Sean Mallon is on a mission to help demystify the process of buying and selling businesses. He talks to BQ about the importance of knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and taking pleasure in ensuring others achieve their goals.
What is it the company does?
Founded in 2014, Bizdaq is an online platform that allows business owners to either sell their business from valuation to completion or allows someone to buy a business from initial search to completion.
We’re committed to providing small business owners with impartial advice when it comes to buying or selling a business. As we do not charge commission or large registration fees, our only obsession is to ensure buying or selling a business is as simple as possible.
Bizdaq was created to bring together business owners with motivated buyers in one easy-to-use platform. We wanted all the knowledge and experience of selling or buying businesses (over a decade) to be available to anybody. And most importantly, we wanted to do this at a fraction of the cost of the traditional alternatives.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
My role as CEO is to provide strategic direction for the business and ensure our team is focused, motivated and committed to achieving their goals. I spend much of my time building the Bizdaq brand amongst key stakeholders such as accountants, as well as ensuring the platform is delivering the best value for our users.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I founded my first company, Intelligent Business Transfer in 2007 at the age of 21, which grew into one of the largest business brokers in the UK with a multi-million-pound turnover.
In 2014, I had a desire to provide a greater experience and a higher value proposition than traditional methods when buying or selling a business. I saw how technology was disrupting other sectors and how little it was being utilised for the good of buyers and sellers in this space.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I believe a good leader starts with a clear vision of what they want the business to achieve. The very best leaders are aware of themselves. They are authentic, and know what they are good at, and more importantly what they are not.
The key characteristics I believe a good leader exhibits include trust, openness and empathy. Taking real pleasure in ensuring others achieve their goals is essential in my opinion.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Without question, the biggest challenge is trying to disrupt a fractious market, which is poorly informed and unregulated. We are on a mission to educate business owners of the challenges that exist when they are looking to sell their business, and how they can prepare themselves.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I spend as much time as possible out of work with my family, I have two young girls and another on the way! They keep me distracted and allow me to realise why I’m doing it!
I also enjoy punching the life out of a punch bag in the gym when I’m really up against it.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An entrepreneur, because I envied the stress, long working hours and relentless challenge... I really wanted to be an RAF fighter pilot.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Not so much in the workplace, but I like people who come to me with problems, followed by solutions – so we can help pick a path together. I don’t like it when people don’t take their responsibility to provide solutions… especially when you know they have it in them. I guess this is about empowering people to make their own good decisions, so they can feel their own success.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Market leader in buying and selling businesses, with transactions happening globally.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be patient. I’ve found myself making poor decisions when I’m not prepared to let things settle or ride their course.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Listen intently, but go with your instinct above all else, it’s rarely wrong.
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