The Ambitious Apprentice

Ambitious Apprentice who started his own business

The Ambitious Apprentice

“Mark Wright co-founded the digital marketing agency Climb Online in 2014 after winning a BBC show called The Apprentice. In 2022 he sold his business for 9.5X EBITDA to xDNA,” shares Sam Thompson a Minneapolis Mergers & Acquisitions advisor. “In this episode we cover ways to lower churn, recruit talent and how to avoid an earn out in a business sale.”

In 2014, Mark Wright, who won BBC’s The Apprentice, used the £250,000 prize to co-found Climb Online, a digital marketing agency, in collaboration with business tycoon Lord Sugar.

Their collective reputations and expertise in the industry enabled the digital agency to flourish, eventually becoming one of the largest in the UK with a workforce of 130 employees at its height. In 2022, Climb Online achieved a significant milestone when it was acquired by xDNA, a global digital agency group, for a value that amounted to 9.5 times its EBITDA. This acquisition marked the first successful business exit for a participant in The Apprentice. In this episode, you will learn how to:

  • Protect your downside when an acquirer asks you to roll equity.
  • Expand your company’s potential through strategic networking.
  • Utilize an audacious negotiation tactic to secure an advantageous deal.
  • Implement a management team to ensure the business can succeed without you.
  • Recruit talent that aligns perfectly with your company’s unique needs and culture.
  • Lower churn by understanding and acting on customer behaviors and trends.
  • Ignite your employees’ enthusiasm and maintain morale during the acquisition process.
  • Deploy one bulletproof strategy Mark used to avoid an earn-out.

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