debate & discussion for a considered approach

Written by Chris Budd

As I travel around the country giving talks about the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), the interest in this new form of succession planning has been extraordinary.

I have been discussing the concept of employee ownership with hundreds of people. In particular the differences between EOT and privately owned companies. This has led to the creation of the Eternal Programme, an online tool designed to help companies transition to employee ownership

I have, however, also realised that there is one preliminary question that owners seek to have answered before any other:

Is a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust the right thing for me, my family and my business?

We have two ways to answer this question.

The first part of the Eternal Programme addresses this question. The cost is £300pm, but there is no obligation to continue the programme beyond the 6 month minimum period. Owners can work through the first few stages in order to work out whether the EOT is right for them, and therefore if they wish to carry on with the programme.

We have also created a short form version of the programme, available for only £195.  In 32 lessons you will get all you need to know about the EOT, and be guided as to whether this would be the right exit for you.

The programme is in three modules:

Module one: for the owner. Firstly to decide if the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is the best form of succession, then to create Engagement and Core Proposition documents, in preparation fr bringing on board the leadership team.

Module two: for the owner and leadership team. To help the leadership team understand employee ownership; the cultural differences required; the role of the leadership team in an EOT business; then build a plan to include all employees.

Module three: for all employees and owners. To transition the business ready for the EOT.

You can go through the programme in your own time, and get in touch when you have any questions or issues.  Alternatively, you might want us to hold your hand and guide you through the process.

We have had a lot of experience with owners selling to an EOT – some of us have done it ourselves – and have lots of stories to share.  In the early stages, owners can discuss the pros and cons of selling to an EOT with people who have already been through the process.  Only when you are sure that this is the right route should you engage with key employees, and even then only on planned and structured basis.

This carefully considered and methodical approach should ensure that the owners get the end to their entrepreneurial story that they want, but will also give it the best chance of success.

If you would like more information on the Eternal Business Programme contact Chris on or visit the ‘Programme’ section of this website.

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