3 key objectives for developing your operational team

Published 05/03/2020
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Developing an effective operational team is key to maximising the value that a buyer will pay for your ICT business. Assuming that you are planning to leave the business when you sell, any buyer will look for a strong 2nd tier management structure which they can rely on.
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Follow these 3 key objectives:

1. Make sure the business functions without you

A good buyer is looking for an investment, not a job, and a general manager to replace you will cost money. Ensure that day to day issues are not down to you to resolve. The more time you spend in day to day activities in the business, the less value it represents to the buyer.

Before you start making any changes, identify the gaps in your management and assess what skills and experience you need, then recruit or promote a suitable successor and put a management structure in place.

The ideal situation is that all the buyer needs to do is bring strategic direction and resources for further growth. Of course they will also look for synergies, but the day to day activities and relationships should be able to continue without you.

2. Pass on your “technical expertise” to the business

Consider how a new owner, even a trade buyer with strong technical expertise in the ICT sector, will take over the management of your clients. Your organisation needs to know and understand the technical solutions have been recommended to clients and have a team of client facing technical systems managers in place.

It will also pay to develop a “hand-over” plan to transfer the business relationships to the buyer in an ordered way that will not disrupt your clients and cause them to consider other suppliers.

For larger ICT businesses, by opening up the availability of your business to buyers that are not necessarily active in the ICT sector, for example private equity firms, you will widen the circle of prospective buyers and improve your negotiating position.

3. Ensure your business has suitable accreditations and company policies

Accreditations and company policies, such as Microsoft/VMWare/Citrix partner status, ISO quality certification, health and safety, personnel and training policies, not only add credibility to the ongoing stability of your business, they demonstrate that the right systems are in place to manage the business without the owner.

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About The Author

Hornblower specializes in business sales and acquisitions for the Engineering, Technology and B2B services, and Facilities Management sectors. Typical clients have a turnover of £750k to £15m. With offices in London, Nottingham, Bristol and Dublin we operate across the UK and internationally. Our main activity is selling businesses. We also provide valuations and carry out targeted acquisition searches.

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