Adviser launch

Morrison unveils business sale readiness venture

Andrew Morrison: here to provide support (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

East Lothian businessman Andrew Morrison has revealed that his new venture will focus on advising company owners on how to prepare for a sale.

The first of its kind in Scotland, Business Sale Basecamp is inspired by Mr Morrison’s own professional journey which included the sale of his procurement business AM Bid and Ultimate Tender Coach to Leeds-based Bidding Limited last summer.

His exit for a significant, but undisclosed sum, came after nine years of consistent growth which saw AM Bid’s turnover exceed £1 million to become Scotland’s largest bid and tender specialist.

The new venture will see him support owners through the challenge of getting businesses ‘sale ready’ with an independent external perspective and access to his 20,000-plus business contacts. He will not be identifying buyers or raising finance.

“I launched AM Bid, scaled it, got it ready for sale and had a successful exit and I would like to help others do similar, he said.

“Without advertising the business for sale, I had four approaches from companies wanting to buy the business, and three offers. Navigating my way through that gave me added experience that I can bring to the table to help business owners determine the right value of their company.

“Also, my near 20 years of procurement and proposal management experience covered many due diligence processes and expertise in presenting a company in its best possible light.”

He added: “I have a very clear understanding of what is needed to achieve a successful business sale along with a smooth transition and exit from a business. 

Andrew Morrison says most owners think of selling at some point (pic: Terry Murden)

“It can be a very lonely place for an owner as they often don’t necessarily want to tell their staff, their customers or their competition that they are thinking about selling. I am here to provide support when required.

“It was during the preparation of the sale process that I realised a lot of business owners will need help with this.”

Mr Morrison, who lives in North Berwick, will be assisted by a new team after officially cutting ties with AM Bid last month. He says the experience of running his own business was thrilling but he set himself an exit deadline of between eight and ten years. He was guided by former rugby international and now executive coach David Sole who served as non-executive chairman from 2017 to 2020.

“Most owners think about selling at some point but don’t know how to get ready to do that, either practically or emotionally,” said Mr Morrison.

“For example, I was asked for around 600 documents during the due diligence process immediately prior to the sale – many business owners will be unprepared for this level of scrutiny.

“Owners contemplating a sale will also have many questions and concerns, especially if they have never sold a business before.

David Sole chaired AM Bid (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

“They will often ask questions such as: when is the optimum time to sell, how to arrive at a business valuation, how to sell without disrupting important employee and client relationships or alerting competitors to the plans, and what are prospective buyers looking to see in the business?

“I’ll be helping with all those answers and more. There is nothing quite like this out there. There are firms who will sell a business, or advertise one but they won’t necessarily help the owner prepare for the sale and won’t help them cope mentally and emotionally.”

Mr Morrison was the first bid professional in the world to be a given a LinkedIn Live broadcasting licence and since 2020 he has delivered over 125 live broadcasts and interviews, focused on work-winning and entrepreneurialism.

Prior to his bidding career, he worked in local government for 12 years, with his strategic abilities
recognised with a Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

“In terms of somebody who has sold their business who’s then gone on to prepare a business owner practically, mentally and emotionally, I’m bringing something new to the market,” he said.

“It is unchartered territory for many business owners due to not having walked this road

“That’s where the basecamp concept came from – getting assistance to finish the journey
from someone who has been there before and successfully completed it.”

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