Six Reasons You Have to Join a Mastermind

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How can you get a fresh perspective and new ideas for your business with confidentiality assured?

The Answer: Join a Mastermind Group

 

This week I had the great pleasure and privilege to spend a day on the company of a diverse and stimulating group of business people led by Chris Ducker.

If you don’t know Chris, visit ChrisDucker.com and then go an subscribe to his podcast on iTunes.  Chris is a successful entrepreneur, blogger and Podcaster and, I am sure, by this time next year, New York Times best selling author (no pressure, Chris!).  Before we start, take a look at this short video in which Chris explains why he finds Mastermind Group so valuable.

 

I want to share with you my experience of the day and why I learned so much and am now hugely enthusiastic about Mastermind Groups.  Here are Six Reasons YOU have to join a Mastermind. [Read more…]

How to Identify A Small M&A Deal in the UK Technology Sector

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I have been doing some thinking about how to screen for small M&A deals in the UK technology sector and have been working on creating a short list of potential targets.  I thought I would share some of this work with you to help you with your own acquisition searches.

My starting point was to create a database of the market I wanted to address and for this I turned to Companies House Data and have identified 1570 companies which are covered by the SIC code relating to Computer Services (including Software Development, Retail, Maintenance, Repairs, Training and Consultancy).  I restricted the companies to those with Revenues of £5m or less.

[Read more…]

Buy Side M&A – An Art or a Science?

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Working on the Buyside in M&A can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, particularly if your responsibility is the  origination of the deal (often the most difficult).

I thought it would be helpful to share some of my thoughts and my approach to the problem.

I have been doing some buyside M&A preparation this week in the Technology Financial Services Sub-Sector and thought this would make a good case study.

Using the Six Minute Strategist Methodology, lets split this into Six Steps.

  1. Objective Setting
  2. Landscape Defining
  3. Screening
  4. Short Listing
  5. Refining
  6. Approaching

You will note this stops at the point at which the first discussions take place between the target company and myself and/or my client.

I have prepared a brief video for you to watch before you decide whether to read the blog post (of course, I hope you do!!!) [Read more…]

What does the UK Technology Mid Market look like?

What does the UK Technology Mid Market Look Like?

I have been working in the UK Technology Sector since 1998 and have spent hours and hours analysing the sector.  While my research is far from complete, I have identified over 1,300+ companies in the UK mid-market, which I define as companies with revenues of £5m to £100m.  This is fertile ground for Private Equity companies as well as Corporates seeking to make acquisitions in the UK market.

I thought it would be interesting to share a little of my research results to give you and idea of what the UK Mid-Market sector looks like.  (Please note: The data in this piece of analysis has been sourced from Companies House returns which only cover England and Wales.)

Many of my clients have sought acquisitions based on very limited criteria including revenues and geography and I will use these two variables to illustrate the composition of  the market.

Turnover

The stratification of these business by turnover tells an interesting story;

  • £5m-£10m – 453 companies (34.6%)
  • £10m-£15m – 263 companies (20.1%)
  • £15m-£20m – 152 companies (11.6%)
  • £20m-£30m – 186 companies (14.2%)
  • £30m-£40m – 81 companies (6.2%)
  • £40m-£50m – 54 companies (4.1%)
  • £50m-£100m – 119 companies (9.1%)

Notice, that 80% of the companies have £30m revenues or less.  The distribution of these companies by revenues is shown in the graph below.

 

Graph showing the distribution of UK Mid Market Technology companies by revenues

Geographical Distribution

When addressing a market, the geographical location of a company is a key factor in evaluating its suitability to whatever strategic purpose is being considered.  I have always found it helpful therefore to be able to analyse the geographical location of company data sets.

In the image below you can see the geographical distribution of the 1300+ companies in the data set.

Map of the UK Mid Market Technology Companies

In the image below, I have drilled down to examine the companies which are in the South East of England, showing how more detailed analysis can be achieved.

South East England UK Mid Market Technology Companies

 

 

 

What next?

This work leaves many questions unanswered. Here are a few…

  • What sectors and subsectors are they working in?
  • What strategies are these companies adopting?
  • How profitable are they?
  • What does their 5 year track record looks like?
  • Who owns these companies?
  • Are they independent?  Subsidiaries of international companies? Part owned by Private Equity firms?
  • Are they acquisitive?
  • Are they struggling, surviving or soaring in this market?
  • Are they in need of external capital?
  • Are the owners/directors looking to sell their businesses and retire?
There is still much work to do.  
If you are interested in raising capital or doing M&A deals in the UK Technology Mid-Market sector, why not give me a call or drop me an email to discuss your strategic objectives.  You can reach me at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com.  
Thank you for joining the Conversation.

Is there such a thing as Acquisition Rationale? Part 3

 

Are Acquisitions Rational?  

How can you make sense of Acquisitions and where can you start if you want to devise an M&A Strategy?

In the first part of this series which you can find here, I introduced the idea that there are Six Key Factors which can be identified in rationalising Acquisition Strategy.

We looked at Ability to Execute and Financial Resources from the perspective of both the Acquiror and the Target companies.

In Part 2 of the Series which you can find here, I discussed the four factors of Intent from the perspective of the Acquiror.

In this Part 3, I shall look at these four factors from the perspective of the Target Company.

[Read more…]

Is there such a thing as Acquisition Rationale? Part 2

 

Are Acquisitions Rational?  

How can you make sense of Acquisitions and where can you start if you want to devise an M&A Strategy?

In the first part of this series which you can find here, I introduced the idea that there are Six key factors which can be identified in rationalising Acquisition Strategy.  We looked at Ability to Execute and Financial Resources from the perspective of both the Acquiror and the Target companies.

[Read more…]

Is there such a thing as Acquisition Rationale? Part 1

Are Acquisitions Rational?  

How can you make sense of Acquisitions and where can you start if you want to devise an M&A Strategy?

In this blog post I will suggest that it is possible to set out a framework which you can use to establish and explain an acquisition rationale.

In this discussion we must start with the two protagonists – the Acquirors and the Target Companies.  These are shown in the diagram below.

[Read more…]

Six Simple Strategic Steps to Finding the Profit Formula Part 2

 

Do you want to take control of the Profit from your business?

In Part 1 of this blog post which you can find here, I explained how there were Six Key Variables which generate your business’s profit and if you turn the Profit and Loss Account on its head, you can begin to control the level of profit that your business generates and understand the Profit Formula.

[Read more…]

Six Simple Strategic Steps to Finding the Profit Formula Part 1

 

Is Profit something that happens to you and your business or is it something over which you can take direct control?

[Read more…]

What is Business Strategy? Here’s what I Think, What do You Think?

 

What is Business Strategy - here's what I think, what do you think?

What is all this business strategy stuff about anyway?

Going off to Business School is all well and good but don’t Real Entrepreneurs just get up and do it?

 

 

I have huge respect for Entrepreneurs who have built businesses, I have certainly met and advised enough of them to know how hard they work and that success is rarely achieved over night.

I believe that Entrepreneurs want to work SMARTER as well as HARDER in order to achieve their goals.  Thats where I come in, thats where my Six Simple Strategic Steps to SME Success comes in and thats where STRATEGY comes in.

I thought I would try to set out my understanding of Strategy so that we have a common understanding here.  Have a read and then tell me what you think.

[Read more…]