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So You Have Decided To Sell Your Marquee Company!

I’m often asked to sell marquee companies. People ask for the best way forward. This is my advice gained from experience of trying to sell my own marquee hire company (Curlew Marquees) and from helping people over the last 12 years. 

How much is my company worth?

Most people ask how much it’s worth, which is an impossible question to answer.  However I was told a long time ago that there is a rule of thumb that a marquee company was worth £1 for each £1 of turn over. 

Another way to look at it would be the amount of profit multiplied by between 2 and 5 + the reasonable cost of the stock. 

If your profits are reducing every year then multiply by 2

If your profits are increasing every year then multiply by 4 or 5

So for a medium sized marquee company turning over 200k with a profit of 60k a year this could be. 

3x £60k + stock of £120k = £300k. 

If you are going to sell a marquee company you need to make it look attractive to the buyer, their accountant and to a bank! 

The problem you have is that anyone with £300k to spare is not going to want a job that requires long hours, hard physical work and occupies every weekend in the summer.

The accountant is going to point out that hiring a manager will cost £40k so the profit left is only 20k which will take a long time to return the investment. 

The bank is going to want security on any money they borrow. Unfortunately they can’t use the marquee stock as it’s portable and comprises thousands of separate components. 

Obviously there are many things you can do to help your business sell. 

For example 

  • Have a long list of repeat customers with thorough up to date information on each contract you have with them. 
  • Have a list of exciting events / celebrities you have worked with.
  • Have computerised systems such as All Hire.
  • Have an extensive and complete stock list with information including age, condition and price bought.
  • Have your stock stored in racks, cleaned and in a logical order.
  • Have staff who have a written process to follow in clearly defined operations procedures.
  • Great website
  • Great brochure
  • Up to date books showing a healthy profit.  

Even with all of the above  many people struggle to sell their business. 

The problem is that it will only appeal to people in your locality. You can move the stock of a marquee company but you can’t move it’s customers. 

This is why a lot of marquee companies end up being sold as separate marquees. It’s much easier to find someone willing to spend £10k - £20k to expand their stock or build a venue.