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11am, Thursday 20th May 2021

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END OF AN ERA: The Reality of Selling Your Agency

  • Once you decide to sell up, you have a huge mountain to climb
  • And continuing to run your business while going through the sales process can be all-consuming
  • Simon Wright, co-founder and former director of Gatehouse, will be talking us through his sale journey and how it impacted every corner of his life

Deciding to sell your agency is the first step on an incredibly long journey.

After being approached four times unsuccessfully, Simon Wright, co-founder and former director of Gatehouse, ended up selling his agency to an American insurance company.

“I remember saying out loud, ‘Why on earth would we want to consider an insurance company?’ But they completely blew our minds and said all the right things,” he says. “We were just gobsmacked as to how well this company got what it is we wanted.”

But as Simon quickly realised, once the wheels are in motion, it’s an all-consuming ride.

“You have to go through an absolutely phenomenal amount of things. You have to check every single detail, and your entire life is dominated by it,” he says. “You don’t have a work-life balance. It just becomes work, work, work – and that’s really quite draining.”

Not only this, but suddenly you have a dozen plates spinning at once.

“Your job isn’t just due diligence. Your job is also trying to run and grow your business, because the acquirers want to see a growing company and you want to demonstrate that because it impacts your sell price,” Simon explains. “And let’s face it, most entrepreneurs are fairly egotistical; we like to prove we’re successful.”

“When you sign your agency over, literally everything changes. And then you think, ‘This is great, I’ve done it!’, but that only lasts about 20 minutes. Then the hard work really begins…”

The overwhelming feeling of selling your agency and being on the other side is one of relief. With that comes a sense of freedom – but for Simon, there was also a bit of an empty hole left in its place. 

“Running Gatehouse, I’d built a prison of my own making. Whether I wanted to leave or not, it was simply impossible,” he says. “What started off as a kind of hobby soon became a 24/7 job. But now I’m on the other side, and had a chance to recharge, I can now do what I want to do.”

Simon will be taking us through his sale story and shining a light on how selling an agency impacts on every aspect of your life.