Retired at Retired
12 April 2007 16:43pm
I have a quite small, ten year old, internet software company. Its doing OK and has always been cash-positive (or at least not very negative!) and no debts. We have some very comprehensive software of our own for content management, ecommerce and so on - LAMP where the P stands for Perl. The software is even documented (gasp!). We have a route to market that gives us a steady stream of business without having to do too much in the way of selling.
Our portfolio includes some quite complex ecommerce sites and quite large bespoke systems.
So we are fine but not spectacular, profitable but I haven't bought a Rolls yet. Right now the business is probably more dependent on me personally than it should be but we have time to rectify this. The business is also understaffed right now so growth is more limited than it should be, but again there is time to get this right.
This is not a pitch (I guess you can figure that one out!). I am looking to dispose of it in 2-3 years time. I will not looking for a big cash payout - maybe some sort of earn-out would be fine. My main concern is that whoever takes it over doesn't just loot it. It is essential that my clients (many of whom are personal friends now) continue to get supported and my team (also personal friends) don't get fired.
I am looking for advice on how I best go about:
Any words of wisdom from this august body would be much appreciated.
Chairman at Strategy Internet Marketing
16 April 2007 08:36am
The main problem here is that customers are buying you and not the company, and that means it is not that readily transferable to another owner. I suggest you consider ways of changing this and implement over the next two years.
This sounds like a MBI (Management Buy In) where you want an investor to both buy and run the business. We have organised many investments from £25K to £1.4m in different businesses in different sectors and stages. You can always email me a draft Exec Summary and I'll have a look at it for you :)
16 April 2007 08:59am
This is of course the heart of the issue. At present the company and its value is in me. I have two years to fix this and it won't be easy.
I will start putting together an executive summary of the offering now. I think this will clarify many issues for me.
Chairman at Mapa Research
18 April 2007 08:43am
Interesting post I am sure you are not alone in your situation. One word of advice on moving forward would be to talk to your staff first.Get them involved, ask them to write a plan for moving forward. Do a SWOT analysis with them etc. I was talking with my accountant yesterday about growing a business and we were both agreeing that if you don't get staff involved you will find that you will have real problems! further down the line!
Actually you will be pleased and surprised by their contributions, believe me. Even if it is just about them realising their own limitations that in itself will be priceless.
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