Frequently Asked Questions

We would appreciate the opportunity to have call or a coffee with you where we can answer any questions you may have about the Entrepreneurs Hub and the process. However here some answers to the more frequent questions but please feel free to call us any time on 0845 0678 678.

There is no barrier to size – our team have significant experience typically working at senior manager and director level within family businesses, SME’s, mid-market, and public companies. Typically, our clients are likely to sell at a price somewhere between 2 and 20 million.

Our proven process for either preparing a business for growth or for exit can be applied to all sectors. We work very closely with our clients, get under the skin of the business so that we understand the business in detail, which then positions us well to market that business for sale.

Our teams have experience across a wide breadth of industries, including but not limited to: – Consultancy Services, Manufacturing, Telecoms, Media, Technology, Construction, Engineering, Retail, Recruitment, Leisure, Online Businesses, Electronics, Service Sectors, Distribution and Logistics.

We believe one of the most important factors when selecting an adviser is about how well you relate to them and their team, and whether you believe in their process.

We normally start with an initial no-obligation call to understand your requirements in a little more detail and share with you some of our knowledge and experience.

If we are all comfortable and there is some synergy, we would then suggest a confidential meeting at one of our bases in (which also carries no obligation). This can be in Basingstoke, London, Birmingham or Manchester. Alternatively, we can come to meet you at a venue of your choice. During that meeting we review your business for saleability and provide a guide on how much your business is likely to sell for.

We are passionate about sharing knowledge and we do this in various ways. Why not –

• Have a no obligations face to face meeting

• Attend one of our Seminars – How to Sell A Business

• Understand how saleable you company is with our Saleability Calculator

• Download a copy of our E-Book

• Call us now on 0845 0678 678

Many companies fail to prepare properly before marketing their business for sale. Our approach ensures that the business is well prepared before we start marketing the business.

The process is very logical but there are a number of steps that need to be taken, so missing any of the key ones can lead to a negative outcome. There are also a good number of ‘know factors’ that will increase the value of a business. We will work with you on these specific areas.

Preparation, along with a clear and detailed research strategy to identify potential acquirers, is key to a positive outcome. Entrepreneurs Hub manages the complete process, including the preparation of all the marketing material, material which must present the business in the right light and most importantly sell the future potential.

Using the correctly skilled individual at each stage of the process is crucial These individuals include an experienced Project/Deal Leader, a Financial Analyst, Research Analysts, Approach Consultant and supporting back-office team. Each and every Entrepreneurs Hub client is allocated a team of experienced specialists that will work with you throughout the life of the engagement, providing critically important expertise at each and every step of the way.

The process is very logical and therefore if you understand the process, you might well think you could “do it yourself”.

For many reasons Entrepreneurs Hub recommend against it. One of the main reasons is that you need to focus on the business and continue to drive it in the right direction. It is essential that the business continues to perform well during the process.

In addition, it will at times become very emotional. At such points having someone to stand in the gap between yourself and the potential acquirer makes all the difference. Areas of the business that you are proud of will be discussed and challenged, and you will need guidance from an experienced team who understand what is important and what’s not. Some such issues impact the sale, but not all do.

You may also wish to continue to work in the business for a time post-completion. It is therefore important you maintain a good working relationship with the new owners.

If you have been approached it is great news, but we would advise you towards serious caution.

In our experience these type of approaches can often protract things substantially, making the process very stressful and pressurised. Alternatively, you could end up rushing into the sale process when your company is not prepared or positioned for that. The buyer’s team are trained to focus on only one thing – your Statutory and Management accounts which is not what you want if you want to maximise value.

If you only have one buyer in the game, as shareholders you are very vulnerable. Your buyer will know that they are in the strongest negotiation position – and therefore in control of the process. You can spend months pursuing an opportunity only to find it goes nowhere.

Multiple interest parties will have a huge impact on the:

• value someone places on the business

• the terms you finally agree to

• and, most importantly, the speed of the sale

Our recommendation is to add the firm which has approached you to the list of potential acquirers and treat them in the same way as other potential acquirers. If they are serious about buying your business, this will soon become apparent. Having other interested parties will only have a positive impact, both on the price and the terms you are likely to achieve.

The client below had an approach and chose to engage the Entrepreneurs Team to handle it. This is what they said afterwards:

“Just a quick note to say many thanks for all your help and advice over the past year. I have no doubt partnering with you guys added significant value to the business and helped us achieve a wonderful result yesterday. Please also pass on our thanks and appreciation to Steve, Trisha, Tim and the rest of your team.”

If you have had an approach from an acquirer, please do talk to us.

It really depends on complexity and readiness of business, but on average we would say the entire process takes in the region of twelve months. In some cases, it can take a little less time and in other cases a little longer.

In parallel with preparing the business for sale, Entrepreneurs Hub will carry out detailed research and identify a list of potential acquirers. You will have early sight of and approval of this list prior to any approach. Once the business has been prepared for sale – which is typically the biggest variable – we are all in a position to start marketing it for sale. You are likely to start seeing initial interest within a few months. Further qualification should lead onto face-to-face meeting/s within a further month or two.

Once the initial meetings have taken place – arranged and facilitated by Entrepreneurs Hub – you will start to receive initial offers. Around this time we explore the synergies of the two organisations coming together. At some point you will need to make a decision on whether to accept an offer or not. It’s at this stage you will need to enter an exclusivity period, where the acquirer carries out their Due Diligence (DD) on the business.

Again, depending on the complexity of the business this DD period can vary, but typically takes between two to three months to complete. Upon completion you will have sold you company.

You will no doubt of have heard the phrase “Your business is worth as much as someone is prepared to pay for it”, so why do so many people put a price on their business when marketing it for sale? Different interested parties will not only value your business using different valuation methods, they will also perceive value in your business differently from each other.

We don’t put a price on when marketing a client company. Our process ensures that we present the opportunity with all of the necessary information that enables a potential acquirer to value your business – using their own valuation method. They can thus present an offer based upon what it’s worth to them.

Even though we don’t put a price tag on a business when we take it to market, it’s still important to establish a guide valuation range. That way you can decide whether or not you are likely to achieve your walk away number before you start marketing the business for sale and incurring related costs. It will also assist when indicative offers start to come in.

As part of our process, we will research the industry sector, then review your financials and carry out a desktop off-market valuation. This provides you with that guide range of valuations and with the necessary confidence that you are entering the process appropriately and that we will achieve your desired aspirations! Another 53 word sentence bites the dust!

We do not want to take a company to market unless we are confident there is a market for that business, and we believe we can achieve our clients desired goals.

This is part of our Intellectual Property, and the key to our success, so we are not going to say too much here. However, we believe this is the most important part of the process we carry out at the Entrepreneurs Hub. It involves comprehensive research both in the UK and overseas to identify the right kind of potential acquirers. We have access to details of millions of companies globally. If you choose to meet with us, we will tell you more.

We have dedicated researcher analysts who create a potential buyer profile for our client’s business. They then research ideal acquirers that fit that profile, and then present the names for our client to approve.

This is often one of the first questions we are asked! Entrepreneurs Hub takes confidentiality very seriously indeed. Throughout the process the protection of your confidentiality remains high on the agenda, being taken into account at every stage of the process. We are extremely guarded about releasing any information to enquirers and all approaches are initially made anonymously.

We agree with our clients the best forms of communication to protect internal confidentiality, whether that’s email, mobile phone or written correspondence. Our clients have sight of every document and approve or amend as necessary.

Prospective acquirers have to be approved by our client before any approach is made. They also have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before any further information is shared, including the name of your business.

If you would like us to ourselves complete a Non-Disclosure Agreement between us and you before talking in detail, please let us know and we will send you one across.

We like to work with companies that we have a high degree of confidence that we can sell. Thus, we look at this before we engage.

We have a Discovery Day Promise. The Discovery Day is essentially the project kick-off meeting where we spend a day with you reviewing the business and getting under the skin of the business. Our promise is, if you are in any way dissatisfied by the end of the Discovery Day, the process can be paused. You can terminate the contract at this point. Your only expenditure would be our expenses incurred during the day, not our salaries.

The other benefit you will receive by working with us is a stronger, more robust business. As part of the preparatory work, we will help you strengthen the business.

Many businesses fail to sell in the first instance not because they are not a good business, but because they are not properly prepared.

By preparing the business before marketing it for sale, we can help you strengthen the business by reducing any perceived risks, thus making it more attractive to buy. It also potentially increases the price you are likely to achieve. It helps with the sales and negotiation process and potentially attract more interested parties.

Get an adviser like the Entrepreneurs Hub involved as early as possible to assist you in the preparation process. This ensures you focus on the areas that will increase value and positively impact the process.

We try to minimise the impact on you so that you can concentrate on running the business and driving it forward.

In the first few months you will need to allocate a couple of days to the project. It takes a few hours to complete our Pre-Diagnostic Questionnaire, which starts to gather useful information on the business. The Discovery Day is the true project kick-off, where our team start getting under the skin of the business to truly understand the detail.

Beyond this, we recommend you allocate half a day a month to process any requests and enable us to keep you informed of progress.

At the back end of the project, once we have interested parties, you will need to attend face- to-face exploratory meetings with the prospective acquirers. The level of interest generated will determine how much time you will need to allocate to that part of the process. However, we will always try to be as efficient as possible with diaries.

We recognise you have a business to run.

The major part of our fees are based upon the successful completion of a sale. Our interests are aligned with yours – you win, we win. We receive a success fee when your business is sold. Those fees are paid to us when you are paid.

We do charge a small retainer which is spread across several months at the front end of the process. The retainer is subject to the complexity of the business and its readiness for sale. It helps cover some of our expenses, but our goal is to achieve a successful sale, because that’s when we all win and the Entrepreneurs Hub makes money.

We like to work with companies that we have a high degree of confidence that we can sell.

You may have seen we have numerous testimonials on our website which should provide you with a flavour of the type of company we are. They often refer to our core values as a business driven by integrity, approachability – and results. But, YES of course you can talk to some of our clients.

Preparation is key to an eventual exit from your business. The earlier you start preparing the business in terms of financial and general reporting, documentation, accreditations, contracts and much more, the smoother the process will be.

The business will become more robust as a natural part of our preparation process. So, when you are ready to exit, or in the event that you have an unsolicited approach, you can be confident you have done everything needed to maximise the value of the business.

Take a look at your business. Understand why a potential acquirer might buy you. What is it that makes you a good acquisition target for them? Is it your brand, client base, IP, products or services, your skilled team, your niche offering – or something else? If you identify both your strengths and your weaknesses, you then have time to make changes that will both have a positive impact on the business and maximise the potential value you achieve when you sell.

If you are like most business owners, you will be concerned about your staff and how they will be looked after following your departure. It’s only natural after all. You may have been working with some of them for thirty or forty years – or more, and they may have become ‘part of the family’.

In many cases, becoming part of a larger organisation can create additional opportunities for your staff, rather than being a cause of concern.

With our process you have full control over who you end up selling the business to. As part of it, you will meet the prospective new owners, and often it may come down to who you feel most comfortable with. These candidates will probably have similar values to yourself or have provided you with sufficient confidence that they value your staff and will look after them.

Unfortunately, we are unable to see into the future. But what we can do is influence the outcome! As part of our process, we will carry out comprehensive research to identify a list of potential acquirers that fit the correct profile to acquire your company. We will pro-actively approach them, presenting the acquisition opportunity.

There will be some obvious companies on the list. They could be from your industry, a similar organisation to yourself – but in our experience such companies often do not acquire the business. The obvious companies do need to be on the list. However, our researchers look ‘outside the box’ and we spread our net long and wide. On most occasions our client was previously unaware of the acquiring company – or never thought they would be interested.

For most owners, their business is the most valuable asset that they will ever get to sell. Our counsel is to avoid being drawn in by the sparkle. If you think the value someone places on your business is too good to be true, then talk to us. We will be honest with you, not just tell you what you want to hear, but we will also tell you what you need to hear.

To book a no-obligation call or meeting with an Entrepreneurs Hub director, call or email us.

We would love to help you explore the journey. But whatever you decide, we wish you the very best in achieving your goals and aspirations.