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An opportunity to purchase an established and growing business with an excellent (50%+) turnover/profit ratio that can be based at home
The business started when houses were becoming relatively more expensive and people were moving to other accommodation such as boats on canals and, more recently, motorhomes and caravans. This move appears to be continuing and it is known that more people are expected to move to boats in the future to avoid the high housing cost. The main market is the canals of the UK where we are seen as the default provider
The business started from zero and now makes a healthy profit for someone working from home. There is no reason to assume that any change to the business approach is required to maintain and grow the business further
What is mail forwarding ?
Mail forwarding (sometimes called mail redirection) is the reseeding of mail from a specified address to one nominated by a customer. When people move home, location or have a mobile lifestyle, providers of such a service can either forward mail to a particular address for a specific period of time or to one that changes as the recipient changes location. Mail is increasingly being scanned so as to arrive with the customer on a Smartphone, Tablet or Computer. Customers can also choose to have mail sent to a Post Office (Post Restante service) for collection. Increasingly, users of auction sites (such as e-Bay) who live in other countries other than UK, are using a mail forwarder for their sales.
The business was started from zero in 2011 and has developed into a size where it can still be run by one person from home. Since opening, there has been continual growth in both number of customers, revenue and profit. In the summer of 2016 one of the major players in mail forwarding arena ceased trading and, coupled with additional marketing, the business benefited in seeing growth accelerating. There are now around 640 active customers whose mail is received regularly and intermittently for either scanning or forwarding.
There is one direct competitor who advertises thinly across the waterways market and whose offering is less attractive than boatmail.co.uk (for instance, there is no offer to pay online or by credit/debit card)
Scanning is growing in terms of the percentage of the overall business which takes less time to action/less cost and is assisting greater profit.
The performance is supported by a website, e-mailings to customers and potential locations where customers will visit (mailshots have been done in the past), advertising in relative markets and social media (Twitter and Facebook)
The revenue stream has continued to grow from when the business was started. I have taken 6-7 weeks holiday each year and time out for Xmas/New Year and this has not affected the revenue income only the revenue distribution over different monthly accounting periods (and the items/mail continue to be delivered whilst away on holiday for dealing with on return)
In Spring 2016 an attempt was made to enter the Motorhome and Caravan markets with some heavy initial advertising and an ongoing monthly presence. This has led to a drip feed customer take up which has never really taken off and has been absorbed into the core boatmail.co.uk business from July this year. The launch advertising cost around £3500 on top of the ongoing monthly advertising cost. This amount can therefore been seen as a cost (£3500 plus £300 per month) that will not reoccur from July 2017 so increasing the overall profit. However, the core business has a number of Motorhome and Caravan users and this expected to grow from word of mouth recommendation.
The non-human costs for running the business are minimal. It is currently home based and the only time required away from home is the daily posting of items at the local Royal Mail Office/Post Office. Apart from the assets and consumables, the majority of the time taken is to service customers and their mail. Daily activity is between 6-8 hours dependant on the volume of mail arriving. An outage (such as holiday) requires time to re-establish normal service on return. Accounting and marketing is included within this time. Every customer has an account in their own name and their requirements are shown on an individual account document, the account statement
The exception to this is the money paid by customers for funding of their accounts and payment for postage (customers pay for postage for items, not the business). This is accounted for separately so this taken into account when the sale price has been calculated
Computer, printer, postage labels, packaging materials (envelopes/boxes/packing), domain names (boatmail.co.uk, motorhomemail.co.uk, caravanmail.co.uk) and the business telephone number/phone (contract will be transferred). The website, social media (Twitter and Facebook) and advertising/contacts/relationships will also be transferred on sale
There is also the brand/goodwill/reputation of the business which for the waterways market is the leading and best known supplier and for the motorhome/caravan market is thought to be the only supplier
The profit for the last full year (16/17) is shown in the summary (available on request) and has been impacted by the additional launch advertising spending for motorhomes and caravans that was made early on in the year. This amount of £3500 (plus £300 ongoing monthly advertising) is seen not to reoccur in the current and future years as this was a one off cost. Therefore the profit for the year 16/17 is a true £20k and the profit for 17/18 is on track to exceed this substantially with around 25% profit growth being experienced for the last year
The multiple of the real profit (£20k) I am using is around 2/3 times to come to a figure of £40k for sale including brand/goodwill value also taking into account the monies held on behalf of customers. I consider this to be reasonable as it is a growing and profitable home based business, the profit ratio (revenue that becomes profit) is relatively high (last year 50%) and the future can be expected to generate greater profits going forward
The business is offered for sale with offers close to £40k and the above postage money is included within this price
Further information available upon request, please contact seller below for more details.
Available by request:
Overall summary of performance for last 4 years
Yearly profit and loss (by month) for each of the last 4 years and also for the current year (17/18) with projected outturn at year end
Businesses based at home in one room
Any aspect of the travelling community may require this service so expansion into Expats, Yacht owners, motorhomes, caravans, business services is possible
We are the default provider on the waterways network. There is one competitor although their offering is very weak in comparison
This is a second career for me in that I spent 30 years working for Royal Mail before being made redundant on privatisation of the company. I needed an income and so boatmail.co.uk was born one night in a pub! I am keen narrowboat owner and overseas traveller (hence the 6-7 weeks holiday) and want to experience more. The only down side to this business is that I have been processing any arrivals on the day of receipt and only having occasional reasons for not doing (apart from notified holidays) so there needs to be an appreciation that the business requires activity on arrival of mail. As can been seen the additional travelling is not compatible with this and I am also approaching the age where I can receive a bus pass!
Generally 9-5 Mon to Fri although an eye is kept on e-mail actvity at other times (e-mails show on mobile phone)
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