Exiting your Business

Exiting your Business

15 December 2022

Selling a Trade Business can be fairly straight forward but it’s important to ensure the buyer is NOT buying your job. Any would be investor will not be interested in buying your job and will demand to know/see how the business is running without you in it!

One of the real advantages I have over most business coaches (other than the fact that I have actually owned a Trade Business) is that I have sold and exited my business. I also started my business at the very very bottom with zero skills in the industry, no tools or van and no men.

In 2013 I looked around the industries and kinda stumbled across the driveway industry. From my previous sales and marketing role within Anglian Home Improvements and BskyB I knew a thing or two about route to markets, advertising, marketing, pro-active marketing and sales so I was quickly able to recognise how this particular industry (landscaping) was so poor in pretty much every department, it hasn’t really changed much albeit a few companies in Edinburgh have certainly upped their game on the back of my ex-companies domination of the city and a good few companies down south are catching on also to how lucrative this industry can be.

In 2013 I quickly realised that there was an opportunity here with my sales and marketing experience to quickly grow a business and dominate fairly quickly. I honestly believe if I had hired a business coach earlier I would have got there around 4-5 years earlier but that’s another story. I took my business from nothing (literally nothing) and build it to well in excess of £1m turnover and sold it to a large investment group. Let’s have a look at a rough route map of how I done this;

2013 – Started company and printed 1000 leaflets at a cost of £57

2013 – Knocked doors and delivered leaflets – Got first job!!

2013 – advertised on gumtree for staff and found two brothers, lets go!

2014 – Hired a second team

2015 – third and fourth team

2016 – Broke 1 million but still wasn’t making any great profits

2017 – Grew infrastructure, new vans etc and was making good profits

2018 – Got my first business coach – Started putting systems in place, started making good money

2019 – Got my second business coach – Started making real money

2019 – Got my first office, started delegating, was making more money for less work (Pivotal money/year)

2020 – Another great year and record profits

2021 – Sold Business

And that is pretty much how I done it, less than 8 short years with a helluva lot of work in between these years certainly between 2013-2017, but had a hired a business coach in 2013/14 once I knew the industry a bit better I am in absolutely no doubt I would have grew the profits of the company a lot more and a lot quicker.

Now between 2013 and 2018 I hadn’t even considered selling my business – Who would buy such a stressful job however after several discussions with my business coaches they made me realise that IF I could systemise my business and effectively have it running without me then a £1m+ business with 30k+ per month nett profits was a very attractive proposition for a would be investor and that is EXACTLY what I done and this is how it turned out!

People have asked me in the past why I sold it if it ran itself or why i am not just starting up another business and that answer is easy.

– Firstly I am prohibited from entering the industry for 24 months after sale which is fair enough

– Secondly I have worked extremely hard to ‘create’ the life I now have, I can take my daughter to School having missed that opportunity with the older kids, I can jump over to our place in Spain any day I choose and providing I keep Tradecoach manageable (which I do) I can play golf every single day if I please. I therefore live a life on my terms and that’s just how I like it and that is the key – FREEDOM!

It was the freedom all along i was searching for not money! I thought it was money and the money goal drove me but without realising it at the time it was the freedom that was the by-product of the money and that is just amazing.

Whether you want to exit or not it is absolutely critical you systemise your business and have it running without you as best as you can to essentially allow you to live your life on your terms. Reality is you are going to need some help or some business mentoring along the way. If you don’t want a business coach reach out to someone experienced who has started a business and IS SUCCESFUL – NOT THE DRUNK PLUMBER IN THE PUB but find a professional businessman who is clearly a success because Success Leaves Clues.

selling a trade business