“I was really enjoying the work, helping our clients to grow. But as it got bigger and more significant, and especially as the team grew, operationally, it became a lot harder to manage,” explains Arek Estall, SEO consultant and founder of All Trousers, a digital marketing agency based in Cardiff.
In April this year, Arek decided to sell All Trousers to The Audience Group for an undisclosed fee.
The penny dropped slowly. After six years of running the agency, Arek realised the things he enjoyed doing didn’t actually require running an agency to do them.
“By the point I wanted to sell, I just wanted to get back to doing what I actually enjoy doing. I think the pandemic made a lot of people realise how they spend their time and how valuable it is,” he says.
While it was a small agency, with six people at its peak, the sale process was still just as intense and long-winded as one 10 times its size.
“Including offers and negotiations, the whole thing took six months,” explains Arek. “I think the most difficult thing was the climate of lockdown starting and finishing, and different sectors that we work with, particularly B2B, were quite affected by things like Brexit too.”
His small team took it very well.
“Ironically, it was quite painful for the ego to realise you’re not as significant as you thought you were. If I’d known that, I could have run the business very differently.”
Join us as we talk through Arek’s sale story, find out what lessons he learned along the way, and what his next steps are.