Published : 22 February 2016
'Lifestyle Business' - we've all heard of them, and most of us have thought about buying one! But what exactly is a lifestyle business?
Of course, the answer will vary slightly, according to what the individual's dream lifestyle might be. But generally, a lifestyle business is an enterprise which brings in enough money to support you, but also affords you enough time to do the things you enjoy.
It's not surprising then, that many of the lifestyle businesses for sale these days are based around tourism or accommodation. Note I didn't say 'hospitality'. That's quite different and can really only be a lifestyle if you only open your cafe or restaurant a couple of days a week.
Caravan parks are classed as lifestyle businesses - and jolly good ones at that! The reason being that almost anyone can buy and run a caravan park, be it singles, couples, early retirees, or families. It's particularly fun for the latter group, as caravan parks have lots of fun amenities that your kids will enjoy as much as the guests!
So no shortage of prospective buyers is definitely a plus if you're thinking of SELLING a caravan park.
The first thing to consider is HOW you will sell the business. There are three main options: through a broker or real estate agent, sell it yourself, or sell it yourself with professional help.
Increasingly people selling properties and businesses are shying away from agents and brokers, largely to do with the enormous chunk of commission they will have to pay! And because when you look at what you get for that commission, sellers invariably think, I can do that myself!
But selling a caravan park completely on your own is a big challenge, so why not consider one of the professional companies that help and support vendors to sell privately?
Take, for example, Coast to Coast Media. Independently owned and not affiliated with any broker or agent, they are unbiased, very serious about selling your business but never charge commission.
In addition, Coast to Coast has a great team of professionals on hand, including graphic designers and journalists.
So you've made the decision to sell your caravan park, and you have Coast to Coast Media onside to help. What next?
As with any business, you need to ensure your financials are all up-to-date and accurate, and ready to show to serious buyers.
But you also need to 'package up' your business to make it appealing. For example, it goes without saying that you ensure the park is clean and tidy, the grass is mowed, and that anything needing repairs gets fixed.
But what else can you offer? How about including all relevant machinery, like the ride-on mower? Yes, you might need one wherever you're going, but you can buy another and still have plenty of change left over from that commission that you won't be paying!
Remember, you're selling a lifestyle business, so if you're willing to include all the bits and bobs that will make that lifestyle easy from day one, you will certainly attract more potential buyers.
Do you live on-site? In a van? A cabin? House? Emphasise this in your sales pitch. Again, it's confirming that this is an easy, relaxed business to run, you can live on-site, your kids can enjoy the play equipment, swimming pool, or whatever else the park includes.
Offer some training for the takeover period - it might not be rocket science to run a caravan park but you're sure to have picked up some tips over the years, and found easier ways of doing certain things. Be willing to pass the knowledge on, at no charge, and even be available at the end of the phone for a few weeks after handover.
How do you promote your caravan park? Website? Booking sites? Social media? Make sure things like Facebook pages are up-to-date, and websites have the correct information on amenities, prices et cetera. It just looks so much more professional, and confirms to the buyer that the business is ready to go from day one.
Is the park freehold or leasehold? Most are freehold, but this needs to be clear in the advertising material. If it's freehold, make sure that is emphasised, as it's clearly a great investment.Coast to Coast Media will be able to give you lots more help and support to sell your caravan park for the best price, with the least hassle, so you can move on to your next lifestyle business!