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15 Essential Tips to Maximise & Extract Business Value with Kevin Harrington


15 Essential Tips to Maximise & Extract Business Value with Kevin Harrington

By , August 4, 2023
Kevin 15 tips



If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed because your business is not reaching its full potential, despite your efforts and hard work, then you are not alone! Many business owners and entrepreneurs find themselves in this situation, where they are unable to maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful sale. Despite implementing various strategies and tactics, they may be experiencing stagnant growth, declining profits, or difficulty attracting potential buyers. It’s time to break free from this cycle and discover the proven methods that will help you unlock the true value of your business.

Kevin Harrington is a highly experienced business consultant who brings the perfect blend of expertise and passion to the table. With an extensive track record in helping entrepreneurs refine their business strategies to maximise their value, his insights are sought after in the industry. His inherently analytical mind combined with his expansive knowledge enables him to provide invaluable guidance on all aspects of running a business. Kevin has a knack for uncovering hidden opportunities and proposing innovative solutions that can transform businesses. His inspiring journey demonstrates his ability to not only navigate but also thrive in the dynamic business world.

The tale of Kevin Harrington commences with a realisation. He discovers that most entrepreneurs are so engrossed in their day-to-day operations that they often disregard the groundwork necessary to maximise their business value. Driven by this insight, Kevin divides the process of enhancing business value into three facets: internal factors, daily activities, and external factors. His 15 tips, each a gem of knowledge, nestle comfortably within these categories. It’s a strategic approach that leaves no stone unturned. Kevin’s perspective on business size is a lesson in itself. He advises entrepreneurs to understand the true worth of their business and its appropriateness within the industry.

Interestingly, he also highlights the importance of employees and their potential to unlock profitability. In Kevin’s world, employees are more than just resources, they are the secret sauce that could ignite the business’ future success, In his journey, he encounters many entrepreneurs who are uncertain about their business value. He understands that this is often due to a lack of focus on the foundational aspects of their business. To tackle this, Kevin introduces a three-pronged approach, focusing on internal factors, daily operations, and external influences. His 15 practical tips, each offering a unique insight, fit perfectly into this framework. Kevin emphasises the significance of understanding the actual value of a business, its standing in the industry, and its potential for growth.

He also brings attention to the role of employees. For Kevin, employees are the key to unlocking profitability and ensuring a successful future for the business. His approach is a beacon of enlightenment for entrepreneurs looking to maximise and extract the value of their business.

Watch episode here:


Welcome to the podcast that’s dedicated to helping business owners prepare your business for exit so you can maximise the valuation and then exit on your own terms. This is the exit insights podcast presented by succession plus I’m Darryl Bates-Brownsword, and today we’re doing something a little bit different, but kind of the same. I’ve got Kevin with me again today to talk about one of the documents that we’ve been sharing recently. A lot of you have already downloaded this document and gone through this document, but we often get questions. It’s called the 15 tips to maximise and extract the value of your business. Hey, thanks for joining me on the podcast today, Kevin.

Hi, Darryl. Be quite interesting. I’ve given a bit of thought to this one already, so I think we’re going to have a good session.

Yeah, well, we always have a bit of fun when we play with these ones. So the 15 tips as we know it. In short, are there any highlights, key points that come out to you that you want to, I guess, launch on?

Yeah, I think the first thing we must acknowledge is everyone is different. And we’ve had people say, 15 tips, that’s far too many to focus on. And other people say, well, we need more detail. Is there not more you need to tell us? And the point I’d make, really, before we get underway is that out of the 15 Tips, if you want a simpler explanation of things, it splits down into three areas. Initially, it’s the internal factors which splits into two. It’s the foundations of your business if you want to maximise value. And then it’s the activities that you do day to day. And then the third element is external factors. Those are the three top level areas you need to focus on. And our 15 tips all sit inside there. And clearly, if people want more detail, we’re here to provide that, and we can subdivide all those 15 into key activities for those people that want to understand it in even more granularity.

Yeah, that’s the important point. These are the 15 tips and they’ve just been pulled together from experience of us and the wider succession plus team of just working with for years with hundreds of clients in preparing them for exit and just recognising all. Of the things that I guess can go wrong or haven’t been prepared for or planned for that put a dent in deals and stop deals from proceeding or have an impact on the valuation. One of the things we really like doing is keeping things simple. So, yeah, I like what you’ve said there. It’s kind of the internal factors. And the internal factors are the things that we can have most control over. They’re the things that are really within our control and we can influence and make a big difference to the external factors. We can guide them so much a certain amount. And the external things are things that are, on the whole, outside of our control, but we can influence somewhat. And then, as you say, I like the extra breakdown of foundational. What did you mean when you said foundational, Kevin? What are you thinking about there?

This really is highlighted. I guess if we were to talk about the structures model we normally use, which we could cover in another episode. But the point here is that as a business, most people are wrapped up in the day to day activity of running a business. And of course that’s important because that’s what delivers the revenue and looks after customers. But the foundations is much more around the original vision of the business owners and the direction and strategy and the way they want to try and deliver these things. And they are separate things. And too often we get sidetracked running our businesses, operating in, looking at the revenue areas and the sales and marketing and the employee bits and so on. And our inbox, or actually real value, can start to be added to a business and it can excite the buyer if the foundations are not only solid, but they can be demonstrated to be solid.

Yeah, it’s a bit like a foundation of a house, isn’t it? You get the foundations right, then you build a solid structure on top of it. Okay, let’s get into it, shall we? Because we’ve got 15 to get into. We’ll go through them, I guess, systematically, and just have it tease out each one in order. And we’ll start with the first one. The first group, if you like, are the internal factors and the first one is size. What do we mean by size?

It’s very much what size is your business. I know that sounds a silly thing to start on, but most people only have a guess as to what their business is worth. That’s the first point. So an accurate measure of how big your business is and the value of it is important. But also is it an appropriate size within its industry, its sector, its geography, for a purchaser of the business to be able to make a go of it, for it to trade successfully within an area, is it set up for success, given its size and its customer base, et cetera?

Yeah, and there’s an important thing to consider here that is just one of the, I guess, unwritten rules, is if you’ve got a business when it comes to size, if you’ve got an EBIT of greater than about 2 million pounds, so 2 million pounds, we’re talking about the UK market here. Your multiplier value, and therefore your valuation tends to go up a step. So once you get to a certain size, your businesses seem to be of a certain or a less risk. So a certain size comes with a certain amount of management team in place and infrastructure in keeping the momentum of the business growing and A Pattern. So once you get up to about 2 million pounds EBIT or greater, your valuation is going to take a step in the right direction for you. The next one in our list is Business Model. And the business model that we look at is what sort of business model are you running? Is it a boutique model or a scale model? And what does that mean? It’s basically, is it a high volume, low margin business or is it a high margin, low volume business? And then once you’ve figured out what let’s call it your factory. Looks like everything about your business needs to support that business model. Too many businesses we meet and that are out there in the marketplace are not really sure. They haven’t made a clear decision around each one of these because, naturally, entrepreneurs are trying to do everything for everyone. And so they’re sending a mixed message to the market. They’re trying to help everyone. Every client’s a good client. And therefore, they’re not getting the gains that they should be getting with their business model. Anything to add to that one?

Kevin no. You summed that up perfectly. It’s a very important area. And yeah, let’s move on and let’s get all 15 of these out.

Okay. The next one is revenue. So when it comes to revenue, it’s yes, we need a certain amount of revenue. But the thing is to remember that is when someone’s looking to acquire your business, what they’re really looking at is your revenue and the future of your revenue and what’s the likelihood or what’s the risk to that revenue or the revenue growth continuing once the founders have left the business. So the more we can put some comfort and security around that ongoing revenue, the more the business will be worth. So is it contracted? What does it look like? Have you got some sort of trail? Or do you have to sell every single piece of revenue? We’re looking at businesses. If you need to make new sales every week. It means that the revenue can drop off as soon as you take your focus off it. As soon as a key person is removed from the equation and the revenue drops off. That puts a high risk to the revenue. So that’s what we’re looking there for, the continuity of revenue.

Kevin yeah. And on that revenue piece, it links firmly into the fourth tip, which is around sales and marketing. And to maximise the value of your business and get it exit ready, you need to be really clear on what your sales and marketing looks like. Is it a guesswork thing? Is it undocumented, unplanned and accidentally happens? Or is it something that’s at the other end of the scale, which might be entirely driven by Google AdWords and automated systems or whatever? Or is it somewhere in between? And as A Purchaser Of A Business, They Want To Understand that The Sales And Marketing can be taken over and it can continue and reduce the risk to the purchaser so that he can have a business that continues to deliver that sales revenue with a strong brand with it. And they also want to understand that there is an opportunity to increase it. So the flexibility, the sensitivity of the elements in sales and marketing need to be understood by you before you start talking to a potential purchaser. So you can explain it with great confidence.

Yeah, look, I had a client explain it to me once and I like the way they explained it. He said, we need a marketing machine, Darryl. I want it to be consistent, repeatable and reliable, which is a bit of a mantra for everything you want in your business. You want it all to be consistent, repeatable, reliable. And he said, with my marketing machine, I’ve got various channels in the way I take my product or my service to the market. What I know is my cost per client acquisition for each channel. And I also know what my client retention is by each channel. That’s the ultimate. The ultimate is that with sales and marketing, branding is the strategic side of that. We want clients and customers to be attracted to your brand rather than you chasing the market. If you’re chasing the market, there’s less value. If the market’s chasing you, you got a great evaluation because of your branding, which is one of your intangible assets, which we’ve touched on on previous ones. So sales and marketing, Kevin’s baby. Next one’s probably my baby, given my engineering background, which is systems. So what is systems all about? Systems is when a business owner says this is the way things happen around here, how confident are they that this is the way things do actually happen around here? Have I got some documentation around my processes? And really importantly, have I got some sort of feedback mechanism that tells me when things are going wrong and therefore my system is out of control and that I’m reviewing my systems and processes regularly to make sure they’re still fit for purpose. That’s the simplicity around systems. Anything to add to that one, Kevin?

I think, as with some of the other tips, it’s can a prospective purchase of the business take over the business and continue running and managing it to maintain revenues and profits and have an opportunity to increase them. And what you’re talking about just then, Darryl, is about having systems in place, documentation and that also helps make a really scalable business. So it feels to some people bit of a dull subject, but it unlocks a lot of exciting opportunities in the revenue aspects of the business.

Yeah, a couple of extra thoughts on systems. A lot of people believe that if you systemise your business, you stifle creativity. In fact, I reckon it’s the other way around. When people, when you take away the decisions of the mundane it frees up their ability to work on the areas that are outside the system and to have the freedom within the system and think creatively. The other key point I want to make around systems is that a lot of people, when they think of systems, they just think of the operating systems, the systems and workflows, of how things work from sales through to client delivery or fulfillment. I think one of the other important systems is a management system. Have we got a system? Has the management and leadership team got a system in place that demonstrates how they identify a budget every year and how they fulfill and they’re on track to achieve that budget every year. We don’t want to have a management team that has a budget in place and then way overachieves it or way underachieves it. It’s a lot more reliable and predictable if they’re pretty much on target. So we want management and leadership systems as well as operational systems. Yeah.

And that brings quite smoothly into the whole area of employees, I think, which is the 6th tip. And for most businesses, and definitely areas like professional services, the employee cost is the biggest cost line in the business, full stop. And they’re also the only resource that helps control the utilisation of other resources like plant machinery, office space, whatever. So employees undoubtedly are the key to unlocking profitability, strong future confidence in the business, et cetera. But they’re also the area in many small and medium sized businesses where they can get ignored if they’re the most important thing. How do we get engaged with our staff? How do we get the whole team to have an ownership mindset and be aiming for the same direction as the shareholders? How do we motivate them? How do we incentivise them? And I could give case histories where incentivisation schemes have actually disincentivised people. I could give you case stories where a CEO stood up in front of the staff to do like a town hall meeting and two people resigned before the end of the day just because of the content of it. So this is businesses guessing what the best things are to do around incentivisation schemes and communication. It is a very skilled area, engaging employees. And if it’s got right, it can give a huge kick to the performance of a business. And it shows through, right through to how the customer sense your business. If everyone’s happy and motivated. And it’s all too easy for the owner managed business to end up in a position where they think well, no one can do it as well as me. Therefore what I’ll do is sit on everyone’s shoulders. You can’t grow a business like that. You’ve got to find ways of surrounding yourself with people that are cleverer than you in many of the discipline areas, empowering them to do it, but having check mechanisms so that you can make sure that people are supported so that expensive mistakes don’t happen and so on. It’s an exciting area to work on with a growing business because so much benefit can be delivered quite quickly.

Yeah, one of the things that people want is they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be part of something that’s meaningful and productive and they want to be led. So I think it’s really important to go let’s lead and inspire the employees. Brilliant.


Okay, number seven. I don’t know, is that your favorite or my favorite corporate governance and compliance?

This is one of those mindset things, isn’t it? Because in some respects, if I’m really honest, if someone says let’s talk corporate governance and compliance, I’ll probably glaze over most of the time. But it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Because when you start talking about things like how the business is constituted, what would happen if a key person was to leave. So how we set up on running the business, the constitution of the business and so forth, it actually starts to become a little bit of intellectual exercise that can give you a big clue as to what things you need to do to grow and maximise value of the business. So I would say that underneath the lid of that box called corporate governance and compliance, there’s some interesting things to discuss. And the trouble is too many people have think like me sometimes and don’t get worried about the corporate governance and the compliance aspects. And that becomes a disaster operationally for some people at some points. And scary things can happen that cost the business a lot of money or cause a downfall of a business. But equally, if you’re trying to sell your business, if you don’t have all the boxes ticked within corporate governance and compliance, it starts to scare many professional purchasers of your business because they’re thinking, what is in this sort of box of snakes I’m about to buy? What’s going on in there? I don’t understand it if you haven’t got corporate governance under control.

Yeah, I think there’s a couple of sides to corporate governance. One is how can I demonstrate that I’m legally compliant and doing everything and operating within the rules and everything I have to in business? The other side of it is going back to what we said before around systems and processes. How do I demonstrate that if I say this is my process and this is the way things are done around here, how do I demonstrate that they are actually done around here and giving comfort to whoever’s coming in, looking from the outside in, that everything is going to keep happening in that way? Or is it down to key people? And are we dependent on key people or are we dependent on key processes? Which kind of leads us neatly into the last one of the internal factors, which is owner dependence. How many business owners, entrepreneurs, I’ve had them say I like being dependent upon. I feel that I’m adding value when the business needs me. It makes me feel worthy and important and contributing something. But the downside of that is, the more the business relies and depends on you, the less it’s worth.


That’s it in a nutshell. So let’s have a look at the external factors. What are the things that will help us increase and maximise the valuation of our business and by looking at the external factors? So the first one is, how do we make our business attractive to a strategic buyer? Now, strategic buyers is language that’s used a lot and I guess in the NMNA and exit planning world, Kevin, but what does it mean when we talk about a strategic buyer? What does that mean in layman’s terms to someone who’s only just starting to think about this?

It’s worth having a baseline on this that says, what’s my business worth as a trade sale to someone that wants to carry on doing what we’re doing? And let’s imagine that business has a calculated value that we might demonstrate through one of our Business Insights reports that makes it worth a million pounds, let’s say, for the sake of this conversation. A strategic buyer is a different type of buyer. It’s a buyer that has an ability to buy your business. And for them, it has a strategic benefit that makes it worth possibly 2 million or 5 million pounds. Let’s imagine if we make tungsten watches, tungsten bodied watches, and we’ve got a supplier that is the only supplier that can make the right type of tungsten bracelets for that watch, that watch bracelet company is worth a lot to the person that’s making the watch. And I always describe it as being the buyer’s bonus. The fact that suddenly the business that’s worth a million is worth three, four, 5 million to the purchaser unless you act properly, is really the bonus that the buyer gets. They pay a million and get something that’s worth to them four or 5 million. And what we need to help buyers sorry, vendors of their businesses do is to find a strategic buyer and demonstrate the value to them so they can move above that 1 million pound mark. If you don’t demonstrate, you’ll never get it.

Yeah, you’ve got to be on the front foot and let them know that you know the strategic value to them. Otherwise, it’s gold bars in the attic, as Andrew Sherman said on a couple of episodes ago. For me, the thing about strategic buyers is that if I’m doing a trade sale, that means a competitor is going to buy my business and all they’re interested in is buying my client base. Basically. They’re not interested in any of my other intangible assets or areas of added value in my business. They just want to take another player and they just want to grow their operations. So they don’t care about anything that’s special about your business. A strategic buyer is looking to buy your business as a whole, as an ongoing entity that, as you were describing earlier, that is a plug and play and will continue going on its own. Now, when you got a business that will keep operating on its own and as soon as you extract the owners from the business and the business will continue on its trajectory without you involved, that all of a sudden, as a business, as something to purchase, becomes far more valuable just because it’s attractive to a lot more people. And when it’s attractive for a lot more people, you increase your potential buyer market and therefore the value goes up. Just simple definition, right? From an external perspective, we’re thinking about getting our business, putting our business on the market. We need to create an IM, an information memorandum. And Kevin, in nice simple terms, what’s an IM? What do we have in an IM for clients?

Well, it’s not a contract. What it is, is a note, hence the memorandum name, that explains to people what they could be buying. And all too often this ends up being dealt with almost like a memo. And I’ve seen information memorandums on one page of a four paper. I’ve seen businesses described as being a different category than they normally are, and the key benefits of the business to a potential buyer not even being covered. So a good information memorandum is something that a potential purchaser can sit down and understand the headline elements of the business and a lot of the detail underneath, but not all of it, because at this stage you don’t want to be shelling out all the information to anyone that asks for an information memorandum. But it can’t be somehow made document. It needs to be something that’s well designed, informative, and helps a potential purchaser see the value and benefits of owning the business and helps them visualise what the future should be and give them the confidence that it’s a relatively risk free business to possibly acquire.

So it’s basically a pitch document, isn’t it, that we go out and go, look, here’s what’s attractive about this business. Now what are your thoughts on an IM? Do we identify the company or not in the IM?

I’ve been in situations where we’ve run with two IMS before, because until you can correctly identify the person you’re talking to, you don’t necessarily want to declare that your business is up for sale. So there are cases in place for having an identifiable business with your business name on the Im or one without it. I personally favor the route of having verbal conversations with people and qualifying them and then declaring exactly what the business is that’s up for sale, because you want to, when you’re selling your business, consistently come across as being open, transparent, helpful, communicative at every step of the way. And if you start off by putting barriers in people’s way. The danger is they’re going to think this is hard work talking to these people. What is this company I’m looking at? I want to know more.

Brilliant. Okay. And that leads us into a very important one tax planning. So what sort of tax planning do we have to do when we’re looking to maximise our valuation? And let’s face it, when we’re looking to maximise valuation, what we really mean is maximise the amount of cash that goes into our pockets when we walk away from the business.

I’m nearly always the key tax here is capital gains tax. And the great thing about having to pay capital gains tax is you’ve gained a lot of capital, you’ve got some money. But that said, there are so many different ways of structuring a sale or structuring where the money goes, et cetera, that it’s an area that does require professional tax planning. And the issue that we come across quite often talking to professional tax planners is they say to us, why couldn’t they have told us that sooner? Why have they not told us about this lump of money arriving with them until 30 days after it’s hit their bank accounts? If they’d only told us six months beforehand, they could have done a very simple restructuring of the deal and saved half of the capital gains tax or all of it, in some cases. Talk to tax planners early is the message here. But it’s an expensive mistake to make if you don’t do it.

Yeah, exactly. And it’s important to note that working with the right tax advisor, as you say, early, is critical in this situation. Okay, so we’ve done our tax planning. Now we’ve got some due diligence and documentation external. So often the interested buyers, well, they’re going to want to do due diligence on our business. Not the most comfortable exercise. It’s important not to take it personally. They just want to understand what they’re getting. Kevin, what are your thoughts on getting our due diligence and documentation, I guess being prepared on the front foot. How do we maximise our opportunity here?

Two things I would say on this one. First of all, due diligence and documentation can and should be a two way street. If you’re looking to sell your business, do check out who’s buying it from you. Have they got the capability to proceed, et cetera, et cetera. It’s not just about don’t be on the back foot dis being asked questions by the buyer. Find out who they are and what their credentials are. But the due diligence we’re talking about in the 15 tips is the due diligence the purchaser would make and our approach here, and we recommend people set up what we call a green room, which is some people might call it a deal room or a documentation vault or whatever. We call it a green room because it’s the place where everyone goes to have a chat with each other before they go on stage for the main show, on the television program or whatever. So this is the area where everyone should be able to go and feel really comfortable. It’s usually an electronic documentation file sharing system. And what we want to do with our clients that are looking to exit their business is set up the due diligence and documentation room, the green room, in such a way that any question a sensible buyer might ask, we’ve got the answer there already. Every time you say to you’re asked a question about your business that you’re trying to sell and you go, I don’t know about that. That’s another 2% off the price, 3% off the price, 5% off the price, whatever it might be, because the buyer is going, Why don’t they know that? So that’s an important number. Those are important facts. The contracts with clients, contracts with staff, the last five years of business history, the valuation of properties and assets and stock, they just want to know these things. And if you can’t answer them, it’s a badly run business and that’s what the buyer is going to be thinking. So if you can answer all those questions, go bang answer. Bang answer, bang answer. You end up in a situation where you can support the price you want for your business rather than have the purchaser chip away at it.

Yeah. Make sure you can substantiate any claim you make about your business with the prepared, documentation, anticipate what questions you would want to ask before you depart with that amount of cash and money in investing in a business. And make sure you got the answers in advance, because nothing will kill a deal like losing momentum. And as you say, if every time they ask for information, you go, Just a SEC, I’ll go get that for you, it slows things down and they lose confidence. Right, so we’re on the home straight. We’re into negotiation. With negotiation, I think the biggest tip I can share is don’t negotiate yourself, whatever it’s get someone who’s experienced, get the right team on board and get them to handle the negotiation on your behalf because they’re not emotionally attached.

Kevin yeah, that is good advice. The whole area of negotiation is really interesting. A lot of people shy away from it. It feels an uncomfortable area for some people. I asked Chap, who owns a business last week, a question about his business, and this was over dinner, and I said to him, so what do you think your business is worth? And he said, I don’t know. And I said, well, you must have a sense of what you think your business is worth. And he did have a sense, but he refused to say. And in the end, I thought, what’s going on here? There is something wrong here. And it transpired after a conversation subsequently that, yes, there are some skeletons in the cupboard, but negotiation, you’ve got. To start off with a very clear picture of what you’re trying to achieve. Now, if you’re doing it through a third party, if you’re asking someone else to negotiate on your behalf, you’ve got to furnish them with all that information to make them confident about it as well. You can’t be confident about fresh air. You need something solid there about when do you want to sell, how much for what terms? Is it going to be an entirely cash sale? Is it going to be a stage sale? Are there going to be warranties? Are there going to be earnouts all those things? And if you know what deal you want to structure, there’s actually a danger you might get the deal you want. But if you go into it going well, you tell me what’s best for you, you end up being a subservient vendor and it will cost you money. It will cost you money. And most people that are buying businesses are usually pretty sharp, so you need to be up their level with them. And as you said, Darryl, if that means getting an external person to sit next to you on the negotiation, to lead on it, perhaps do that because it’s a small price to pay to achieve success.

Yeah. And negotiation happens after they’ve done the due diligence and already looked for all the skeletons and satisfied themselves that they’re happy and they’re comfortable with the risks, if you like, that they’re undertaking. And then once you’ve done that, if there’s anything I’ve learned after doing 100 episodes of talking to various experts and advisors to businesses on exits, it’s that get the right experienced legal team in place. This is not an opportunity for the person who’s your mum and dad, high street or suburban lawyer who’s used to dealing with your basic everyday contracts. This is when you really need to shell out and get someone who is experienced and capable in doing deals and transactions, because the wrong person can cost you a lot of money. You’ll end up leaving a whole lot of cash on the table if you get this wrong. Kevin, I think you’ve got some experience on this one as well that’s probably worth sharing.

Yeah, I’ve many hours spent talking about these things in real acquisition and sales situations. But one of the things that I think is potentially one of the scary things, really, is that the situations I’ve seen where people haven’t had good legal agreements, and two, three years down the road, the purchase of the business has sued the person they bought the business from for supplying incorrect information. And the valuation was therefore wrong. If they’d known the truth at the time, or if the truth had been told to them, they would have negotiated a different price. That’s a horrid situation to be in when you’ve effectively out of your business for a couple of years and then that buyer’s lawyers start coming for you for half the money that you’ve already received. You can avoid that. You can put warranties and guarantees into contracts, which you normally are required to do by the purchaser, but there are ways of dealing with them that protects you from the outcomes. You can even insure a warranty in a sales document. So it’s about, again, getting the right advice. And I would say if you know you’re going to sell, you know, you’re going to have to talk to lawyer to structure it, talk to them before you’ve got the negotiation stage. So you’ve got the basic framework for how you want to negotiate the deal that’s being run past your lawyer in the first place. And this is yet another area where the advisors to you, if they could be brought into the conversation earlier, you’re much better equipped to sound confident and professionally conclude the whole transaction without letting the purchaser of the business kind of overrun the game and take control of it from you.

Yeah. And this I think we can wrap this up nicely with our last, our 15th tip, which sort of pulls together all of the external tips together and it says, get the right corporate advisors. There’ll be more than one, but you’ll need a number of advisors to work with you on getting your business over the line, taking it to market, especially if well, for those who are only ever going to sell one business, you’re only going to do it once. This is not the time to start learning new skills. You’re going to do it once you get one crack at doing it right, get the right people on board. It will cost a lot of money, but it will save you even more. So let’s wrap it up with the right corporate advisors and make sure it’s a safe pair of hands. And look, just what you were discussing there before, they will advise you on the sort of what warranties to give, what surprises, warranty, insurance, as you suggested, and so many other things to protect you in this deal, which really needs to be the pinnacle of your career. Kevin, what can you add to that one?

You said just about everything there. I think the thing I would add to what you said is that corporate advisor on a sale of a business that revenues into the millions, it’s not one person. And we love accountants. We work with lots of accountants. It’s not just your accountant. It’s not just your lawyer. It’s not just people that can help you with things like IMS and negotiation. You will need three or four different parties to provide advice. That doesn’t mean they need to sit around the table and be billing you every day for everything. You need them for specific things. And we spend a lot of our time leading people to the right advisors and making sure that they only work with them for the right amount of time to achieve the right results, manage it well. It’s exceptional value having great corporate advisors around you. You become a team that will front up against the purchaser’s team because they’ll have an accountant, a lawyer, a blah, blah, blah, and it will all work really smoothly.

Yeah. So there you have it, a bit of a whistle stop tour across our 15 tips, just providing a little more insight, a little more thought into each of the tips, because people have been asking. But if you haven’t yet read the 15 tips or seen the document we’re referring to, we’ll put a link in the show notes so that you can download your own copy and just sort of have it on hand. And remember all these 15 things that you really want to get on top of when you start thinking about preparing your business for Exit. On top of that, if you’ve got any more questions, we’re here, we’re open, we’d love for you to get in touch. You can find us at Succession Plus is our website. It’s just the word succession, just as in the TV show, I guess, plus PL U S, succession plus. And that’ll get you to us anywhere in the world. So hope you found value in listening to our thoughts on the 15 Tips. Kevin, thanks for sharing your insights. Any final comments from you today?

Definitely. If you haven’t downloaded the document of 15 Tips, download it. As I said right at the very beginning, everyone’s different. Some people want these things simplified and take it at top level. Some people want in depth understanding of it. Our modus operandi is talking to people, answering their questions. So give us a shout if you want us to expand on any of the things we’ve been talking about today. Get it right. And a business sale can be a fun exercise. Don’t listen to the 15 Tips and ignore them all. It will cost you money and can be a painful exercise. So we look forward to having conversations with lots of people on these very points over the coming weeks.

You excellent. Thanks, Kevin.

Thank you.

To download a copy of our 15 Tips whitepaper, click here: 15 Tips to Maximise and Extract the Value of Your Business

If you would like to learn more about how to start preparing your business, then you can get more information here: It All Begins with Insights.


Darryl Bates-Brownsword

Darryl Bates-Brownsword

CEO | Succession Plus UK

Darryl is a dynamic, driven Business Mentor and Coach with over 20 years of experience and passion for creating successful outcomes for founder-led businesses. He is a great connector, team builder, problem solver, and inspirer – showing the way through complexity to simplicity.

He has built 2 international multi-million turnover businesses; one now operating in 16 countries. His quick and analytical approach cuts through to the core issues quickly and identifying the context. He challenges the status quo and gets consistent, repeatable and reliable business results.

Originating in Australia, Darryl’s first career was as an Engineer in the Power Industry. Building businesses bought him to the UK in 2003 where he quickly developed a reputation for combining systems thinking with great creativity to get results in challenging situations.

A keen competitive cyclist, he also has a B Eng (Mech) Engineering and an MBA.