In this week’s episode of Built to Sell Radio, John Warrillow interviews Beate Chelette, the founder of Beate Works, a creative company that she sold to Bill Gates for a significant premium in 2006.
Chelette had built her business to sell from the ground up. For example, her contracts with suppliers included a clause stating the obligations of the contract would “survive” the change of ownership of her company. Small, but important tactics like this allowed Chelette to garner a significant premium for her company.
About Beate Chelette
Beate Chelette is a respected speaker, coach, and successful entrepreneur. After selling her creative company in 2006 to Bill Gates for millions of dollars, Chelette pursued her mission to build a global community of women who will collaborate and support each other. In business and in her personal life as a single mother, Chelette witnessed firsthand how women treat other women, how they boycott, bully, and backstab other women’s careers and personal lives. She is fiercely determined to turn that around by creating a new Core Code of Conduct by which women will live happier, more successful lives and as results show – have better relationships with other women and men. In 2011, drawing on the tools, hard knocks, and strategies she learned on her road to success, Chelette founded The Women’s Code. Chelette has created programs to improve Work-Life Balance, Leadership on C.U.E., and Career Advancement for Entrepreneurs and Creatives.
Some Highlights of the Show
Business: Beate Works
1:45: A key decision that defines the success of the exit.
2:30: Beate Works
4:09: “I was able to secure agreements with the worlds top interior and architectural [designers].”
5:50: The business model.
7:30: “We had a variety of revenue streams.”
7:57: “We didn’t own really anything… [we just had the] first rights license…anything that our photographers were producing we were allowed to keep [and distribute through our channels].”
8:54: “Really tough contracts… or really great. It depends on how you look at it.”
9:25: Revenue, employees and the database.
9:50: “There was this moment in the content production [market] where things had really heated up a lot… there was a buying frenzy”
11:06: “I had something that nobody else had.”
11:40: What is your number?
12:30: The three questions, “What would make it worthwhile? What would really change your life? What would make all of this be worth it.”
13:01: “The number for me was a number that would allow me to never have to work again.”
16:00: Looking at the numbers.
21:05: Trade secrets.
22:20: Beate Works, Corbis and Bill Gates
24:00: The revised offer, lower but close.
25:03: “Are you conservative, or do you say you have a hot commodity, a prestigious piece to buy, a key puzzle in what you are trying to do in the future. “
26:30: A significant multiple.
27:10: “I set my business up for sale.”
29:33: “The people aspect of selling a business is probably the most difficult, dangerous and most treacherous territory to cover…”
29:55: What goes around, comes around.
30:30: “I wished I had worked closer with the HR department from the get go… to not have people freak out.”
33:00: The integration plan.
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