyer withdraws.


Second-timers: Know that deals often 'die' multiple times.



What are some other differences you've noticed that first-time founders can emulate?

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