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  • Writer's pictureCreative Return


Updated: May 28, 2023

There is a lot of activity in the small business M&A economy right now. As the CEO of Axial, Peter Lehrman, who is our guest on today’s show, would know.

Peter is a technology and marketplaces professional with over 15 years of early and growth-stage operating experience building high-growth b2b services marketplaces.

Axial is the largest platform on the internet for buying, selling, advising, and financing private companies. Over the course of the last decade, Axial has established a single, well-known platform that business owners and deal professionals trust to discover and connect with new transaction partners.

Axial is a digital matchmaker between buyers and sellers of businesses. Their role is to facilitate introductions between buyers and sellers and give them the tools which will help them close deals which hopefully both parties will consider to be a success.

Peter has so much valuable knowledge to share that we actually recorded two interviews which have been spliced together here for you to seamlessly enjoy. In this insightful episode, you’ll hear about the main reasons that so many small businesses are being bought and sold at the moment; the most common ways that businesses are valued; why you want to maximize predictability within your business; and a run-through of the entire process of buying/selling a business, from the initial introduction to the close-out.



  • Peter shares some background information about himself and his company, Axial.

  • Explanations of the various different types of buyers who make use of the Axial platform.

  • How Axial categorizes the businesses that are sold through their platform.

  • Reasons for the high amount of activity in the small business M&A economy.

  • Peter runs through the process of buying a business that is explicitly for sale, and the process of buying one that is implicitly for sale.

  • The range of lengths of time it can take for a business to be sold.

  • How businesses are usually valued.

  • Peter explains how Axial’s platform facilitates the buying and selling of businesses.

  • Steps of buying a business which follow the initial introduction between buyer and seller.

  • The part of the process of buying a business which takes up the most time.

  • Why you shouldn’t sign an NDA without understanding what it contains.

  • Examples of actions that can breach certain NDA’s.

  • What a typical letter of intent consists of.

  • Peter explains what a Quality of Earnings study is and why you might want to do one.

  • Why Peter doesn’t recommend that small businesses conduct independent business valuations.

  • The way to think about the valuation of equity in a business.

  • Peter’s opinion on having earn-out oriented structures in a deal.

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