The secret to freedom isn’t an exit, it’s process.

Most agency owners want to sell their business at some point. Some will realise their dream, the majority won’t.

The fact is that agencies are difficult businesses to sell. Only a small percentage are sold each year. Even fewer are sold for life-changing amounts of money.

I understand why many owners don’t see themselves running their business into retirement. Agencies are difficult to sell, but they’re also very difficult to run. Most agencies require their owners to invest huge amounts of energy and time into them.

When people talk about exiting they naturally talk about money, but I think what most really want is freedom. The freedom to do what they want sometimes, the ability to relax knowing their phone won’t ring or email ping (as soon as they sit down).

I’m not here to talk you out of a sale. Sell side M&A is a large part of what we do at Cactus.

I am here to give you a safety net. The secret to freedom from the day to day grind of running your agency.

No, it’s not an a multi-million pound exit. It’s something far more boring but far more achievable; process.

Stop thinking about exiting and start thinking about systemising.

You can dream about an exit in the future but you can start adding more process and improving systems in your agency today. The more standard operating procedures (SOPs) you can introduce into your agency, the less questions you will get, the more freedom you have and the more money you will make.

If you don’t have any written SOPs, start your first one today. Then do another tomorrow, and another, and another….

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