Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Leaving the Forces and looking for a new career on Civvy Street?

How do I choose the right business for me?

With a boom in specialist recruitment companies there is a significant sector aimed purely at supporting ex-forces find work, however, had you thought about becoming your own boss and running your own business?
Forces personnel are highly recognised for their high levels of training and commitment which are the type of skills that are often required to run a business. 

Setting up your own business can be a daunting prospect which is why a ready-made business which has been vetted by a business broker such as Axis Partnership is an attractive proposition.
Facing redundancy is a daunting prospect but this can be turned in to a great investment opportunity for you, your partner or family member. 

The Axis Partnership has been helping clients throughout the UK for more than 16 years find the right business to buy. 

As well as staying with you every step of the way we have a network of tried and tested professionals that will help you whether financial or legal help is required. 

Things to take into consideration:

  • What is my existing skill set?
  • What are the barriers to entry for a particular industry?
  • Is training readily available?
  •  Will the business owner provide a comprehensive handover?
  • Is this a family opportunity or something for just myself?
  • How long will it take once I have identified a business I would like to buy?

This will really depend on the type of business you are looking to acquire, something small for yourself such as a lifestyle businesses or perhaps something that could involve the family.

For more information or an informal discussion please call one of our team today for further information 0800 977 5855 | 01284 716000.

Friday, 9 August 2013

6 Things To Consider When Buying A Business

  1. What is your strategy?  Geographic penetration? Buying along the purchasing chain perhaps?  Becoming the biggest in your sector or are you going head to head with your closest competitor? Quick growth, to take your business to the next level? Think about how this business will fit in with the rest of your existing business activities. 
  2. Do you want the business assets or just shares in this company? An experienced business broker will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different options open to you and what the seller is prepared to do.
  3. What are the benefits to your existing business portfolio? Will you be adding value? Will you be enjoying economies of scale?  
  4. What are the long term implications?  Have you carried out a PESTL audit of the current economic client home and abroad? What are the current marketing conditions?
  5. Ensure the business broker provides a strong Information Memorandum and associated papers before making a commitment.
  6. What support will the business broker  offer?  Will they attend meetings? Can they recommend professionals to act on your behalf to minimise risk during the buying process and also keep costs down?
Gill Evans, Marketing Manager

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ten Top Tips When Selling A Business

  1. Presales planning is an essential part of your exit strategy which can take several years to prepare.
  2. A solid management structure is essential and migrates risk for a buyer.  An organisational chart, succession planning, training, policies, processes and procedures shore up an essential management structure in business.  Are good people going to stay? If not have you succession & training plans in place to bring on other talent within your company?  If things typically fall apart during your annual holiday, how will things last when you sell?
  3. Maintaining confidentiality is of upmost importance, leakage can destabilise not only your clients and order book but also your staff and management team.  Your buyer will also not want things to be announced too soon either.  Two weeks prior to the agreement being formalised is typically the timescale for making 3rd parties aware.
  4. Shareholder buy-in is essential for a smooth transition.  Ensure that things are resolved and in place prior to putting your business up for sale.  Dispute resolution at a later stage can be costly and disruptive.
  5. Reputation within your industry is an important USP which can stand you head and shoulders above your competition.  Are you an active member of an industry specific body? Or sit on the board of your local chamber of commerce for example?  Perhaps you are an active member of the IoD?
  6. Carry out a SWOT & business audit, ensure problems are identified and dealt with to negate trips and falls during due diligence.  If genuine problems are there, let potential purchasers know in advance.
  7. Full management accounts will be required and back-up documentation, information on leases or mortgages and so forth need to be provided in full.  This is in addition to normally annual accounting information you will be required to produce.  Your business selling agent will require this information during the valuation stage so this shouldn’t be a problem.  However, if you are looking to sell a year or two down the line keep things in order.
  8. Be open minded on the deal structure and don’t mention price too early in any negotiations.  Employing a professional business selling agent will ensure that multiple buyers are pitched to get you the best deal.  This comes with experience.
  9. A professional business broker should be able to recommend experienced accountants and solicitors.  Just because you have professionals in place and have relationships with them doesn’t mean they are best placed to handle your business sale.  You wouldn’t ask an employment lawyer to handle a divorce would you? Ask your business selling agent if they can recommend someone.
  10. Don’t take your foot of the pedal whilst selling your business, your order book and customer satisfaction levels need to remain strong and robust.  Adding value during the sales process shows your commitment to the business.
Gill Evans, Marketing Manager

About Us- Gill Evans

Gill Evans is a Chartered Marketer and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing with more than 15 years marketing experience. Previously Gill has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for diverse business sectors including NST Educational Travel to household names such as The Prudential and Premier International’s consumer brands. Following on Gill founded The Cambridge Marketing Company to support small business marketing needs.  Gill’s background in marketing covers both strategic planning and tactical implementation across the full marketing mix both on and off line.  

Over the years Gill has encountered some interesting marketing challenges including at short notice commissioning Christmas Puddings for the Queen Mother’s regiments serving abroad.
In her spare time Gill has and continues to have a diverse mix of hobbies and interests.  Some of her missions have included snorkelling in the Maldives, paragliding in Greece and arresting villains in Cambridgeshire.  Gill is delighted to join the Axis Partnership as Marketing Manager and looks forward to improving ROI in terms of marketing plans, delivery and driving the brand forward.

Friday, 19 July 2013

It's Summer and the Possibilities are Endless

The Summer holidays are now upon us, and for many Business Owners this may represent the one time of year where they are able to exit the day to day running of the Company for a sufficient period of time to recharge their batteries and focus on the important aspects in their personal life; whether that be family, catching up again with friends, travelling or re-stoking once again their passions and hobbies.  This is the one time of the year when Directors get to throw the shackles and stresses of running a Company away and enjoy life, but it also presents the best opportunity to assess their current position, and ultimately answer the question every Shareholder should ask themselves – when am I going to exit my Company?

In fact ‘when’ is only part of the question, ‘how’ is equally important.  Vendors are often guilty of a spending their time in the Company focusing on the here and now, important matters that arise relating to clients, staffing or financial issues, and often the strategic planning for their personal exit is often overlooked, and regarded as a secondary requirement to ensuring the Company is a success.  Often however the two go hand in hand more than Vendors realise in a Business Valuation, with the value and desirability of the Company proportionally increasing with the Vendors awareness and implementation of a gradual exit.

Thinking of this logically, as a Buyer what Company would you pay more for – one that the Vendors have focused on growing as fast as possible, and therefore have concentrated and invested all their time and efforts in making it a success, but merely serving to creating an infrastructure that is reliant heavily on their input.  Or a Company where the Vendors have planned an exit for a 3-5 year period prior to taking to market, ensuring that the operation is fully managed and the clients long term and secure?  Buyers are purely concerned on risk, and no matter how profitable or fast growing the Company is, if the risk element in any area is high, the price you will receive will plummet accordingly.

This is why the Summer break is an ideal time for a Business Owner to take stock of their plans.  It may be that you have no intention of selling for 5 years, but would you rather start to implement gradual changes working towards a plan to achieve a smooth exit now, or frantically attempt to ‘shoe horn’ them in when you are in discussions with a Buyer and need to sell?

My advice for all Vendors over the Summer holidays is to enjoy the break, you have earnt it, but spend a few hours contemplating when you are going to exit, and how.  By starting to independently appraise your Company today will allow you to exit for the maximum amount, and ensure you can enjoy much longer holidays in the near future!

We can offer you a Business Valuation and provide you with further advice on how to go about your planned exit.

Adam Croft, Senior Business Broker

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

About Us- Adam Croft

Adam Croft
Adam Croft has worked at the Axis Partnership since 2005 and is a Senior Business Broker. Prior to working for Axis Adam was employed in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, including serving a tour in Iraq.  With qualifications in management, Adam oversees the sale of all Companies currently instructed by Axis and his responsibilities include the training of staff.  

Specialising in the sale of businesses within the Recruitment and Healthcare sectors, Adam has been involved in negotiations with Companies located in Australia, America and mainland Europe, and has experience in brokering deals with Groups with multi-billion pound turnovers.

About Us- Richard Haden-Scott

Richard Haden-Scott
Richard Haden-Scott is the CEO of Axis Partnership and as founding director remains at the helm, having established the business originally in 1996. Richard’s role within the business encompasses strategic planning, training, overseeing business valuations and advising business owners how best to prepare their businesses for sale, ensuring maximum rewards.

Prior to acquiring the business Richard was an independent business consultant advising various businesses on growth and development strategies and implementing training programs.