Buying a Small Business - Online


An interactive web-based program

Program Dates and Fees:
March 3 - 28, 2014
Buying a Small Business Online: $750
Buying a Small Business Online - Premium: $1,500*
*Buying a Small Business Online - Premium includes an hour of one-on-one consulting with a faculty member from Babson’s Entrepreneurship Division. 
To view program brochure click here

Program Overview

Small businesses are an important contributor to economies around the world through innovation, job creation, and growth. For entrepreneurs, small firms also present a unique value proposition and a wealth of opportunities.

Buying a Small Business Online is an interactive, 4-week, web-based program that delves deeply into the challenges, process, and peculiarities of buying a small business. Participants explore the intricacies of planning, evaluating and negotiating to buy a small business from a family-controlled or privately-owned enterprise. Key aspects of financing and equity structure alternatives are explored, in addition to the industry peculiarities of acquiring a small business. “Small Business” can be defined many ways but our definition encompasses all enterprises with revenue or enterprise value of under $3-5 million. The program is practical in approach and covers a range of critical issues in one day.

Learning Objectives

The goal of this program is to provide participants with the knowledge and tools to tackle small business acquisitions and investment opportunities. Through an exploration of the key dynamics associated with buying a small business, entrepreneurs gain an understanding of the reality of information gathering, negotiations, capital plan negotiations, and dealing with the potential challenges born out of the process or lack of a process.  

The Online Format

This 10-hour program is hands-on and practical in nature, combining lively discussions with global colleagues; self-paced, media-rich learning and activities; and weekly virtual class sessions with Professor Kevin Mulvaney. This online program was designed specifically for new and aspiring business owners for whom at least one of the following statements is true: 
  • Travel to the Boston area is not possible.
  • Flexible and distributed learning is preferred over an extended classroom session.
  • Exposure to a global network of colleagues is attractive.


The program features a carefully structured blend of lectures, case studies, discussions, and an action learning assignment. The curriculum moves quickly through the phases and components of the small business acquisition process and the tactics needed to be successful. Mini-cases and deal books will be used throughout the program to allow participants to practice the process of buying a small business in a realistic and market-oriented way.

Specific program topic areas include:

  • Self-Analysis—is buying a small business right for me?
  • The M&A process for a small business buy
  • Sourcing business opportunities
  • Peculiarities of the small business and links to the ‘buy’
  • Valuation processes and alternatives
  • Deal structure alternatives
  • Seller objectives and psychology
  • Financing alternatives
  • 'The Info Game' and links to due diligence
  • Negotiating a small business purchase
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Running a small business
  • Passive income purchases

Participant Mix

90% of small business buyers are first-time buyers, who are not sure what type of business to buy and have less than $100,000 in capital. “Buying a Small Business” is designed for entrepreneurs who seek investment opportunities through small business acquisition. Because the program encourages personal evaluation, it also is appropriate for aspiring entrepreneurs who are exploring the idea of buying a small business in order to build wealth or for a career change and to be their own managers. 


Program Faculty

Professor Kevin Mulvaney teaches in the MBA program at Babson College in courses including “M&A for Entrepreneurs” and “Buying a Small Business.” He also mentors students in live consulting projects and serves as Executive-in-Residence in the Entrepreneurial Studies Program. Professor Mulvaney has bought and sold several businesses himself, so he approaches the topic from an expert practitioner perspective, rather than an academic viewpoint. Many of his students have bought companies before graduation.

Additionally, Professor Mulvaney is the president of Strategic Advisors Group, a specialty consulting firm which advises CEOs and business owners facing important strategic challenges and M&A decisions. Mr. Mulvaney has served as an expert witness in Federal Court cases, conducted governance review projects, and mentored management teams and business owners to achieve improved teamwork and results.

Before forming his consulting practice in July 1997, Professor Mulvaney served as President of DRI/McGraw-Hill, the world’s largest econometric publishing, data, and consulting firm with offices in ten countries. In April, 1994 he was hired by McGraw-Hill to lead a successful major financial and strategic makeover of DRI. Professor Mulvaney was recognized for his achievements with the prestigious McGraw-Hill Management Excellence Award. Prior to DRI/McGraw-Hill, He spent 23 years at Bank of Boston where he held a number of executive management positions. From 1992-1993 he led the resurgence of Bank of Boston’s most profitable group, National Banking, achieving strong growth after years of declining asset and profit levels.

Professor Mulvaney has contributed to the success of many enterprises as a member of their Boards of Directors. His experience includes manufacturing, numerous financial services firms and many non-profit organizations. He has served as Chair of the Board, led Board Committees, and managed strategic planning reviews.


* Buying a Small Business Online - Premium

The Premium version of Buying a Small Business features one hour of one-on-one consulting with a faculty member from Babson College’s Entrepreneurship Division, in addition to the online program. The consulting takes place via web conference within three months after you participate in Buying a Small Business. This option is ideal for those participants with immediate plans to launch or grow ventures upon completion of the program and those who would benefit from the strategic advice of a Babson faculty member with deep expertise in consulting to new and growing ventures.

No events are currently scheduled. Please check again in the future, or contact us if you have any questions.
No events are currently scheduled. Please check again in the future, or contact us if you have any questions.