Free Guides, Downloads & Ebooks

Your free guides to a successful sale

  • eBooks and whitepapers
  • Step-by-step business sale handbook
  • Real life stories of successful sellers
  • Analysis drawn from 25+ years of deal making
iDeal 30th Anniversary Edition

What will you do after the sale of your business? BCMS is celebrating 30 years in the M&A industry – and this special issue of iDeal focuses on our clients, and their lives post-sale. We’re extremely proud introduce our unique Fellows programme: an informal network of former BCMS clients, and the largest organisation of its type in the world.

The theme of the issue is very much philanthropy – as we shine a light on BCMS’ charity The Snowdrop Foundation, and its amazing, life-changing work in India.

  • Interview: Stelio Stefanou, who sold for £150m, then set up a foundation
  • Landmark BCMS deals across 30 years of deal-making
  • Time to sell? The deal landscape for 2020
  • From best-selling novels to business mentoring: what our incredible clients did next
iDeal magazine Special Edition

Take 10 minutes to get up to speed with the world of business sales. Our autumn edition of iDEAL magazine features a sector update on the live events industry, tips and advice from business owners who have grown and sold their company, plus charts and graphs to illustrate the latest trends.

  • Essential tips on growing and selling from's Nick Jenkins
  • BCMS clients share their business sale experiences
  • Deal news and market trends
  • Building your management team
  • Who bought who and why? 

* This interactive version can be viewed in any modern web browser on any desktop or mobile device. The reading layout of the document adjusts for the device to provide the best viewing experience

Succession Planning and Exit Strategy

A new BCMS white paper on succession planning and exit strategy: “How to safeguard the future of your business” is now available to download, with our compliments.

The publication offers clear actionable advice on how to prepare your business for sale or exit, alongside a discussion of the options available to business owners today.

Commercial Considerations

Once a business sale price has been agreed, a buyer and seller will need to enter into a Sale And Purchase Agreement (SPA). As a seller, it’s vital you are aware what the SPA contains – and what commercial issues and challenges typically arise between buyers and sellers when selling a business. Authored by several of our senior advisors, this paper focuses on key commercial considerations, from assessing the headline price, to deal structures and earnout provisions, explaining all the key terminology in easy-to-understand, jargon-free English. Essential reading for ‘the business end’ of any M&A transaction!


Selling a business is a specialist skill, and negotiating offers, terms and the legal small print of a deal takes time, resource and experience. There are multiple factors to consider when dealing with a potential acquirer. And while many business owners haven’t sold a business before, many acquirers have bought at least one.

Written with contributions from an expert panel, including a corporate lawyer, experienced M&A experts around the globe and the Head of M&A for a publicly listed corporation, our complimentary guide is packed with analysis, expert opinion and real-world insights into the business sale process. It will help you level that playing field, and bust some of myths many business owners believe about selling a company.

M&A Focus: Healthcare

The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector has been one of the most thriving and dynamic areas of activity from an M&A perspective in the past two years. With an estimated $67bn of biosimilar patents expiring before 2020, biotech companies have been attracting a huge amount of interest from big pharma. The emergence of medical technology is being seen as a strong investment opportunity by private equity, but also by trade buyers who are keen to expand into this sector – but lack the internal expertise to fully develop it.


Maybe you’re on someone else’s radar – maybe you’ve already been approached. Many business owners have never sold a business before.

But many acquirers have prior experience of buying businesses. From the outset, this gives the acquiring company significant advantages over you as the target – the momentum and experience is all with the buyer, not the seller.

Selling a business can be a minefield. For tips, techniques and advice drawn from hundreds of successful sales, download our handy complimentary guide.


For most business owners considering an exit, often the first question that comes up is ‘when is the right time to sell’. Time has become our scarcest commodity – and it’s all too easy to put-off planning a potential sale for another day. But remember: selling a company takes considerable time, resource and preparation. Regardless of whether you want to sell this year, next year, or in 10 years, it’s vital you understand how to prepare your business effectively.

From managing internal issues, to streamlining your business or taking advantage of wider market conditions, timing is crucial to achieve the best sale outcome. The good news is there’s a lot you can do in advance to make the process easier.

BCMS has joined with the corporate law team at Penningtons Manches to bring you our pocket guide, When is the right time to sell? Full of expert advice and case studies from business owners who have successfully sold their businesses, it will help you to understand how best to prepare for a business sale, the factors that commonly delay deal making, and how to achieve a successful sale within your preferred timeline.


This handy 60-page guide covers all aspects of the BCMS sale process, from the reasons owners and shareholders decide to sell their businesses, through to the identification of and contact with potential acquirers and the final stages of qualification, negotiation and sale completion.

Written by BCMS founding Director Dave Rebbettes, Selling Your Business is packed with invaluable insights into the sale process, drawn from Dave’s 25+ years’ experience of deal-making. Each page offers insider tips, proven techniques, case studies and statistics to help you plan your next steps. 

A perfect companion to the acclaimed BCMS masterclass, this free book is essential reading for all business owners and the first steps to transforming your future and that of your business and staff.



Selling a business is never simply a commercial transaction. There are a range of personal factors behind every sale. Sometimes they are relatively clearly defined – age, retirement, lifestyle change. Sometimes, there are added complications. Consider, for example, businesses with two or more shareholders with very different future goals, or a family business with no obvious candidate to take over. The point is that every business sale is different, and every sale transaction has to take these differences into account. 


Personal journeys through the single most important transaction you will ever undertake... 

Written by David Oliver, BCMS masterclass presenter and author of The Sunday Times publication How To Negotiate Effectively, I Sold Up is an inspiring collection of real-life stories from 11 entrepreneurs. This book seeks to explore their very different reasons for selling their business, and how they took the often difficult decision to sell a company they had built up from nothing.  

Subtitled ‘What It is Really Like To Sell A Business?’ I Sold Up is proof that a business sale is an emotional, as well as financial, experience. 

In their own words, you’ll understand the challenges sellers faced, and learn from their different experiences.

“I couldn’t put the book down, and I couldn’t put the pack down…” Gavin Goates, PCML



The Thames Valley is home to fast-growing firms across many key industries, from food production and data centre management to advanced engineering companies and recruitment consultancies. Many of these have successfully attracted external funding to pursue ambitious growth strategies, while others have been acquired by homegrown or overseas corporations, and our contributors have sought to identify some common themes to understand the challenges faced by today’s entrepreneurs.

Grow to Sell

This publication, written in conjunction with lawyers Coffin Mew LLP and Coutts & Co bank, is intended to help you understand your choices, and provide professional insight into the challenges involved. Uniquely, you’ll also find first-hand advice from real people who have ‘been there and done that’… former BCMS clients who have grown and sold businesses.


BCMS Webinars

BCMS’s ongoing webinar programme – bitesize online sessions that are designed to educate business owners and their advisors of the challenging, often complex process of selling a business.

Our free, informative webinars are available on-demand and feature an expert panel of business sale advisors, alongside a range of former BCMS clients who have successfully sold, BCMS partners and even investors and acquirers.