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How to Sell a Cattery

The pet boarding sector is growing and diversifying, making it the perfect time to sell your cattery business.

Families across the UK are travelling more and that means that there is a higher demand for catteries.

Many pet owners are also becoming increasingly attached to their furry friends and see them as a family member. Customers are willing to pay more for their pets to be pampered, and entrepreneurs can expect to make big money by running a luxury pet boarding services.

This is great news if you are looking to sell your cattery as, with the market improving for catteries, you should be able to good price for your business!

Preparing to sellSell Your Business

As with any business, you want to impress your buyers at their first-viewing, so make sure your cattery is looking its best. Replace or repair any broken signs and equipment; if the accommodation, land and service counter look shabby, the buyer may lose interest.

You also need to make sure your bookkeeping is in order; most buyers will expect to review accounts for the last three years as part of their due diligence checks. Some buyers will appoint a legal advisor to survey the business and review all the data and documentation.

All your business licenses and any preceding planning permissions should be accessible. As a seller, you need to be open and honest during the sale proceedings. If, for example, you hide an environmental issue, the buyer’s solicitor will find out and any deal will become void.

Finding the right time to sell is important. The business needs to be in great shape, there needs to be a high demand for cattery services and healthy market conditions if you’re going to achieve the best possible price for your proposition.

This requires preparing for the sale well in advance.

Marketing your business

Marketing your business online is a great way to reach out to buyers across the country and globally. There are specialist websites for buying and selling pet businesses, which can help you target buyers who are already passionate about getting into the industry.

If you’re hiring a broker to manage the sale, find someone who is local and that has experience selling a cattery or kennel business. They could come with a wealth of contacts and may be able to give you tailored advice on the best way to market your business.

Most sellers want to receive all their money and have a clean break, but this rarely happens. When you market your business, consider vendor financing as an option. This will widen the pool of buyers who can afford your business and help you to secure the price you want.

There are several structures you can offer with vendor financing; usually the buyer will pay a percentage as a deposit, and pay the rest plus interest, in instalments. The terms typically favour the seller, and if the buyer misses a payment, the business will serve as collateral.

You should include an inventory of any equipment, vehicles or stock that you intend to include within the sale. You should also list any intangible assets, such as business branding, websites, social media profiles, and your repeat customer base.

If you have been adequately preparing for the sale of your business, you will have been able to build these intangible assets up over the years preceding the sale.

Finding the right buyer

To operate a cattery successfully, you need to have a genuine love for animals, and experience in handling cats.

In a lot of cases, the buyer will need to be able to buy a property as well as the business, which means sale proceedings could take longer than usual. Be patient and don’t be disheartened, it’s vital to keep the business running effectively no matter how long the sale process takes.

Running a cattery is hard work, and it will involve working unsociable hours. Peak times for a cattery business are during the weekends, half-term, summer, Christmas and public holidays; the buyer will need to be able to focus on the business during these periods.

Operating a cattery business can give a high sense of personal satisfaction; if you’re an animal lover, spending all day looking after cats may not even be considered work. The right buyer is likely to be motivated by work-life satisfaction, rather than being solely profit-driven.



Krystena Griffin

About the author

Krystena Griffin writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.

@Be_TheBoss

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