December 9, 2020
How EOS gets your entrepreneurial business *event- or exit-ready*
Are you building a business which you want to scale to a lucrative exit via trade-sale, PE backed roll-up, AIM listing, or even sponsoring an MBO?
Do you have a strong succession plan in place?
Are you laying the foundations to get your business ready?
What business owners are often surprised by is what it takes to “do this well”. A recent study showed that 80% businesses don’t sell and here are four main reasons why:
An underlying issue for entrepreneurial-led businesses which have grown quite large is that they are often still run like a small business. Their systems and processes have not been developed as the company has grown.
If you want to raise capital, merge or crystallise the value of your business, it’s important to run it professionally, plan your exit, and solve and overcome the four common reasons why businesses don’t sell.
Using a standardised operating system throughout the business can enable you to do this efficiently, ready for whatever the right choice is for you, when you want to realise the value you have created in your business.
The Entrepreneurial Operating Systemâ dramatically improves your business processes, gets your people aligned and as a result increases the value of your business.
Whether you want to raise money, float, trade sale, or get out of the day to day, EOS helps you get what you want quicker.
When I work clients to implement EOS, my goals are to put them in control of their business, increase its value, and help them enjoy the process as much as building the company in the first place!
How EOS gets your business event-ready
Mergers & Acquisition professionals read hundreds of company prospectuses, so your Information Memorandum needs to stand out, and describe your business in a professional and clear way which summarises the value you have created.
EOS helps you get crystal clear on your vision, identify why you are unique, and define your business model – and helps you articulate all this in a simple and concise way.
When you start to implement EOS, you use a Vision/Traction Organiser to define the most important questions: your core values, your core vision, your core purpose and niche.
Many businesses use this document to cut through jargon and communicate the vision and uniqueness of what they do in simple, understandable language.
Often businesses are worth less without the founder working in it.
If you want to sell your business without an earn-out or a two-three year tie-in, you need a team in place who can run it without being reliant on you as the founder being in the business day-to-day.
You need people who match your core values and who will deliver business performance at the same level.
EOS helps you get the right structure in place for the organisation to deliver the business plan and the right team in place (Right People Right Seats) within that structure, with the right skills and values match, so the business can continue to thrive and grow.
One of the reasons why businesses don’t sell is poor financial reporting.
If you are preparing for an event, your business needs accurate cash flow, robust financial reporting, corporate governance and a strategic accountant who can tell the story of the business through the numbers to reinforce the value.
The first step is to have a strong financial team, with a properly qualified person running the department, who can:
EOS helps the team to develop leading indicators and measurables in order to track the business on a weekly basis and ensure it continuously performs well.
It introduces processes which provide transparency and weekly reporting in order to track what is happening, and run the business on real numbers.
Often issues can linger, days, weeks and sometimes months, which can hold the business back.
Sometimes they have no clear process in place for identifying, evaluating and making decisions which can move the business forward.
In other cases, slow decision making can be a result of the team relying on the owner/founder to make the final call and the leadership team has not been empowered to solve issues within their own department.
Most businesses need to develop the skill of making efficient and effective decisions, where everybody really focuses on identifying and solving issues.
You need a strong aligned team which can make decisions at the right level, around the vision at the right time to move the business forward.
As businesses grow, departments evolve different methods of operating and processes are sometimes not clearly documented, therefore creating a lack of accountability.
When you can provide a way of simplifying and documenting the key processes, it brings consistency, continuity and scalability which can increase the value of your business.
Your processes and systems should be aligned and followed by all, as this:
EOS helps you to name and define the core processes which your business needs to function, giving consistency and continuity, while still allowing space for creativity.
For your business to be attractive for investment or a trade-sale, it needs to show consistent performance and a detailed future growth plan, where the goals of the organisation are prioritised and there is evidence the team is executing on that plan, quarter after quarter.
EOS enables you to track this performance, by introducing a regular “meeting pulse” throughout the business, where meetings are held weekly and quarterly, and where issues are identified, discussed and solved, so they lead to actions rather than avoidance.
Businesses decide to introduce an operating system for a whole range of reasons.
One of our clients used EOS to execute on their exit plan. Within 20 months they were able to:
At the time of the exit, the owners were able to sell for $68 million.
EOS can help owners understand the strengths and weaknesses of their business, help them solve any weaknesses, and make sure they match the price expectations of their business to the market.
An operating system will establish common structure, principles and practice to your business. It introduces a standard set of processes to drive forward the strategic development of the business.
Many companies find that an operating system becomes the key driver of performance and can persuade both investors and prospective employees that your business is the right one for them.
If you’d like to find out more about EOS, then please give me a call on 07795 667480 or email email@example.com, so that I can explain how it works in more detail.
Julia Langkraehr pioneered the concept of retail pop-ups in Europe with the creation of three multimillion-pound businesses in three different countries which she scaled successfully resulting in a lucrative exit through trade-sale in 2014. Her journey involved building operations in the UK, Germany and Russia as well as navigating the merger and acquisition with the biggest competitor.
Julia founded her business Bold Clarity to help leadership teams get what they want from their business. She works with them to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
“We were delighted with the services that Bluebox offered us. Bluebox’s attention to detail through their Diamond Programme ensured that we were well prepared for when the business was taken to market and that the sale process itself was managed expertly.
We challenged Bluebox with finding the right strategic buyer and thereafter negotiating a deal that met our requirements. In helping initially to identify and to secure the deal with Mountville Mills they accomplished just that. Communication throughout was excellent and professional, managing each stage of the process. I would have no hesitation in recommending Bluebox to any corporate shareholder or private business owner looking to divest their business.”
Richard Millward, Former Client
“We were delighted with the services that Bluebox offered us. Bluebox were challenged with finding us the right strategic investor and, thereafter, negotiating a deal that met our complex requirements. In identifying and securing the deal with LGC they have done exactly that. The process itself was efficient and smooth, largely due to the excellent communication from the Bluebox team, who also demonstrated excellent experience at managing a very engaging auction process. I would be delighted to recommend Bluebox to any corporate shareholder or private business owner looking to divest a business.”
Helen Dickinson, Former Client
It has been a real privilege working with the team at Bluebox over this last year or so. Bluebox’s attention to detail ensured that we were well prepared for when the business was taken to market and the sale process itself was managed expertly. Starting the process, I had no idea exactly what this would entail and the volume of work that has been produced by everyone and the result reached today is nothing short of brilliant.
Hugh Morris, Former Client
We are delighted with the services that Bluebox was able to offer. They showed an intimate knowledge of a deal cycle, managed a tight auction process and were highly communicative from the start. I would happily recommend Paul and his team to business owners contemplating a sale of their business in the next 24 months. Experience is key and this has paid off for us.
Laurence Seward, Former Client
Aligning ourselves early with Bluebox, and entrusting the team to guide us through their process proved to be a highly rewarding investment from all viewpoints. Bluebox’s support significantly enhanced both the value of our business and its ‘saleability’. I would highly recommend Bluebox to business owners contemplating an exit in the next two years. The earlier the engagement the better so far as I am concerned.
Mike Minett, Former Client
We began working with Bluebox in early 2015 through their Blue Diamond Programme, as we were contemplating an exit. We found that the process focussed our minds on the key areas of growth in the business, and prepared us well for the inevitable rigours of due diligence. During the sale process itself, the advice offered by the Bluebox team was invaluable. We found them to be helpful, straightforward and honest.
David Stokes, Former Client
When selecting our adviser, it was extremely important that they had access to international buyers and were experienced in cross-border M&A. The team at Bluebox proved to be invaluable by identifying a strategic acquirer from America who was not known to us and by negotiating an excellent deal for all parties. I was also impressed with the process management from Bluebox, which ensured that the deal was closed in a timely fashion.
Jeff Weinstein, Former Client
When I first engaged with Bluebox, I was hesitant as to the benefits of using an advisor to firstly, find a buyer for my business and secondly, to get a deal over the line. However, now that the deal has completed with KPM, I can honestly say that the finer negotiation points handled by Bluebox and their overall management of this process has been nothing short of first class. I would be delighted to recommend Bluebox’s services to any entrepreneur contemplating the sale of their business.
Bill Ballard, Former Client
Bluebox worked closely with us over the following six months and helped us to implement some key initiatives which made InferMed a more attractive acquisition target. Once we decided to sell the business, the Bluebox team were very diligent in ensuring that no stone was left unturned. They negotiated expertly on our behalf to ensure we got the best deal possible.
Alan Montgomery, Former Client
The pre-sale planning programme that we signed up for with Bluebox made us develop our strategies and focus on the bigger picture. It proved to be a very rewarding investment from all viewpoints and significantly enhanced both the value of our business and its ‘saleability’. I would highly recommend Bluebox to business owners contemplating an exit in the next two years.
Nigel Parsons, Former Client
I have experienced first hand the value that can be created through highly structured pre-sale planning. It amazes me that it is not something that everyone does. It is so disappointing to see around 90% of transactions collapse before they complete and pre-sale planning will not only enhance your price, but also significantly enhance your chance of a closed deal.
James Caan, Investor
We worked incredibly closely with our advisers who provided expert knowledge of the sale process with which we were not familiar. We were truly delighted with the results.
Marten Nielson, Former Client
We appointed advisers to manage the sales process after we had received a number of unsolicited approaches for the business. I was incredibly impressed by the immense value that could be created by expertly negotiating with a group of already interested parties.
Paul Duckworth, Former Client
I was delighted with the service that the team offered and their real attention to detail. The deal was not without its complexities and it was reassuring to have such experienced advisers assisting me throughout the negotiations.
Peter Bennett, Former Client
Truly delighted with the way my sale process was managed. The fact that the team I worked with achieved such a great multiple is testament to their experience and their ability to create some true competitive tension.
James Averdieck, Gü, Former Client
The team at Bluebox provided invaluable support in negotiating this complex transaction. Their access to international purchasers, and exceptional knowledge of cross border M&A ensured that the deal was concluded efficiently, achieving a highly successful outcome for us all.
Jon Parslow, Former Client
“We selected Bluebox after a fairly long round of evaluating potential advisors because of their scientific, yet challenging approach to maximising value. During our initial meetings they showed us how far short of “ready” we were and consequently we completed more preparation in the early stages which meant we were equipped for what was to come. We were delighted with our choice of Corporate Finance partner. I do not hesitate in recommending Bluebox for any SME to consider.”
Simon English, Former Client
Bluebox provided invaluable advice in managing the negotiations with incoming investors. Their skills in handling these discussions were evident from the outset and the vital interface that they provided between the incumbent team and the incoming investors was truly beneficial.
Henry Braham, Former Client
Bluebox have a professional, dynamic and experienced team that is greatly assisting me with my focus on my exit within the next 24 months. Their structured approach is very refreshing and their ‘Blue Diamond’ programme is adding immense value.
Matt Evans, Former Client
The team at Bluebox provided me with a seamless service from the start of the engagement until our deal was completed. Attention to detail was commendable and their understanding of corporate M&A very impressive. I could not recommend them highly enough.
Victor Lewis, Former client
Having tried to sell my business previously – and failed – I was only too aware of the importance of pre-sale planning. This is a talented team offering a service that most people find out about, but too late.
Simon Hulme, Former Client
Bluebox are a quality outfit. Their access to International acquirers and relationships with the highest quality domestic investors was impressive. My shareholders and I received excellent service from start to finish and it was refreshing to be dealing with a senior team throughout the sale exercise.
Michael Clapper, Former Client
I cannot recommend the team at Bluebox highly enough. Their expert guidance throughout the entire sale exercise resulted in my shareholders securing an excellent deal with which the entire team was delighted.
Mark Rodol, Former Client
I’m really pleased with the service Bluebox provided. The team demonstrated excellent knowledge of the process to follow and led negotiations for the hospital in a way that allowed us to ensure we received appropriate value whilst focusing on reputational risk. Communication and service were of a very high standard.
Steven Davies, Former Client
With Bluebox’s expert advice we were able to find the right buyer that will benefit our business strategically. We’re delighted with the outcome and look forward to starting our new chapter
Clive Hillier, Former Client
The advice offered by the Bluebox team throughout the process was invaluable to the shareholders. We strongly believe that participating in Bluebox’s pre-sale planning programme was a significant driver behind the success of the deal. Their project management and negotiation skills throughout the sale process itself resulted in an exceptional deal being delivered to all parties involved.
Harpal Singh, Former Client