Helping business sellers know their magic number

With its combination of thriving business community and easy access to the coast and country, Exeter has always been a favoured destination for those looking for an alternative to the confines of London and other crowded cities.

Not only is this true of ourselves within Brewin Dolphin’s Exeter office, but also of our business clients, who, whether homegrown in Exeter or drawn from elsewhere in the United Kingdom, share a common passion for the benefits of living and working in or around Devon’s capital city.

For us, Exeter is not simply a gateway to sandy beaches, open spaces and affordable lifestyle, it is also an economic powerhouse in the region helping to generate an entrepreneurial energy for new start-ups as well as established businesses.

In our experience modern transport and communication links (airport, motorway and direct rail to London) have been key, and since opening our Exeter office 15 years ago, we have been delighted to witness ongoing growth and development in and around the city, including Exeter Science Park’s hub in supporting emerging commercial talent.

As the business community has thrived, so has the demand for investment advice for successful entrepreneurs looking to plan for their futures and to help secure their long-term financial requirements.

Helping business owners understand their financial needs, both in the short and long term, has been key to us building strong and long-lasting relationships within Exeter’s commercial community. Either for fledgling entrepreneurs at the early stages of their business looking to begin their investment journey, or for more established business owners with greater capital to devote to their personal requirements, we offer a wealth management service tailored to individual needs.

Our experience shows that as a business owner nears retirement the conversation tends to focus on ‘the magic number’, i.e. the figure required to fund future lifestyle following semi or full retirement.

Although the business owner might anticipate their magic number will be resourced through the sale of their business, often the magic number and the valuation of their business are different, sometimes wildly so.

It is important therefore that when considering a business sale, the business owner understands the difference between the two as early as possible by speaking to a financial adviser. Personal financial planning is complex, and it is important that business owners looking to identify their magic number undertake a cashflow modelling exercise some years prior to exit – as this either underpins or undermines their plans.

Where a cashflow model undermines a desired magic number, extra professional advice with regards to building more value into a business is usually warranted.

Fortunately, Exeter is blessed with a strong community of professional advisers covering different aspects of a business owner’s needs, and Brewin Dolphin is delighted to partner with accountants, lawyers and other advisers to ensure that our clients receive individual-based solutions that meet their needs.

Brewin Dolphin’s Exeter office is located in Pynes Hill Business Park, with easy access to and from the city centre, airport and motorway. 

For information on how Brewin Dolphin Wealth Management can support business owners, visit us at or telephone 01392 440450.