Mike Ainsworth

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire



Helping business owners to think and see their business from a completely different angle

All great mentors are able to draw on a vast and varied career and this is something Mike has in abundance, being a former banker, entrepreneur, business broker and published author.


Mike’s great passion these days is in working with ambitious business owners, helping them to think and see their business from a completely different angle.


His journey began in a high street bank in Slough after returning from Australia in the 1970s during which he traversed from division to division from local to regional and Head Office positions in the bank.


It wasn’t long before Mike’s talents as a training manager became well known within the organisation, leading to becoming a full time trainer to teach bankers how to better understand businesses and business owners’ perspectives and banking requirements.


As a corporate banker Mike had dealt with businesses from the very smallest to FTSE 100 Corporates but by the mid-1990s there were wholesale changes being made to the banking industry which didn’t sit very comfortably with Mike’s values and outlook.


Mike says: “In my time I felt that Banking moved from being a service based provider that placed the customers first to a target focussed organisation with a host of products providing advice that I felt was biased towards what was good for the banks rather than their customers”







That calibration moment


Everyone has a moment in their life when they awaken to the realisation that a decision must be made about the course of one’s life from this point on – i.e. whether to continue on a path that doesn’t fulfil or to take an entirely different path.


Mike was at the calibration junction – to keep his head down and enjoy two or three more promotions before retirement ‘or’ seize control by getting out of the rat race and become master of his own destiny by running his own business. It was a no brainer…


Talk to anyone who’s made the transition from 20 years in a corporate environment to running their own business and they’ll all tell the same thing; it’s a very steep learning curve, everything you thought was linear is challenged by the abstract world of the independent business-owner mind.


Mike enjoyed the freedom and responsibility of running his own show and for the next few years Mike worked with a variety of business owners on a non-executive or executive basis including :


  • The motor trade
  • Property
  • Quarrying
  • Importing
  • House building
  • Finance broking
  • Online sales
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment


During this time Mike worked alongside some fantastic people and achieved some notable successes, particularly in re-engineering businesses steering them to be more profitable by increasing business sales through more focussed marketing. Of course there were downsides as well including one particular business failure and a less than successful business sale that were both huge learning experiences.






A New Decade A New Challenge

By 2012 Mike was on the lookout for another new adventure which arrived in the form of a franchise that focused on helping business owners to ‘sell’ their business. Having been on the wrong side of a business sale that wasn’t terribly successful, Mike invested in a new adventure.


“I’d come across franchises previously but as a banker and an advisor. This on the other hand was my first direct experience of buying a franchise as a franchisee. In this respect I have been very lucky with EM&F who are one of the most respected names in the business sales market and who put business ethics very high on their list of “must have” qualities for their firm. Sadly this is not something that could be said for all the companies operating in this market.”


Within a few years of setting up a new base in Milton Keynes Mike had sold businesses across north London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. During this time he sold more than 100 businesses and valued at least three times that number. Undoubtedly the main upside to the role is being able to help so many people to achieve their business goals.


One major learning that became obvious very early on and that has been reinforced time and time again when valuing so many businesses is the fact that most business owners fail to plan for sale.


As Mike says “Business owners would call me asking for a business valuation and when I try to ascertain a time frame they would tell me six months”.


Whilst it’s possible to complete on the sale of a fairly straight forward business in six months, this gives no time to package the deal to be as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Consequently the range of offers that will be received will likely be at the very bottom of expectations and in some cases the business will simply not be sellable.







Focussed on Helping Business Owners


After six years focused on helping business owners to realise their business asset, Mike decided to build on his passion for mentoring business owners by adopting a more formal approach to helping business owners to get the most from their business an so a new chapter begins as a certified training mentor partnering with the Sales Masters Guild.


As a mentor with Sales Masters Guild Mike will offer business mentoring, calling on his considerable business experience and training background to make the most of the peer group structure offered by SMG.


Mike says “For the time being I will continue to help business owners to sell their business while I build my mentoring practice in the Milton Keynes area. Practicing what I preach I am on the lookout for someone to hope to takeover my EM&F franchise and will also hope to continue to work with a new owner to introduce business owners that I’ve mentored to sell their businesses hopefully at an enhanced price than would otherwise be the case”.






A Passion for Helping Business Owners

Mike’s passion for helping business owners to get more from the sale of their businesses has driven him to write a book “Making Plans for Business Exit” and this is available on Amazon as a paperback although he has been seen giving copies away at local network meetings!


Mike explains “There are a number of factors that contribute to the value of a business but for me the number one factor is size. It’s a fact that all other things being equal a business with a two million pounds turnover will sell for a greater multiple of earnings than a business with sales of one million pounds. That’s why my interest in increasing the business value dovetails so nicely with the Sales Masters Guild whose main aim is to build businesses that work”.








Mike lists his three main strengths as:


  • Having an analytical approach to problem solving
  • Being commercial and understanding value
  • Having compassion and deriving real pleasure in being able to help other people (or other people’s businesses)


“I’m quite quick at picking things up and I believe that I’m innovative so I will often see a better way of doing something” Says Mike












Making a business sellable


Mike’s aim now is to help business owners to develop their business so that it’s sellable.


One of the many benefits of owning a sellable business is actually the fact that you might decide not to sell it and the reason for this is that a sellable business will work just as well with you as it will without you on a day to day basis.


If you are self-employed, working long hours and in effect the business is you then it can be difficult to see yourself ever moving on. So Mike will usually start by breaking down your business into the main value elements and then showing you how you can improve each of the elements so that:


  • Your business thrives
  • You make more money and
  • You feel less pressure and work shorter hours and finally
  • Your business becomes more sellable


You can contact Mike directly at mike.ainsworth@salesmastersguild.com 


You can read Mike's blog articles by clicking HERE




Mike’s Training & Peer Groups


You can book onto any of Mike’s training or peer groups from here. Just click below to be taken to the booking page, choose the date you would like to attend and continue with your payment.


The Sales Masters Guild
Hitchin, Ipswich,
Milton Keynes, Peterborough,
St Albans, Waltham Abbey

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