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To structure a great deal, you don’t need to rely on an M&A advisor, an investment banker or an attorney.

What you need is a single sheet of paper.  

The heart and soul of a standard deal should be 8-10 KEY business terms. (Very complex deals may be closer to 12 points.)  These terms can be simple. They can be bullet-pointed statements.

First, agree on these big, key terms. Get alignment between the two parties on the things that move the needle and matter to you and your stakeholders. When you agree, then you know all parties are driving to the same desired outcome.

(NOTE: If you don’t agree on the big terms, you just saved lots of time and money on fees.)

Once you are in agreement and everyone is excited to get going, then turn it over to the advisors. Tell them you have agreed in principal on the key business terms, everyone is excited, and you want them to help you do the deal.

Now, the advisors you’ve looped in are working towards already agreed upon terms. They’re less likely to stir up drama or create new challenges.

So, for your next deal, try using only one sheet of paper.