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Kevin Keegan scores big laughs at BCMS/Investec event

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For those of us of a certain age, you think Liverpool, and you think Kevin Keegan. And so, we were delighted to welcome the former England captain, manager and Liverpool FC legend to the stunning Knowsley Hall, ancestral seat of the Earls of Derby. It’s just a few miles down the road from the hallowed Anfield turf where King Kev - and his perm! – lit up the 70s.

Kevin was our guest speaker at Business Sale Live! a one-day mini conference for business owners, packed with information, analysis and insights on the business sales process. The very first Business Sale Live! took place at Knowsley Hall in late 2018, and following great feedback from attendees, this all-action event has quickly become a fixture in our calendar.

The day started with an entertaining, enlightening session from BCMS founder Dave Rebbettes and David Oliver, discussing the critical factors in every business sale. “It’s not rocket science,” Dave told the delegates. "Selling a business is not an accounting issue. It’s a sales and marketing exercise. You’ve got to get a choice of buyers, generate competition and look far and wide for them.”

A packed, informative agenda

As with last year, Investec were our co-hosts, and Peter Allen, Team Leader and Chartered Financial Planner at Investec Wealth & Investment, gave a great introduction to wealth management and the importance of planning for financial life post sale. Then came our Q&A panel event, featuring three former BCMS clients who have sold businesses and had plenty of advice to offer delegates on how to handle the experience. In response to the inevitable Brexit question, Neil Needham – who sold in 2009 at the height of the recession – discussed how business owners can overthink the influence of wider market events. “Sell when you have decided to sell, and commit to it,” he urged.

Marc Wileman of Sublime Science was excellent explaining the tension he felt as a businesses owner: a hard-wired entrepreneur frustrated by the day-to-day grind of administration. Monty Meghjee of Majenta PLM  offered fascinating insights into the “homework” in every business sale, and the importance of preparing and collating information to ensure there are no skeletons in the closet once you take a business to market.

After lunch came Mr Keegan himself. A few in the room were clearly a bit starstruck. (One delegate shook his hand and nervously stuttered, “I’m your hero”, before Kevin gently corrected him.) In an hour-long presentation Kevin offered a hilarious, self-deprecating look back over his career, and told some choice (and unrepeatable) anecdotes about past players and managers. He also offered some brilliant advice on what it really means to be a manager – whether that’s in football, or business.

“You have to trust the team around you. But even the greatest players in the world won’t win anything without true leadership.”

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Mark Bentley's picture
Posted Oct 2019
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