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8th August, 2019

Seasonal Business - Your 'Exit Strategy'

Cornwall's economy has always been heavily dominated by tourism, so it is no surprise that the County has an abundance of businesses designed to capitalise on the annual influx of holiday makers.

Seasonal businesses include everything from an ice cream kiosk on the beach to a waterfront restaurant to a 50 acre holiday park and are characterised by the fact that they generally trade between Easter and the end of October each year. That being said, many other businesses such as pubs and shops, especially those in coastal locations, are also heavily reliant on the uplift in trade during the summer months.

When operators make the decision that ‘this will be their last season’, (which is usually 3 weeks into a frantically busy  August), they typically make a mental note to contact us when things ‘quieten down’.

This is doubtless why we see the largest number of valuation enquiries in September and October, with owners looking to try to sell their business ahead of the next years’ season.  The thought process is very logical and more convenient for operators, who can then avoid juggling viewings and subsequent requests for accounts and information when they are really busy.

However, there is a major flaw to this strategy in terms of the ‘perception of the buyer’.

An increasing number of people are relocating to Cornwall from out of County, with the vast majority looking to buy, not a business, but a lifestyle.

They are picturing sun-soaked beaches crammed with happy holiday makers, all queuing up to buy ice-creams, pasties and fudge and clamouring to hire paddle boards, buy wet suits and book surfing lessons. They hear children laughing and tills ringing.

They are not the prepared for the harsh reality of a cold, wet November day with gale force winds, rough seas, closed shops and empty streets.

The end result? An illusion that is well and truly ‘shattered’, (and disillusion buyers tend to keep a tight hold on their wallets!)

As Commercial Agents, we understand that trying to sell during the busy summer months is likely to be inconvenient, however, marketing during the summer when you are over-run with customers and the sun shining, enables buyers to see ‘their  dream in reality’…it  validates their decision to ‘take the plunge’ and is the best way to achieve the optimum price for your business.

As they saying goes, ‘everything looks better in the sunshine’.

If you are thinking that ‘this is going to be your last season’ then NOW is the time to start marketing.

In an ideal world, it means you could have a buyer lined up for the end of the season, meaning you can have the benefit of the season and don’t have the ‘carry’ your overheads through the winter months at all.

If you would like a free, confidential  market appraisal, at a time convenient for you and your business, please give me, Beverly Northey, a call on 01872 247031.
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