The a la carte guide to selling your business - BCMS at Lympstone Manor
Situated in the heart of Devon on the foreshore of the Exe Estuary, Lympstone Manor is a stunning setting for any occasion – and so it proved for ‘Your business, Your future’ – an exclusive event for business owners hosted by BCMS and our partners Rathbones. Guests travelled all over the South West to attend. The luxury country house was the vision of Michelin starred chef Michael Caines MBE who spoke and served up a delicious three-course meal.
Lunch began with drinks outside on the terrace in the glorious sunshine looking out on to the visibly clear Exe Estuary. Everyone moved into the stunning dining room, filled with beautiful artwork, to indulge in the three-course lunch, consisting of a starter of crispy duck risotto, a main of red mullet and an impeccably sublime raspberry souffle to finish. Many comments flew around the tables complimenting the ‘overwhelmingly good’ food. BCMS founding director, Dave Rebbettes, who compered the event, said that there was a ‘contrasting flavour with every mouthful’.
As part of the event, Dave ran a short Q&A session with two BCMS Fellows, Buck Taylor, former shareholder of Caterfood Holdings Ltd and Neil Needham, former shareholder of AutoWindshields. The duo eloquently spoke about their business sale journey with BCMS, sparking FAQs from the audience who wanted to know more about the business sale process. The standout questions were; ‘How do you tell your staff?’, ‘How should you value your business?’ and ‘What are you doing next in life?’. Both Buck and Neil answered these questions honestly and provided first-hand advice from selling their business. Both explained that you should never take your business to market with a value. Buck went on to explain how he was still working but was liberated to spend time with his family and friends.
As well as preparing the food Michael Caines spoke about his life’s journey. Like any business owner, he’s faced some difficult challenges. Michael began as an apprentice to Raymond Blanc, then moved to France and became the head chef at Gidleigh Park in 1994, but unfortunately lost his entire right arm in a car accident. That didn’t stop him though; he opened ‘Michael Caines Restaurant’ in 2003 and went on to open Lympstone Manor in 2017 where he has established a vineyard to produce a house champagne-method sparkling wine. Michael went on to explain the risks he had taken and showed clear organisational skills when Lympstone Manor was six weeks behind its opening schedule, Michael brought it back to the original date.
Events like this show there is no substitute to hearing from previous business owners with experience of selling a business. And the addition of fantastic food made by a Michelin-starred chef is really a bonus!