Welcome to part 1 of an exciting 2-part series with serial entrepreneur Neil Asher – where we dig into a lot of interesting information learned from the coalface by Neil in building and selling multiple businesses. So for businesses that are growing to sell, and for M&A advisors and brokers looking for different ideas in how to target a market, this episode offers some great learning for you!
- Identifying a need in the marketplace
- You need a “grabber”
- Identifying your target market
- Understanding your marketplace
- Systemisation is key
- Evolution of the marketplace
- Engineering a business into the buyer’s perspective
Joanna: Hi, it’s Joanna Oakey here and welcome back to The Deal Room Podcast, a podcast brought to you by our commercial legal practice Aspect Legal.
Welcome to part 1 of an exciting 2-part series with serial entrepreneur Neil Asher – where we dig into a lot of interesting information learned from the coalface by Neil, in building and selling multiple businesses. And interestingly from the time he has spent as a broker.
Neil is a fascinating person, clearly with a love of not just growing businesses, but also of selling them. He has bought and sold tens of businesses, some of which he has built form the ground up to multi million dollar businesses, primed for sale. In addition he has also spent time as a broker for part of his career, using very unusual (but successful) strategies to connect buyers and sellers of businesses.
In this episode, Neil brings us a wealth of ideas about how to identify when a business is ripe for sale, but also about his clever approach that got him top dollar for his business.
We also drill into the opportunities for M&A advisors in thinking differently.
So for businesses that are growing to sell, and for M&A advisors and brokers looking for different ideas in how to target a market, this episode offers some great learning for you!
Neil: Hi Jo!
Joanna: Hello Neil, how are you?
Neil: Good thanks. Let me turn you up. For some reason you sound like you know a bazillion miles away which is kind of you know fitting.
Joanna: I am right. Good to meet you.
Neil: Nice to meet you too albeit virtually but very nice nevertheless.
Joanna: Fabulous. And so, what’s your…I couldn’t quite work out from the podcast that I heard you on – Alana’s podcast.
Neil: Alana’s. She’s awesome.
Joanna: Yes she is absolutely fabulous. I can’t quite work out what your main business is now like obviously your you know selling stuff. Are you B2B at all or are you, you’re an online marketer effectively?
Neil: Kind of, yeah. I mean it’s difficult for me to really work out what I do, and when I’m asked, I usually have a different response depending on the situation. I’ve kind of got my fingers in a few different pies.
The thing what Alana’s involved with which is what brought her and I together is the Amazon training company that I run called the Aussie Online Entrepreneur. We’ve got 750 members in that who pay a monthly fee to be a part of that at different levels within that particular organisation depending on the level of service, if you’re getting one on one coaching and stuff like that.
So I guess that was the thing that brought Alana and I together because she’s a member of that group. She’s setting yourself up to sell things on Amazon and doing really really well as you can measure.
Identifying a need in the marketplace
Joanna: And what were you before your broking business. I can’t remember. You were in recruitment or something?
Neil: No. Before prior to running the brokering business I had a, well I started a…. Well, let me go back a little bit so we had just given birth to my now is 10-year old daughter.
So we’ve just given birth to her and she’s a beautiful little girl and we got to the point where she was eating solid food and it was all great and this was in England. And my daughter went for a phase where quite literally the only thing that she would eat at all was tomatoes. That was it. That’s all we could get her to eat, wouldn’t eat anything else like just a tomato-aholic.
And so you know me and my wife were kind of pulling our hair out. I come from a cooking background so of course I was like, “no we’ll make those wonderful organic food, and no, not interested she’d throw it out and some things like that.” So I thought of as well how can I get her to eat a more balanced diet.
And so I went online as you do and it’s a huge thing. These babies they don’t want to play nice. They just wanna eat whatever they want to eat. So it’s a huge thing and I saw it online, I thought there are so many people going through the same problem that clearly that’s an opportunity.
And so I started to work with the University of San Diego which has got to be great nutrition department over there and I saw other companies I met at a big trade fair in Switzerland who could put together interesting products for me. So between the two companies while the university, the company in America and myself, we put together a chocolate milkshake that was laced surreptitiously with all of these really really healthy super foods like wheat grass powder and broccoli powder. And you know lovely lovely super foods you and I would eat. Awesome, love it. But it was all hidden beneath the veneer of chocolate.
So we put that together and it’s a pretty cool drink you know. It had like 13 superfoods all organic and it was a great product and you know we loved it. My daughter loved it more importantly so I was like fantastic. So we put that together for her and then we started marketing it in the UK. And we used a lot of different strategies to market it. But we got to the point where we had 30,000 customers a month buying product. So we’re going, you know it was a good product. It’s great. And there’s a whole rafter of the things around that.
But one of the things that we did on that was we worked with a big company called Groupon. And you may have heard of Groupon like catch of the day here in Aus. But Groupon we were doing a lot of launches of the product and essentially our product marketing strategy was were kinda of given away on a frontend. Hopefully, they will like it and continue to buy it on the backend.
So that was the essence of the marketing for that particular company and it worked really really well. Some people of course didn’t like it but the majority did like it and so we could build the business and have a sustainable business model.
So we did that with Groupon and we would use them to launch this product using Groupon deals and discounts and things like to find new customers. And we ultimately got ourselves into a situation where I wanted to expand the company into Spain and into Europe in general, but Spain particularly for some reason lots of Spanish babies don’t want to eat their greens either. I saw it as a great opportunity.
So I approached a Groupon management team and said, hey look I want to, you know, this is a great way. We’ve had a good collaboration and it was a really good collaboration. They loved it. Let’s launch into Spain and so we kind of took Groupon and by proxy it was a product called Kitz five a day. We took kids Five a day into Spain as well. And so I did that with those guys. Ultimately, I sold that business.
And then when I sold it, it was winter and my wife takes the piss out of me relentlessly, I do it every time. It was winter in England and it’s horrible and cold and you know yuck under. I was like, Tash I can’t cope with this anymore. I wasn’t working, I didn’t have no business to focus on and so I just become insufferable at that point. I’d get under Natasha’s feet and so I said let’s can we go to Australia. And I started telling my friends all about going to Aus and they’re like we’d love to come to Australia, Australia is awesome, it’s the land of milk and honey and they loved it.
So and again I went, “oh this that’s interesting I wonder how many other people would love to move to Australia.” And I started doing my research and of course every man and his dog wants to live in Australia. So that’s where the business brokerage was born out of. We kind of built that around England being rubbish and Australia being awesome. That was essentially the thrust of the marketing, the entire thrust of the marketing was England sucks, Australia’s awesome, move to Australia. So we’ve built on that.
Joanna: A lot of our listeners are business brokers but I guess your idea of a business broking was quite different in that the market that you were pitching as the buyers are these people sitting in the UK, you know sitting on a dark day where it’s raining.
Neil: I like it. Yeah. You’ve got the image, persisting down with rain, it’s cold, they’re in their front room, cup of tea.
You need a “grabber”
Neil: Well, it’s kind of weird. I’m a big believer in educating myself and I have done for a long long time. And so I had gone to a big marketing seminar and saw a particular guy speak. One of the things that he spoke about, it was really just a throw away comment that I just picked up on, was the concept of what he called a grabber.
Something to grab the attention of the recipient of whatever it was you’re sending to, but it was direct mail. So it was a throw away comment and it was within the context of something much bigger, but I heard it and went, a grabber. That’s exactly what I need, I need a grabber.
And so in Australia, I went to all the currency houses and said to them I need five thousand one pound coins. Now you would think that’s actually quite a simple thing to get, but in actuality it was actually really difficult to get five thousand one pound coins.
Back then the exchange rate I think was 2.5 Aussie to a pound. So it was you know a significant it was like 12 and a half thousand dollars worth of one pound coins I needed and it was a lot. And so we had to it’s kind of fudged the whole thing to ever get a lot of different places.
Then we wrote a big four-page sales letter. And on the sales letter on the very very first site, we had a 1 pound coin on the top right hand side that we Sellotaped on like in a cross like that and then an arrow pointing to it saying, “I have to see that 1 pound coin that’s worth two dollars and fifty cents to, you sell your business to a Pom, they’ve got pounds, they can overpay for your business.”
And that was really the marketing thrust. Then we had to put together a list of five thousand of businesses that were perfect acquisition targets for this particular thing that were putting together and I’ve sent them this direct mail piece. And you can imagine that, I mean, our phones ringing off the hook. They really did. Because who doesn’t like the idea of making more money than you ought to do. I mean who doesn’t like that idea. So it played well.
Identifying your target market
Joanna: And can I ask what sort of businesses, what were you targeting as the type of business that you thought was most likely to be a good sell to someone from the UK? What sort of businesses were they looking for?
Neil: Well, all we did and this comes to my geeky kind of direct marketing and online marketing background, we looked at the searches performed using Google Adwords for various different “start a _______ business”.
We looked at them and got the top 10 different searches that were out there. So what would you think would be the number one business that most non-business people want to start? What do you think the number one is?
Joanna: Oh gosh, I’ve got absolutely no idea. Start a…oh yeah…I don’t know. Well, surely it would be something that’s exciting to do so I don’t know surfing business.
Neil:That would be awesome, particularly if you are going to move to Australia start your paddle board and surfing business.
Joanna: But in the UK it must be recruitment.
Neil: It was cafe. So the number one thing, and if you look at websites like business for sale and places like that, the number one business that gets sold is a cafe business. So by a factor of two or three to one to the next most popular business.
Joanna: Can I ask are these searches coming from the UK or they are just general Google search?
Neil: Yes. So remember you got to go where your market is. You’ve got to put your your advertising and in front of your willing recipients of your marketing message.
So we’ve put the marketing front of those people. And yeah so, the majority of the business we approached were cafes as a result of that. And the thing with cafes is, it is a very very seemingly glamorous business you know, are you going to get to make coffee all day, you’ll hang out with your friends and that’s really the interpretation that most folks have of restaurants and cafes and things like that.
But the reality of a business like that is it is actually incredibly hard work. Cafe owners, restaurateur work ludicrously hard within their businesses but not a great deal of reward at the end of it. And they quickly figure out it’s not very glamorous.
So a letter from from us saying, “hey we can get you out of your cafe and we can get you more money that you really ought to get for it because you’re going to sell it to somebody were pounds instead of dollars” was like manna from heaven for them and they just ate it up. Our phones rang off the hook without a doubt.
And then in England, what we would advertise on Google Adwords for people that were searching for information about leaving the UK or moving to Australia or buying a café or whatever it might be. Also we had things like we saw that people who reached a certain age in life usually when their kids left home were also interested in then, “Okay well now the kids left home, let’s go on and go and live our own dreams again.” And so we spent a lot time marketing to those people too.
Of course, every individual person that you market to or individual faction of a group of people, you market to them differently and things like that. So yeah I mean it was a very very successful endeavor. We had 11 business brokers. We sold 47 million dollars for businesses in our second year.
Understanding your marketplace
Neil: Then I sold the company to somebody else who was the market leader but that who wanted to get into that particular space which is business skills visa. And it was all about Australia wanting to get people who spent over $250,000 you could basically get a residence visa if you invest it $250,000 into a business that employed five Australians.
You could get a residence visa for as long as you had the business and they employed those five people, you got to be a resident and stay in Australia and then after a certain period of time you could apply to be a citizen. So it was like your your green card for Australia because of that.
But anyway, this company purchased the business and their marketing was let’s just say it was my professional, let’s not be disparaging. Let’s just say it’s very very professional marketing and they hated all of our marketing because it was kind of fugly, it really was kind of jokey, kind of played on this, “oh you know you’re going to get more money for your business because you got to say to a Pom.” And all those kind of great things are Australians have about you know a little bit of our humor is very very unique around the world.
So they changed everything, like literally everything they changed the business. And of course, it didn’t work after that because the whole premise of the business was built around understanding who our marketplace is, why they want to get out of their businesses, and as an ex-restaurateur I knew, why they would want to get out of the businesses. As an ex-restaurateur, I could speak directly such your way. And so they changed everything and they closed it 18 months later.
Joanna: Wow! Gosh, that was a short post completion life for a the new owner. Goodness gracious!
Neil: I did think about buying it off them, but by that point I’d moved on to most sellings. I was doing something else.
Joanna: Yeah. And so that was your foray into business broking. Did you ever think of coming back in to business sales again after that foray?
Neil: No, I didn’t. But I have subsequently purchased and sold a number of businesses and it’s always something that I look to do whenever I start a new endeavor to start with that end goal in mind. You learn very very quickly when you analyse a lot of different businesses from a sales point of view. You learn very quickly what sells and what doesn’t sell and how to structure these businesses to make them look great from a sales perspective. And so you know you’ve got business brokers to listen to that they will know what exactly I’m talking about.
Often times our brokers would go in and there was cash coming into the business that couldn’t be accounted for. Oh yeah yeah. You know we’ve put a thousand dollars a week on the books and the other two thousand dollars a week just comes under the table. Well that’s great. But how do we prove that. That sort of thing.
So you learn pretty quickly how to structure them if you’ve got your eye on studying them. And it’s not right to sell all businesses. It’s not how you should do all businesses. But those of you, those of them that you are looking to exit then you have to set them up on a certain way.
Systemisation is key
Joanna: And I guess so firstly I’d just like to go back a little bit in our discussion where you were talking about your first business that you then sold. Do you remember at the time I’m always interested in discussing with people with your very first business that you bought and sold, what are the differences between the way you approached building and then selling that first business to how you evolved your approach over time as you became more experienced in the mode of building and then selling a business.
Neil: Yeah that’s a great question. Well I think that the big difference has been the systemization of businesses. So I went to see a guy, who you would have definitely heard of called Michael Gerba speak, and it was on the back of a really good friend of mine are giving me a book called E-myth. And I read the E-myth, and you know it’s a wonderful treatise on building a proper business. It’s also a great personal development treaties as well.
But the surface of it is this great kind of how you actually structure a business, so it’s a business not a job. And so that was really formative in my thinking and I approached business systemization with a zeal after that. So I would say that the big fundamental differences were that I begun to understand all about training staff through systems.
And as a knock on effect of that, you also build a business that is then saleable as an entity rather than somebody buying themselves into a job, that you’re actually walking into something that you can sell as a business, something that systemise, something that you’ve got a team in place that really know what they’re doing that doesn’t rely upon me as the owner. It kind of runs itself. Well it does run itself up. That ought to be what you’re looking to do. So that was really the big things I learnt about them and that’s been a very slow ongoing process to put that into a strategy into a philosophy that I can apply systematically into the businesses of our build.
I certainly don’t get it right every single time. But the times I do get it right, it seems to go well. You know like all entrepreneurs, I’ve had my fair share of failures and my fair share of successes. But to a T, all of my failures I can attribute them to poor systemization of the business to a T without a doubt.
Joanna: Yeah and I think you know I’ve said it a few times in this podcasting previous episode, but I absolutely believe that a business that is the most saleable is also a business that can be the most fun to run in any event, because that generally what makes a business most saleable is the implementation of systems and in a way that is profitable because of course you require that mostly unless you’re a tech business. Generally speaking profitable.
Neil: Yeah absolutely. What’s your churn rate. Oh you know it’s only a million dollars a week. What’s your revenue.
Evolution of the marketplace
Joanna: But I guess tech businesses are a whole new podcast episode. But coming back, I’d be really interested to hear on a bit about what you think the most successful sale is that you’ve had.
Neil: Well that is a great question and I would usually my most successful is the last one I’ve just done. So let me tell you about that one.
So we just did a sale of a Amazon business. So one of the things that I do a lot now is I build Amazon businesses and build brands around these great Amazon businesses and then we sell them on. And that typically takes anywhere from 18 months to two years from conception to exit.
We’ve begun to put together a strategic step by step plan to do that, that has so far yielded great success not only with exiting businesses, but also just with building them in general. And there seems to be a step by step thing that you can do then yields a successful and profitable and saleable Amazon business at the end of it.
And there is a lot of interest in online businesses as any business broker who’s listening to this would know. There’s a lot of interest in online in general. And I’m a big believer in doing as little work as possible for maximum return on that, and one of the easiest ways to get that is to ride on the coattails of societal trends and societal shifts and also to ride on the coattails of where the money is being spent by bigger companies. So an example of that is Amazon.
So right now in Australia, Amazon is advertising like hell,putting their front pages up advertisement, they’re doing bus stop advertising, new stop advertising etc. They’re investing massively into Australia. So as an Amazon entrepreneur myself, I get to ride on the coattails of that. And I’m never going to be Jeff Bezos 113 billion dollars rich but there is enough to go around and I can make myself a very good living.
So we had a, and you will definitely find this hilarious because what I say outloud to myself it sounds crazy, business that sold supplements for dogs and cats. So what the hell does that mean.
As pet owners, we tend to, you know I would certainly do that, anthropomorphise our pets, and that’s shown when you look at any kind of pet advertising. You can see even the advertising on TV where it’s all for the sort of the dog and cat food. Well they’ll talk about this pet food in the same way that a restaurant would talk about the food that you’re going to eat, “oh it’s being prepared by chefs who have painstakingly sweated over the details of your dog’s dinner made it to wonderful chicken cordon bleu casserole.”
Well you know do dogs really want to eat chicken cordon bleu. Of course not, they don’t give a rats about chicken cordon bleu. But as human that’s what we want. Therefore you are the ultimate person not your dog. Your dog is not buying the dog food. The person, I am buying the dog food for my dog and so you must sell to me not to the dog. And that’s a very good insight for any marketing. You’ve got to sell to the right person.
So again, looking at data we look at the evolution of a given marketplace. So if you take supplements for instance. Well supplements back in the 30s 40s 50s, they start off at one particular point of difference in their given market place and used it back then it was just vitamins and minerals supplements, 13 vitamins 14 minerals, and that’s what you would buy. And everybody would buy the same vitamins and minerals.
Well over time what happens is as people see that that’s a competitive and money making opportunity. Other entrepreneurs joined in that melee and competition happens. So what needs to happen is somebody needs to differentiate their offering and what they will ordinarily do is the second level of differentiation for vitamins and minerals as vitamins for men, vitamins for women. And now if you’re a guy well you can’t just buy any old vitamins, you must buy the vitamins and minerals for man. And if you’re a lady, then you must buy the vitamins and minerals for being a lady. So the market has split and differentiated.
What happens then more people join in the marketplaces so that differentiation happens again and so what happens next well you’ve got vitamins and minerals for ladies over 50, vitamins and minerals for ladies who are thinking about getting pregnant, vitamins and minerals for ladies who are pregnant, vitamins and minerals for ladies who have just had their babies and on and on and on.
So that sophistication in terms of the market marketplace grows. It gets deeper and deeper into different niches. So look at those things and the next level of all those things are is where the market then says, “okay, we’ve sold what we can to the human population, now let’s sell to the things that the humans own.” It happens all the time, happens every single time. Look at jewelry, look at clothes.
So that is then dogs, cats, iguanas, whatever it might be. They of course need their vitamins and minerals. And so I watched all that happen with the pets. I didn’t watch it from the 50s. I’m not quite that old. I watched all that stuff happen, and thought okay well where is the current state of play with regards to vitamins and minerals for humans. What is the current state of play for those guys?
And it was a move towards probiotics that had an incredible amount of ups well. There was a lot of marketing being done by other people that I could tap into that concept of riding on the coattails again. Probiotics was big business and big news. And that’s important that you have that news again that you can tap into and utilise as an entrepreneur to get more leverage.
So I thought to myself, well given that probiotics is a very big thing, I wonder if there are any probiotics for dogs. And there wasn’t. Well I thought, I wonder if anybody finds that their dogs have got gassy bombs and they fart a lot and there was.
So I looked at, okay so here’s the marketplace. We’ve got a marketplace that has now seen a trend for humans probiotics. We’ve got a group of animal owners, who believe that they’ve got a problem with their animals because their dogs are gassy, and therefore we need a cure for that. We need to introduce something into the marketplace that is a cure for those things. And so we came up with a probiotic aimed at dogs, and then subsequently cats as well, and sold that starting on Amazon.com.
We did very very well with it and it made a lot of money for us. We got it to $45,000 a month on that one particular product. And so from that I then went okay well is there another level to that and there isn’t really another level. So for me it was all it will be.
Joanna: I must say that’s actually good to hear. I was scared about where this is going to.
Neil: I could see it myself as well. So I said, okay well we’ve got to exit this business. So we set that up specifically to exit it. And we recently exited that business, I said recently, eight months ago, we sold that business.
So when we sold it for typically Amazon businesses tend to sell for between 2.5 and 3 times EBIT something like that depending on the business and the level of systemization within them. But we actually got 4.5 time EBIT for that business based on works that we done outside of the the business itself to put into the business two things.
So we created a lot of blue sky for the person buying the business, and the blue sky in that particular case was we set up some initial tests in different territories because it’s very easy to expand a online business into other marketplaces. So we had tested some marketing in other territories the UK, Germany just show that our product would sell in those territories and to show that there was a systematic way that they could get sales in those territories outside of hours on infrastructure using Google Adwords as it was and Facebook marketing. And we set that all up for them. So that was one element to that.
And then we also showed them within the territory, which was Amazon.com, so the USA marketplace. We showed them that we could go to more people within the USA marketplace by scaling out their existing marketing that we were doing. So what we’re looking to do with any marketing endeavor is get it to the point where it becomes an investment. So for every dollar we’re investing into this marketing, we get you know a buck fifty back whatever it might be. So we always look to get to a situation where it can be a consistent replicable income stream that no longer relies on luck. It then becomes well now we know up to a given point of course for every dollar we invest in we’re going to make a buck fifty buck and we’ll do that deal all day long. That’s where we kinda want to get these businesses to.
So we had a lot of systems in place and we had a lot of blue sky in place for them as well. And so were able to get significantly more money for it than we would have been able to. And it meant that we could sell it based upon what the business was doing (because the business is doing well had very good margins) but on half of what we thought the business could do.
So here’s what the business is doing, $45,000. We know that we could probably get it to $90,000. So let’s sell it based upon $60,000. And that’s a good deal for you. So that’s what we’re able to do because of that. So that’s probably, it’s not my most profitable exit but this is fun fine on exit to do. And you know I love doing those things where you’re putting in place a whole raft of different things, you’re wrapping of great business up in such a way that it’s a no brainer for the buyer.
Engineering a business into the buyer’s perspective
Joanna: I think there is so much in what you have just talked about right now and many of our listeners probably won’t know much about Amazon businesses as a whole. But there’s so many fundamental elements in what you’ve talked about.
To our accountants out there, our brokers or our business owners who are building for sale, what you’re really demonstrating here is the way that you took what is a good business, and it was a good business because it had systems and processes in it and it had good profit levels, but how you took that and then found a way to look at it from the buyers perspective.
From the buyer’s perspective in that how do you really capture the imagination of a buyer in terms of what this business could be for the future. Because I think quite often business owners forget that people are buying businesses for the opportunity that they can grow into not just where it is at the moment on.
Neil: Nice. Very well said. I couldn’t agree more with that.
Joanna: I think you’ve given what I think is quite a simple sort of considerations for people to sit there and think about their business or the businesses that they’re advising on whether they’re Amazon businesses or not. How is it that we can imagine the upside where the value still is and how can we prove how our current systems can be replicated to provide that ongoing and increased upside for a buyer upon buying it.
Neil: That’s a really nice synopsis for that. That’s fantastic. The only thing I’d add to that I think is that the ability to place yourself well into the buyer’s shoes is integral, I think, to maximising value. And the big thing that I learnt from the business brokerage that we had was that, yes of course, the buyer wants to come in to a business that is already making money, because he’s got or she’s got needs, fundamental needs, at the base level thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
The first thing he’s got to work out for himself is, is this going to pay my bills, is this going to feed my family, is this going to give me what I need to live. So those are the first things that the business has to do for them and that’s where your pay now comes into it. Here’s what the business is making right now. What does that mean everything I want to do. It does. Okay great check. I’m good with that.
But then, moreover, they want to know that they can add their own value and they can get their own higher level of needs met by adding value to the business themselves and feeling pride in their ability to grow the business. If you show them how easily they can grow the business then you’ve checked that off for them too.
And the thing that we found, I don’t want to get too kind of psychology with you or anything like that, is the more we can engineer into a business the ability for the business owner to feel good the more we can do that, the more money we can sell the business for because it meets more and more of their needs.
So we’ve engineer into these businesses the ability for the business, for the acquirer of the business to, you know and I often think about it just from my own point of view coming back into my home with my wife for instance, if I can come back into my home with my wife, and say “you know what darling this week’s been really really good we’ve had a fantastic week. We’ve grown the business by whatever it may be. Let’s go out for dinner. Let me treat you.” If I could engineer into a business that kind of thing then that’s a wonderful thing to able to engineer in that people will pay for as well.
Joanna: That’s a really good point and I think often people who are involved quite regularly in an sales acquisitions transactions forget how much emotion there can be for the individuals who are both buying and selling the business. But you know particularly if they don’t do it a lot, I think there is a lot of emotion that is forgotten about. So I think you have picked up on it really well. And I love that you know this is something that you’ve integrated in your way of building a business ready for sale.
Joanna: That’s a wrap for part 1 of this 2-part series with serial entrepreneur Neil Asher. In this episode, Neil and I talked about the sorts of things that business owners ought to consider in building a sellable business that then yield the best results for you at sale.
Firstly, it’s absolutely important that you set up good and profitable systems that allow you to run a business as a business and not a job. As I mentioned earlier, indeed the most sellable businesses are those which are the easiest and most fun to run because it’s a business that is able to run without having owner being part of every single decision that needs to be made.
Secondly, pay attention to societal trends and shifts, and look at where big companies like Amazon are spending their money because there you’ll find great opportunities to develop your own niche in the market and differentiate your business, which of course makes it an attractive business.
And thirdly, capture the imagination of potential buyers by showing them how easily they can grow the business into the future. This goes back to this concept of looking at it from the buyer’s perspective, and it’s definitely something that we’ve highlighted time and time again on this podcast. Engineering a sale which makes the acquirer feel good about and proud about being his purchase is definitely integral to getting the best value for your business at sale.
I hope you found this episode helpful. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please subscribe to The Deal Room Podcast on iTunes or on your favourite podcast player. And if you’re already one of our subscribers, thank you! We’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave us a review. This helps us reach more people.
Please join us again next week for part 2 of this 2-part series with Neil. In part 2, we talk about an instructive sales experience on considering the timing of a sale. We then drill into Neil’s encounters with accountants and brokers, and he gives great tips on what business owners ought to look for when choosing the right advisor to assist them in their business sale. And of course, on the flip side, Neil also has some excellent advice for our accountants and brokers who are working in the M&A space. All these and more!
Thanks again for listening in! You’ve been listening to Joanna Oakey and The Deal Room Podcast, a podcast proudly brought to you by our commercial legal practice – Aspect Legal. See you next time!
Disclaimer: The material contained on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not depend upon any information appearing on this website without seeking legal advice. We do not guarantee that the contents of this website will be accurate, complete or up-to-date. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation