Top Xero Accountants in the Leicester Area

Posted by Chris on February 8th, 2020

Here at M&A Rainmaker we are working with the top Xero accountants in the Leicester area.

Chris Windley – Google’s Top Digital Sales Expert and also Linkedin’s Top Digital Sales Expert – and Managing Partner of M&A Rainmaker which is part of the Silicon Crossroads VCT which invests in and supports High Growth companies in the UK, USA and Israel – is working with those accountants that have been identified as top Xero practitioners.

Software as a Service companies like Cyber Security specialist LuJam Cyber are typical of the companies that Chris works with. LuJam Cyber was taken from virtually nothing to a global company within 12 months.

Chris uses the Sales Funnel Selling and Four Cylinder Lead Generations systems to create huge numbers of leads for SaaS companies.

The accountancy world is changing fast and there is a lot of M&A Activity.

Accountants themselves are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of technology change.

Chris has been a pioneer of new technologies all his working career.








365iT opens City of London Office

Posted by Chris on August 25th, 2011

Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company 365 iT is set to further accelerate its growth with a new office in the City of London .

February 2011

365 iT was recently ranked 15th out of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK according to the prestigious TechTrack league table.

It now starts 2011 with further ambitious expansion plans by opening a new London office to meet the accelerating growth opportunities in the financial, legal and property services sectors.

With a growing portfolio of managed service offerings, backed by best-in-class vendor partnerships which include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix,

Verint, Zeacom, IBM and VMware, 365 iT is excellently positioned to deliver IT solutions that are relevant to the needs of both existing and

new clients in key market sectors.

Commenting on the new offices Peter MacLean, 365 iT plc’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Based on our success with London clients

last year it has become evident that many companies are increasingly looking for a technology services partner that can meet all of their requirements whether it is a new communications system or a virtualization solution. Furthermore local service and support is key to these businesses hence the new offices.”

In addition to providing a base for a new sales and support team the new office in the heart of the City at Old Broad Street will offer clients an excellent venue for technology briefings, business seminars and demonstrations.

The key focus of the new team will be to work with clients to help them understand and justify how technology investments can significantly support business initiatives such as security and compliance, client service, real-time collaboration and business continuity.

MacLean adds: “An experienced team has already been recruited and  the office is open for business. The next stage is to work with our supplier partners to deliver a series of seminars and workshops at the offices which demonstrate the  true business benefits of the technologies and services we are proposing. The first seminar: Collaborative communications that meets FSA compliance is scheduled for March. Others scheduled for later in the year which will focus on critical issues in the legal and property services sectors.”

The Top 10 Reasons or Motivations for buying your company

Posted by Chris on March 6th, 2010

Some time ago ( after I built this blog ) I came across a company called BCMS who had had a lot of experience in selling companies. I read the information on their website, downloaded various other information and ordered a copy of their excellent book  ” A refreshingly different approach to selling your business for maximum value “.

Later on I attended one of their excellent seminars. ( Very refreshing for Business Owners but a bit damning of normal accountants and lawyers !! )

In this presentation they highlighted the Top 10 reasons/motivations for company purchase ( in order of importance )

Source ( NB. worth downloading their book ” Selling your business for maximum value ” )

Recently I have been working with a number of clients who are selling their businesses or who are still building their businesses with a view to exiting and I have emphasized these reasons and motivations to them and advised them to emphasize these points in a sale and keep these points in mind as they build their  businesses:
1. Client Base ( This is a dominant factor )
The quality of the customer base and repeatable and guaranteed business from those clients is a primary factor.
2. Potential for growth ( This is another dominant factor )
The potential for growth through the existing customer base and via new customers at home and abroad is also a primary factor.
3. Globalisation/regionalisation
We live in a globally connected world. Companies from India and China are looking to acquire in the U.K. and other countries. You must consider the applicability of your company to buyers from India, China and the U.S.A. at the very least. They will buy you because they have a global strategy or because they want to get into a particular region.
4. Ability to generate cash
Cash is King !! ( We didn’t need to say that eh ?? )
5. Development of products and services
If you have processes to ensure that you are ALWAYS at the forefront of your market this carries a high value.
6. Patents and IPR
If you have protected the patents and Intellectual Property Rights of your products and services this is valuable.
7. Operational and/or Financial synergies
You look at the operational and financial synergies and the costs that may be taken out and the additional profits and value that you bring to the purchaser.
8. Skilled workforce
The effort that you have put in to training and developing your workforce now comes to the fore.
9. Profit/ROI/multiples ( LAST )
Yes, amazingly, the very thing that the average accountant ( and probably some of the interested parties Financial Directors and advisers ) will value you on turns out not to be the thing that is held in most value – in fact it is the last !!
This is true now and will be true in n years time when your purchaser comes to do the same thing.
Companies will buy for strategic reasons NOT for multiples of profit or revenue.
When considering the value of your company consider it’s value to the potential purchaser 1 -3 years AFTER they have bought you.

Very clever wealth manager needed to handle £56 Million

Posted by Chris on February 17th, 2010

When you get £56 Million from the lottery you need the services of a very clever wealth manager

With the recent news that 2 sets of people got around £56 Million each from the lottery and my visit yesterday to the City of London meeting wealth managers my thoughts turned to who you would choose as your wealth managers and where you would put your money ?

A quick Google of ” where would you put £56 million if you won the lottery ” revealed this from :

More than 240 winners of at least $1 million responded to surveys (42% of all such winners) by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) in 2003.
89% put money in the bank.
75% shared money with family or friends.
62% bought a new car.
58% paid off debts.
56% took a vacation.
47% donated to charity.
37% paid off mortgage.
34% bought a house.
28% paid for education for self/family.
15% changed their overall lifestyle.
6% bought a boat.

What was the experience like for the winners?
95% sought professional financial advice.
77% reported they had been contacted by the news media. 93% of those contacted said they received fair and courteous treatment.
47% of winners said they were solicited for donations. Among those solicited, 71% said it was “not a problem”.
42% of winners either retired, gave up their job, changed jobs, went to school or opened their own business.

I also quite liked these responses to the Linkedin question ” Why are 75% of all multi-million dollar lottery winners broke within 5 years? ”

It was good to see that 95% of the people who won the Ontario Lottery sought the advice of professional financial advisors. No doubt one of the first things that the lottery does is to offer financial advice ( although having never won the lottery I don’t know exactly what they do ).

A Google for ” do lottery winners get financial advice? ” revealed this:

which said, amongst other things

Find people you can trust.

“The most important financial decision to make initially is who’s going to be accountant, financial adviser and lawyer,” says Hartigan. “And I don’t think they should be the same person.” If you don’t have all of these people in your Rolodex currently — and how many of us do? — “talk to other people who use these kinds of services. Referral is the best way,” Hartigan suggests. If none of your friends or family can recommend a particular professional, Hartigan recommends going to a major accounting firm, a major brokerage and a large law firm. “Ask what they’ll do for you.” Garrison agrees with Hartigan’s advice and adds, “References are mandatory.”

The hardest part of this is the first sentence:

Find people you can trust.

because this will be your greatest challenge.

As I have said I think that the lottery would probably put forward a list of ( hopefully ) proven and trustworthy accountants, lawyers and financial advisers.

But can you imagine this situation ??

One day you don’t really know any lawyers, accountants or financial advisers – or if you do then they deal with relatively minor financial and legal issues – and the next day you have to choose ” trusted ” people that can handle £56 Million !!

Actually ordinary accountants, lawyers and financial advisers are probably not the right people – even if they are from big firms. What you actually need is a Wealth Manager. Now, again, I imagine that with it’s experience of handing out £millions to lottery winners the lottery would have evolved to the position where it had a recommended list of Wealth Managers who really knew how to manage £56 Million rather than accountants, lawyers and financial advisers.

I’ll be developing this theme further over the next few weeks.

Creating Business Value before disposal

Posted by Chris on February 1st, 2010

After I wrote the main ” Selling a Business ” section of the M&A Rainmaker blog I came across the BCMS Corporate website here

BCMS Corporate are a fabulous, family owned professional services  business focussed on the SMB sector and helping them acquire and dispose of businesses. They have a great downloadable book on thier website which I highly recommend.

They have considerable experience in the sector and I found that thier approach and sales process had many similarities with the one that I used and have advocated here.

There is no doubt that maximising the value of a business requires that you approach large numbers of companies, globally, many of whom would not have been in acquisition mode. If the potential acquirer( through skillful analysis and salesmanship ) is then convinced of the synergy and accretive nature of the acquisition they will be inclined to pay more than simple financial valuations indicate.

If, in addition, emotive considerations come into play, such as ” There will only be one chance to buy this company ” or ” I have to buy this company before my competitors do ” the the valuations will climb further.

So, I am entirely supportive of the BCMS Corporate approach ( and I might not have outlined all thier special processes here ) and the fact that it helps to maximise valuations.

What I try to get over to companies is the fact that you have to be thinking about maximising valuations well before you decide to sell. BCMS Corporate ( or any other M&A or Corporate Finance house ) basically do thier very best with the hand that they are dealt. They probably have about 6-9 months to ” clean-up ” the company.

This is not enough for real value creation and for addressing all the factors that can inhibit the value of your company such as lack of succession planning.

The conundrum is how to begin addressing these issues at least 3 years BEFORE you decide to exit. It is likely that if the business is an ” exit route business ” value creation ( and all that goes with it ) will be built into the strategic plan. Lifestyle businesses that decide to exit some time into thier business life are a different matter.

One of the reasons for creating this blog was to make business owners aware IN ADVANCE of the need to prepare a business for exit years before the event. Clearly this is a bit of a challenge because if you are not thinking of an exit you are not likely to be spending any time or money planning for it !!

Actually this is happening ! My colleagues and I are working with some businesses who are planning for an exit some years away. They have said to us ” What do we need to do to maximise the value of our company if we sell in about 3-5 years ” ??? Clever people eh ??

I am not going to describe all the things that can be done if you have that much notice but let us mention a few:

– One big one involves crystal ball gazing !!! There is general agreement that you want to sell before your business reaches the peak of it’s lifecycle so that there is life and growth in the business for your acquirer. To do this you need to understand your market and your business cycle.

– More crystal ball gazing is involved in attempting to predict what acquirers will be looking for 3-5 years hence and who those acquirers might be. This is just hard – it is not necessarily impossible !!

– You should try to be providing what the industry regards as ” sexy ” or ” fashionable ” products and services ( I keep my eye on Gartners predictions for the High Tech market )

– Ideally you need to show scalability and replicatability in your products and services

– Ideally you should have global possibilities for the sale of your products and services

– You should have clearly defined processes within your business eg dealing with support issues, forecasting sales

– You should ideally have Intellectual Property ( I.P. ) , something unique that you have invented

– You should have recurring business ( eg maintenance and support contracts )

– You should have a succession plan for all the main management ( I call this the ” If we all go down in a plane test ” )

There are many others but hopefully this gives a sample.

My colleagues and I spend our time helping companies with these and other ” business valuation drivers “.

When you combine these with the correct disposal approach you will almost certainly have a great result.

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