Last night saw 19 people attend our October Spotlight Dinner which was held at The Raeburn Hotel in Stockbridge. ?With many new faces attending, the buzz both at pre-dinner drinks and during dinner was fantastic, in fact, it was something of a challenge to silence the room – Gill and Pete Higgins did however manage eventually with somewhat energetic cutlery tapping on glasses! ?The topic of the evening was exit strategies and we were delighted to have Martin Mutch, Ambassador in our Executive team as our speaker for the evening. ?The event was sponsored by Chiene + Tait who were one of the key teams of advisors when Martin sold the IT services company Rocela which he co-founded 12 years ago.
Martin gave a highly insightful talk and as is his usual style, an honest, witty and down-to-earth overview of what he did well in terms of planning his exit as well as things he would have done differently. ?There was ample opportunity for attendees to ask questions and as we have come to expect from our members, there was no shortage of them! ?Key points Martin recommended entrepreneurs focus on when thinking about an exit – and don’t forget, it’s never too early to do this – were as follows:
- Management quality
- Market propostion
- Market timing/trends/dynamics
- Sales & Profit growth
- Good quality & balanced client base
- Intellectual property
- Sales & marketing
- Fee quality – with a high degree of continuous income
- Staff loyalty
A key focus for Martin during the 12 years he built the business was core values. ?He felt passionately that rather than money taking centre stage with the many offers he had to buy the business, the acquiring company must share the Rocela ethos of trust, integrity & core values which underpinned the culture of the business and undoubtedly played a big part in their success. ?None of us who attended could have failed to have left the evening feeling anything other than inspired and highly motivated by Martin’s story.
This was the first Spotlight Dinner we have held in the private dining room at the Raeburn?and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner with excellent service in stunning surroundings. ?For us, at our Spotlight Dinners, a private space is key and with the library (complete with its own bar) and dining room which comfortably accommodated our 19 guests were both perfect, we will definitely be back.
Our thanks go to everyone who attended the event and of course to Martin who we feel privileged to have in our Executive team and also this year, he has joined the judging panel for our 2014 Awards. ?Special thanks also go to our sponsors Chiene + Tait, it was a pleasure to have Neil Norman & Michelle Fallon with us.
You can view photos from the event by clicking HERE.