I’ll tell you a bit about my first business acquisition from a seeker’s perspective!

I had a new awakening to the idea that perhaps I could miraculously buy a company or a part of one in the summer of 2021 bC (before the pandemic). I had previously looked into a company when I was still safe behind the flexim locks of the corporate world. Little did I know how cold it is outside! It’s cold out there!

After some investigation (a quick Facebook post in an entrepreneur group during a coffee break at the lakeside cottage), it became clear that indeed, there are plenty of companies where the old owner is already tired.

I bought the book “HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business” and started researching the topic seriously during wood chopping breaks.

In the USA, there’s a strong culture and approach to these kinds of business acquisitions. I translated the model into the finnish YYA-Model (LOL). Business acquisitions have been made since ancient Rome, but this kind of J7-YYA acquisition model is somewhat of a new idea in this era and in Finland.


At the beginning of my search, I was a bit uncertain about whether one could do such a thing and if it was possible. General perceptions influence human behavior. The environment also has an impact. J7 aims to now bring this idea of business acquisition to light so that more people would realize that this is indeed possible. This is an interesting endeavor altogether! Of course, we’ll do just fine even if we don’t make any more business acquisitions, but we find this fun and interesting. 😊

I conducted my search with quite a makeshift setup. In the upcoming J7 round II, we can conduct the search more sophisticatedly, although it’s not an end in itself.

You can look at acquisition targets from brokers’ websites. I looked at suitable ones there and visited about 20 companies in person. With just a laptop and the internet, I researched about a hundred companies. Pick up the phone and start calling!

A more sophisticated way to conduct the search is through a database search. In this case, you need to buy access to a suitable database and create search criteria there. I tried this a bit, but the affordable database didn’t provide good enough opportunities. I wanted to find out the three-year average profit and change trend. You can go quite far just by googling “Company name” on Finder. Also, see the post on Search Criteria.

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Year of Searching

My search ultimately lasted about 12 months initially and ended when I ran out of money. I had to go back to work in between. Thankfully, I found a job at least! Now I can admit that it was really difficult to work elsewhere because I had already calculated in Excel how the business acquisition could affect my finances in the long run. It’s difficult to be in a position where you feel you could take on more responsibility, learn more, and serve more broadly. At the beginning of my career, it was perfectly fine to be the lowest runner in the anthill. As a young person, I was content and learned from the environment. But around 40, no amount of meditation helped anymore when it bothered me that young guys were delegated trivial tasks. Oh, humanity. Buddhism is the solution, with its 4 main principles and 8-fold path. LINK

The business acquisition only succeeded when I was already working elsewhere. The search period was 18 months, of which 12 months were full-time work. Yes, self-funded search requires the ability to live and eat for 12 months without income. It’s difficult or impossible to conduct a search alongside your own work, it’s genuinely slow, fun, and difficult! Additionally, you should have enough money to get a Finnvera entrepreneur loan of about €100,000, which is your own loan. Perhaps you have that hundred grand in your back pocket? Then you don’t need a loan for the holding company (there’s the bigger loan there, which is the company’s loan).

Business Partner

The search eventually ended with a successful acquisition. But the journey before that was so heavy that I don’t recommend anyone doing it alone. Without my business partner, who continued to make calls even when I couldn’t anymore, this purchase wouldn’t have happened. He also invested the same amount as me and therefore owns as much. Ownership is mainly distributed according to invested equity.

I found a business partner for this project by writing a blog about the first stages of my business and publishing it on LinkedIn. My friend liked my style of writing about the realities of business. With the business partner’s help, I was able to buy a bigger company than I could alone. A bigger company is again more stable and already has a management structure. So a bigger company is a safer purchase than a small one, as long as you avoid Nokia, Stockmann, and Jukka House. The problem with very small companies is that all activities may be too tied to the CEO-owner, and it’s difficult to replace them during the transition phase. Additionally, they may work too long hours, and the whole operation suffers because of it.

Exciting Phases

There were a few exciting phases in this acquisition that were only overcome with trust. Would my business partner really invest those funds in the end, which had been talked about for a couple of years? The sums were also large for me, although in the world, they are just linear quantities without end or limit.

I first deposited my share of the purchase into the account we had opened for the company. Then Finnvera deposited the amount I borrowed there. And behold, the next day, my business partner’s hundred grand had also arrived in the account. I took a screen capture because I had never seen anything like that before.

I also learned a lot during this process about how the world works and especially how people do, and how the economic system works. It’s one thing to read about something, but it’s another to experience it. I learned that money is just an agreement and that the economy is all about trust.

Purchase Day

On the morning of the purchase day, I drove to Tikkurila OP and almost vomited from excitement on the way. In this project, large sums of money are involved for an individual. If the whole thing were to fail, I would lose so much money that it would take decades to somehow pay it back. The stakes are high for an ordinary corporate ant, even though it’s a business acquisition that banks consider to be a negligible small deal.

At the closing ceremony, we signed a few papers, and the bank transferred the larger loan to us for a moment and then to the seller for the first installment. There it is, coffee and pastries!

In the next blog, I’ll talk about the first 18 months at the helm of the shop!

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