Cash, and cash flow, are king. I tell would be business buyers that the worst thing they can do is not have positive cash flow while searching because then they’ll be dipping into their investment pool and decreasing the size of their potential acquisition.
The same is true post-acquistion. Cash it the most precious commodity a business has. What too many buyers don’t realize (they may know it, they just don’t think about it) is that growth sucks cash. You pay your people this week, your rent thing month and your customers may pay you in 60 days. If you’re growing it means you are paying more people, buying more supplies and having more money tied up in accounts receivable (for 60 days). That is working capital (i.e. cash).
Pay attention to your capital, your cash flow and your cash needs. It will save you a lot of angst if you do so.