This is why, over the years when I have been asked (more times than I can remember) what my 'exit' plan was, my response was always the same, I don’t have one!
I could never sell 'my baby' as I feared a new owner would never be able to keep that special spark that makes Stopgap what it is and why we are here after 28 years and most 'copycats' are not.
And that special spark has always been the people in the business. Some have been with us almost as long as me, others half that time and some might have been here a year or two and moved on but we have always known that there is a “Stopgap Type” of person. Which is why we get our hiring right 99% of the time and why so many of our team have been with us as long as they have.
Everyone can say their business is special, but this isn’t just coming from me, you only have to look at our reams of 5* reviews on Google to see how much our clients and candidates love us, because they know we genuinely care about them.
Which is why, back at the start of the year and talking to a lovely client of ours Chris Bell at One1000, about how they had become an EOT – Employee Owned Trust – and it really struck me. Looking into it further, for me, it felt like a ‘no brainer’.
With an EOT created, it’s the trust (not an individual or another company) who buys the business from me and then all employees, whilst at Stopgap are beneficiaries of the trust – effectively, owning the business.
There really is no downside – I can sell the business to the people that have made it what it is today, and for every single one of us in the business, there will only be benefits.
Day to day, nothing will change in terms of how we operate and how the business is run. I’m not going anywhere; I will remain a director and on the board of Trustees. But it is wonderful to know that when I finally hang up my well worn Stopgap boots, I know that my baby is the best hands it could possibly be.
If you would like to understand more about EOTs and how they work, there are some great resources out there, particularly with the firm we worked with on it with Cooper and Cavendish.
If you're at the top of your game, our tailored executive service is for you. We have a consultant in each of our sector teams who is dedicated to recruiting the most senior marketing and digital professionals.find out more