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2002 proved to be a very special year. The opportunity presented itself for a management buyout of the company I had grown up with these past 20 years, so along with one of my co-directors, and the support of our management team we successfully purchased the business from the major shareholder and set about growing the business towards a planned exit strategy some 10 year away.

We took a good hard look at the way the business was structured and set about making several strategic improvements which would help us achieve the ambitious objectives we had set ourselves. This included the renewed focus on the Structured Sales Process we had such faith in, and the creation and implementation of a bespoke CRM system to allow us to manage the effort and resources required to achieve the success we knew we could.

This was no small task as it involved a significant training and development programme of our sales team and other key departments, and the expensive and complex process of designing, commissioning and embedding the most sophisticated CRM solution available into our business. It was a lengthy process which required full commitment and no small financial investment, but the results were worth the effort. Our ability to forecast accurately from the data harvested from the system allowed us to look forward 3 months and predict sales figures to around 5% +/-, which allowed us to work to our growth with confidence and precision.

Circumstances conspired to give us the opportunity to exit from the business considerably earlier than planned and after only 4 years we sold the business and moved onto pastures new. The lessons learned during the four years 2002 – 2006 gave me the background knowledge and skill to take to market as a business mentor, supporting and developing companies short in areas of the knowledge I was now able to share, and so Blackmask came to be

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