We've seen a few caravan parks coming onto the market lately, the reason being that this is an excellent time of year to sell - and buy! Not only that, but it's a very good year to sell, as this type of 'lifestyle business' is particularly sought after at the moment.
The true definition of a lifestyle business is one that is set up and run with the aim of sustaining a level of income that keeps the wolf from the door, while leaving time and energy for a fulfilling lifestyle. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
Very often, the people who seek to buy such lifestyle businesses have either semi-retired, or come out of redundancy, or even had a health scare that has prompted them to take life a little easier.
Some are quite simply over the 'rat race' and are keen to make a sea or tree-change that will deliver both income and leisure time.
Of course, just because a caravan park is advertised as a lifestyle business, that doesn't mean the buyer has to run it as such. If there is potential there to expand and grow the business, all the better.
This is a great time of year to market your caravan park for sale for many reasons. In most cases, it's a quieter time of year for business, allowing an easier changeover for the new owners. There's time for training, if required, and I would certainly recommend offering some free training as part of your marketing.
Ideally, you will have some forward bookings in place to pass on to the new owners, as that is certainly an incentive for them to buy your particular caravan park. And be sure to back this up with well presented financials, hopefully showing a steady ongoing income or, better still, growth.
Of course, winter is usually the time of year caravan park owners carry out maintenance. This should be done before prospective buyers come to inspect. If the caravan or holiday park appears rundown, neglected or even just dirty and untidy, prospective buyers will be put off.
The job of marketing a caravan park for sale is made easier by the fact that the business suits many different types of people. For some businesses, there is quite a limited or specialised market, but for caravan parks, the market includes singles, couples, families, retirees and so on.
It's important that your caravan park offers the best 'package' to the buyer. Think about what the package could include. We've mentioned training, but also include machinery and tools, like a ride-on mower, brush cutter, forklift, and so on. The idea is to make the purchase so easy it will quickly be snapped up.
Is there onsite accommodation for the owners, or a manager? Make this clear. If the package includes a home, it's all the more tempting. And is it freehold or leasehold?
And emphasise any other inclusions, such as swimming pools, camp kitchens, BBQs, play equipment and so on. The more that is provided/included, the less the new owners have to spend upon acquisition.
If your caravan park is in a well known tourist area, emphasise that fact. If it's regularly used by groups or clubs, mention that, too. It all highlights the steady income a caravan park can provide.
And because it's a lifestyle business, tell prospective buyers about the local attractions and services. For example, is there great boating and fishing nearby, or national parks, or wineries? Anything like this adds to the allure of the business, promising buyers that dream lifestyle they've been craving.
As with most business and property sales, painting a picture of an idyllic, successful lifestyle is every bit as relevant as the bricks and mortar. It's all about selling the dream.
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