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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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