Buy Then Build "How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game" by Walker Deibel is a book that explores the concept of acquisition entrepreneurship, where individuals acquire existing businesses rather than starting new ones from scratch. Deibel argues that buying an established business can be a more reliable and profitable path to entrepreneurship. Here are the key ideas from the book:
Acquisition Entrepreneurship
Deibel promotes the idea that buying an existing business can be a smart entrepreneurial strategy. He argues that it allows entrepreneurs to skip the risky and uncertain early stages of a startup and instead acquire a business with an established track record.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
The book discusses the mindset required for acquisition entrepreneurship, including the willingness to take calculated risks, learn from failures, and adapt to new challenges.
Deal Sourcing and Due Diligence
Deibel provides guidance on how to identify and evaluate potential business acquisitions. He emphasizes the importance of conducting thorough due diligence to assess the financial health and growth potential of a target business.
Financing Acquisitions
The book explores various financing options for acquiring businesses, including using personal savings, securing loans, or partnering with investors. Deibel provides insights into structuring deals to minimize risk.
Negotiating and Closing Deals
Deibel offers strategies for negotiating favorable terms in business acquisitions and explains the key components of purchase agreements.
Integration and Growth
Once a business is acquired, the book discusses strategies for integrating the new business into your portfolio and driving growth. This includes optimizing operations, implementing improvements, and scaling the business.
Risk Management
Deibel addresses the risks associated with acquisition entrepreneurship and provides advice on how to mitigate them. He also discusses the importance of having contingency plans.
Leveraging Existing Systems
The book emphasizes the value of leveraging existing systems and processes within an acquired business. This can save time and resources compared to building everything from scratch.
Selecting the Right Business
Deibel discusses how to choose the right type of business to acquire based on your skills, interests, and long-term goals. He encourages readers to consider businesses with a strong customer base and growth potential.
Building a Portfolio
Deibel encourages entrepreneurs to think in terms of building a portfolio of businesses rather than focusing on a single venture. Diversifying your portfolio can reduce risk and provide multiple income streams.
Exit Strategies
While the book primarily focuses on acquiring and building businesses, it also briefly touches on exit strategies, such as selling businesses within your portfolio when the time is right.

"Buy Then Build" presents a compelling alternative to the traditional startup path. It offers practical advice and strategies for aspiring acquisition entrepreneurs who want to enter the world of business ownership through buying existing enterprises. The book provides a roadmap for evaluating, financing, and growing businesses while minimizing the risks typically associated with startups.