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How a Couple Successfully Sold Their Business and the Surprise Twist They Never Saw Coming

There are some key insights in this article for baby boomers thinking of selling their businesses and the number one mistake we regularly see.

This article is about Toni and Keith Paton who successfully sold their business last year and have been enjoying retirement ever since.

Fresh off a motorhome adventure we caught up with them to get the inside scoop on what made the sale so successful.

Their story is not just about selling a business; it's about the surprises that life throws your way when you least expect them.

More on that soon.

Here's the interview

Why did you start the business?

“We started our business in 1992, inspired by a desire for change and to work for ourselves. Keith was working in a joinery business at the time and saw a growing opportunity in manufacturing beautiful kitchens.”

Was it an easy 30 years and what challenges did you face?

“We were lucky enough to enjoy 20 years of growth, and yes -- plenty of growing pains along the way. Life wasn't easy all the time however, we were enjoying it immensely even though there seemed to be a myriad of challenges some days. We built up a loyal clientele over the years and had some great clients.”

What made you want to sell the business?

“During Covid, we both started feeling the need to step back. Keith felt burnout and we knew it was close to the right time to retire. The thought of spending more time with our grandkids and family was very appealing.”

Did you list the business straight away?

“We just assumed we would sell the business as it was however thankfully a close family friend informed us that we should talk with someone experienced first like a business advisor.

We researched and choose BSP Advisory Group.

After meeting with the advisor over coffee, it quickly became apparent that we needed to make some improvements to enhance the appeal of our business and it was suggested that staying on a bit longer in the business would be very beneficial long term”

What changed in the business?

“Our advisor helped us establish better systems to make the business more efficient. This covered workshop efficiencies through to financial monitoring, ensuring we had everything in place for a potential buyer.”

What was the surprise twist?

“We were introduced to the opportunity of succession planning and identifying people within the business who may be interested in buying. We have never considered this.

After speaking to our team and telling them our plans to sell we learned that one of our joiners; Jamie, was interested in buying the business.

Had you considered succession planning before?

“We knew vaguely what it was but had not considered it when selling our business. Our advisor played a pivotal role in the whole process including assisting Jamie source financing. It was a win win for everybody as Jamie knew the business and us which made the process much less stressful than dealing with a stranger.”

How was your experience dealing with BSP?

“Excellent. We received expertise and a genuine investment in us and our business. The commitment went beyond just business transactions. Our advisor became a mentor and friend, regularly tracking our progress, offering invaluable advice and being the supportive outside party we could turn to.”

Any advice for someone considering selling their business?

“Yes. It's essential to consult with an expert initially—it'll pay off in the long run. Ensure the individual you choose has a proven track record and possesses the necessary knowledge to enhance the business's value and attractiveness. For us, choosing BSP was an obvious decision, given their specialisation in this field.”

Any regrets?

“No none at all. It’s great to have time to do the things you want and having the time to spend with the grandkids is amazing.”


This is a great story and one that, unfortunately, many business owners don't get to experience due to rushing into selling without exploring the options thoroughly first.

Don’t let this be you.

Hi, I’m Gary Reynolds and the time to start planning the sale of your business was yesterday.

I welcome an opportunity to chat with you and help you maximise one of the biggest asset sales of your lives.

Contact me below to have an initial no obligation chat.