Who is the course designed for?

“A small or medium-sized business owner considering whether to sell your business.

This course will guide you through the process of preparing your business for sale, finding the right buyer and maximising the value achieved from your exit.”


Professor Stephanie Hussels
Group Head: Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (SES)
Director of the Business Growth Programme

The Business Exit Programme (“BEP”) is a two-day residential course for SME business owners or managers who are considering whether to sell their business in the next 12 to 36 months.

Each cohort of up to 20 businesses will be carefully chosen and curated to ensure that the participants are able to share information and ideas freely, thereby ensuring the maximum value is derived from the programme and achieved from the eventual sale of the business.

Programme information

  • Dates
    • 17 - 18 Oct 2024
  • Duration2 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£5,000 per participant, including dinner and accommodation

What you will learn

On completion of the course, you should:

  • Be able to understand the options available to you as you complete you latest phase of growth;
  • Understand more clearly your exit motivations and own “magic number”;
  • Have created a route map, timelines and potential pitfalls of the process’;
  • Gained insights into how businesses are valued and value maximised dressing them for the sale process; and
  • Assessed how “deal fit” you are and what are your next steps.

Programme supported by

We are delighted that for this course our experienced faculty will be supported by some truly amazing specialist advisors across the core areas of legal, accountancy and wealth management that will join us for the course as well as dinner:

Mishcon de Reya is an independent law firm, which now employs over 1300 people with more than 630 lawyers offering a wide range of legal services to companies and individuals. The firm has grown rapidly in recent years, showing more than 40% revenue growth in the past five years alone.

With presence in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Singapore and Hong Kong (through its association with Karas So LLP), the firm services an international community of clients and provides advice in situations where the constraints of geography often do not apply.

The work the firm undertakes is cross-border, multijurisdictional and complex, spanning six core practice areas: Corporate; Dispute Resolution; Employment; Innovation; Private; and Real Estate.

Azets is an international outsourcing, compliance, and advisory group. Our 7,600 smart talented people support over 100,000 clients through our network of 189 offices in the Nordics, UK, and Ireland. In the UK, Azets is a Top 10 accountancy firm and employs more than 3,800 people, with 90 offices nationwide.

We provide trusted advice and personalised client services across accounting, tax, audit, advisory, people, and technology, saving companies and business owners precious time, so they can focus on achieving their ambitions. We exist to improve the lives of our colleagues, clients, and communities, in a sustainable way. And everything we do is underpinned by our investments in people and technology.

With over 70 years’ experience from different backgrounds in Wealth Management, the team at OneWealth Ltd are more than equipped to support you on your financial journey.

As Financial Wealth Managers we offer tailored financial advice which is bespoke to your specific needs and aspirations. With you we take every opportunity to understand your personal, family, and financial circumstances which then allows us to develop a relationship built off knowledge, trust, and respect.

As a team we are committed to putting you and your needs at the centre of what we do and to support with manage your affairs in the most appropriate way. By achieving this it enabled us to successfully run a client-focused business, where we are dedicated to providing you with a positive experience here at OneWealth Ltd.

Programme details

This programme is split across two days and will cover the following content:

Day 1 – Getting Ready for Sale

The first day of the course is focussed on providing the background and knowledge needed to guide your business through the sale process. From establishing what your “Magic Number” is through to how to value your business and maximise its value the focus is on understanding the landscape of Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”).

Topic 1 – Scene setting

Core modules include:

  • The Magic Number
  • The M&A Marketplace
  • Exit Options
  • Sale Timeline

Topic 2 – Preparing for sale

Core modules include:

  • Quality vs Quantity
  • The Valuation Process
  • Due Diligence Process (Guest Speaker)

Over Dinner

Jamie Waller

As well as being given the chance to network with your fellow participants, faculty and our professional advisors and their colleagues you will benefit from the experience of our vast alumni network as a previously exited entrepreneur talks about the lessons they learned from their exit(s) whilst enjoying dinner in a private dining room.

For our latest cohort, we are lucky to have secured a great Cranfield alumna Lara Morgan, who will share her unique insights into selling businesses and her experiences of delivering a successful exit.

Lara founded her first business, Pacific Direct, in 1991 at the age of just 23.  Having arrived in the UK from Hong Kong with little or no hotel experience, Lara quickly grew Pacific Direct into a specialist global supplier of luxury high-end brands for five-star hotels. Seventeen years later, she sold Pacific Direct for £20 million.

Since then, using her specific expertise in sales strategy, customer insight and brand development, multichannel and multisite management plus organic or M&A / partnership-driven expansion she has invested in a range of businesses including Scentered.com, Gate8 luggage, Kitbrix and Yogi Bare.

Lara is a proud mother of three girls and a committed volunteer and philanthropist. She is actively engaged with various global non-profits as a board member or advisor, is an author of the Amazon best-selling business book “More Balls Than Most” and taking all this in her stride, she also manages to train for charity bike rides and triathlon and came 10th in the 2011 World Triathlon Championships in Beijing.

Day 2 – Managing a Successful Process

The second day of the course is ensuring that you understand what the process for selling a business is all about and establishing the key pitfalls which can damage the prospects of achieving a sale at the value you want or at all. From there we finish our time together by looking at what to do after you have exited and outlining some of the things you might want to look at after you have delivered your desired exit.

Topic 3 – The Sale Process

Core modules include:

  • Securing the Right Advice
  • Competitive Tension
  • Deal Structuring and Negotiation
  • Heads of Terms and Legal Process (Guest Speaker)

Topic 4 – After Exit

Core modules include:

  • What to do!
  • NED and Angel Investing
  • Options for Wealth (Guest Speaker)

Who should attend

This programme is designed for business owners or senior managers with the ability to put in place change and who are looking to refresh their knowledge across key business areas and engage with a leading applied business school.

We welcome applications from businesses of all sizes, but the focus is on SMEs with business from 5 to 250 staff and each cohort will be carefully curated to ensure the most benefit can be derived from the course.

Next steps