This months Bristol Leaders Boardroom was hosted by City of Bristol College at their Ashley Down site. Miriam Veneer and Paul Rogers spoke about the Colleges approach to developing a curriculum that supports the needs of local employers. Lots of good conversations about skills and future requirements.
A complete change of topic for our next discussion, we were joined by Chris Budd, from The Eternal Business. In 2017 Chris sold his business as an Employee Ownership Trust and he spoke very passionately about his journey and the steps he had to take to make sure this was the right thing and that the staff were ready and the business would survive and continue to grow.
The question of ‘what happens when I want to step away from all this?’ is one that keeps many business owners awake at night. ‘How does my entrepreneur story end in a way that preserves the good I’ve built up, and looks after the employees and clients?’ For the owner who has spent a big chunk of their working life building up a business they passionately believe in, and nurturing staff they care about, traditional succession planning doesn’t work. According to Chris Employee Ownership is the new and better way of preserving your achievement. Done the right way, you can release value, preserve your legacy and pass on control without employees having to raise finance. The movement for employee ownership is global – and interest in this alternative succession route is growing fast. Employee ownership about more than the ownership, however. It is about creating sustainable businesses. A focus on long-term sustainable profits; happy customers; happy employees. Chris talked about the system he has developed for businesses no matter where in the world they are based. It shows how to get a business – and its employees – ready for this transition. And a model and pathway to follow so that it continues, maybe forever! A great session with lots of questions and discussions. The next Bristol Leaders Boardroom is on the 1st March at PwC.