If you have a business then bookmark this forum/blog to keep an eye out for business advice. You might be looking to sell your business for free – post your details here on “in-business” or if you are an investor looking to buy a business – keep your eye on posts.
If you want to contact us simply email us at email@example.com. We are happy for you to contact us about a post or a comment posted on this blog by email or for you to join this forum and post your own thoughts or comments. We are now receiving nearly 8 million hits per annum or 6.3 million page views, so if you want to have a link to your site please email me for rates.
All articles and comments must be written in English please, as we have had a few comments recently that are in a foreign language. This is an English business blog and directed at English speaking users please. We welcome people to join our blog and register from all over the world and we welcome your views and news or articles about business.
This blog is mostly about business to business advice, but it is also about reporting the latest news reported that might affect business owners and entrepreneurs.
Running a business can be a lonely existence and sometimes it is good to be able to speak with other business owners about problems or issues that you have. I am very happy to take your questions or try to solve any problems you might have in your business. If necessary I will do this on a confidential basis, so if you do not want to post a public article then contact me directly on my email, or alternatively you can post your problem anonymously. I will assure you of total confidence at all times.
I am Russell Bowyer and I run businesses at present and have done so since 1990 and I am always looking for other business ideas or businesses to buy. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and Qualified Chartered Tax Adviser, having run my own accounting practice for over 10 years and then sold this back in 2003. I also have a portfolio of property and have bought and sold property in the past and made a few tidy pennies on these.
ENTREPRENEURS looking for corporate ‘bargains’ over the festive season have been in luck as thousands of businesses are up for sale across the UK.
Those with ready money have been able to pick up businesses cheaply from specialist brokers and listing agents.
Business Sale Report, a leading listing service, has seen a 30 per cent rise in the number of owners advertising in December compared with November. Director Robert Moore says in addition to sales of distressed businesses, entrepreneurs who previously held back because the market had been depressed are now selling.
‘If you have cash and are able to move quickly, it’s a good time,’ he says. ‘Any business where it is easy to see future cash flow is in demand.’
Christopher Jones of business broker Sunbelt says there are lots of buyers in the market looking for the right opportunities. ‘We’re seeing buyers coming out of the corporate world looking for cash flow,’ he says. ‘There are also strategic buyers, picking up equipment.’
Kevin Uphill, managing director of business broker Avondale, says: ‘Buyers are there. After all, where do people put their cash now?’
Buyers can also try to negotiate lower rents and cheaper loans. The Government is pressing banks to lend to small firms and buyers are even finding it possible to borrow from the vendors through deferred payments.
But alongside the festive crackers there are some real turkeys with hidden problems. ‘ There are opportunities, but you have to be pretty savvy,’ says Moore.
Buying a business that has already gone into administration is fraught with difficulties as the administrator must realise funds quickly, putting a tight deadline on deals. Buyers also have to question whether a business will withstand the departure of the owner, who is often the founder.
Uphill says: ‘ The biggest single issue is the quality of the information on smaller firms – without visibility, there are high risks. There are real opportunities but if you cannot see the risks, don’t touch it.’
Many of the potential buyers are first-timers, says Jones. But this market is also proving attractive for existing businesses that are seeking to increase their market share.
Chartered accountant Russell Bowyer, 47, from Linton, Cambridgeshire, is convinced that doing deals in a recession is a good idea and he is negotiating to invest in Deep Clean, a nationwide cleaning firm that specialises in commercial kitchens.
Bowyer has a long record of business ownership, albeit in the care and accounting sectors, and he has been looking to expand his portfolio for some time.
He believes Deep Clean fits the bill because insurers require all commercial kitchens to be cleaned. There is competition, of course, but Bowyer says: ‘There is a good market.’
Bowyer, who is a client of Sunbelt, adds: ‘There are thousands of businesses for sale and far fewer buyers.
‘Interest rates are also lower so, in theory, you can get cheap money. If you buy in a boom, there is more competition from other buyers and interest rates are higher.’
Copyright over this article belongs to: The Mail on Sunday