Scale Success Stories – How two Yorkshiremen Scaled & Exited for £15 Million in four years
Entrepreneurs Glenn Ackroyd and David Laycock had an idea around four years ago which turned into a small business in Yorkshire called EweMove. In September 2016, MartinCo plc, one of the UK’s largest property franchise groups, acquired EweMove for £15,000,000.
We were lucky enough to work with Glenn and David as part of Nigel Botterill’s Mastermind, co-hosted by Martin Norbury, as well as on a 1:1 Advocate Mentoring, where EweMove embarked on our structured program focusing on our unique Scale Model™. Here’s their Scale Journey…
S is for Set-Up
Without a clear Set-up of Strategy, you won’t know where you’re going, you’ll feel lost in a fog, and you’ll be creating a culture of confusion.
From the outset, EweMove had a clear vision of a market that was broken, and wanted to change it. Glenn & David also had a clear end goal – an Exit that would give them financial stability for the rest of their lives.
“While you’re screwing around looking aimlessly where to go next, you need a plan, a strategy and a goal. Once you’ve got that, then you’ve got that focus. That’s where Advocate provided the MOST value.” -Glenn Ackroyd
They recognised they didn’t have the skills so enlisted the help of Scalability Coach Martin Norbury.
“We chose to work with Martin because he’s worked in the hot seat of major players who’ve gone through acquisition and sale, as well as selling his own businesses as an entrepreneur. Rather than reading a book, or theorising, you go with someone who has done it, and you follow in their footsteps.” – Glenn Ackroyd
C is for Congruence
If you’re not Congruent you won’t have the right people, or clear systems or processes in place. Nothing will be aligned. You’ll be worried and anxious as the business continues to own you.
We advised EweMove to bring on board a Financial Director, with a stake in the business, to drive the numbers and performance. This led to the creation of a steady pattern and proof of growing revenues, profits and business growth.
Another area of focus, and one of EweMove’s biggest strengths, was creating a strong identity, a clear brand, and aligning everything to it.
“Having all those lined up presented a very attractive case to a potential suitor. That was one of the first things we set about doing. We did exactly all those things Martin suggested.” – Glenn Ackroyd
A is for Alerts & Alarms
Your business needs to tell you if it’s not working. It’s likely you’ll have Alerts & Alarms going off, but you don’t know why or what’s causing them, often when it’s too late. You’ll be in a panic, running around out of control, like a headless chicken.
EweMove had a number they were looking to achieve – £10m. We set about putting in key measures in place to help prove they were going in the right direction. We created a Scaling Up proposal, based on the number of franchisees. This gave EweMove a proven model that gave them massive scale.
L is for Lessons Learned
A growing business is an evolving business – if you’re not learning from your mistakes time and time again, you’ll be frustrated, lack confidence, and eventually feel a failure.
Thanks to Advocate’s Scaling Up proposal, we all had a way to continually measure and learn.
“We worked on this, then we tried and tested it, and then we rolled it out. This became very attractive to the suitor looking for rapid expansion.” – Glenn Ackroyd
E is for Execution to Exit
You must start with the end in mind by focussing on the execution strategies to expand or exit; releasing your involvement and giving you freedom.
EweMove achieved a trade sale at £15m; £8m upfront in cash and shares, plus £7m deferred over a 2½ year earn out. Having worked in the group, David & Glenn decided to leave early.
“It’s ultimately about the freedom of having the ability of what you want to do and when you want to do it. And this is what it’s given me.” – Glenn Ackroyd