As BusinessesForSale.com continues to support the selling journey of thousands of business owners, we had the opportunity to speak to Ray Snook, the former owner of an exquisite Victorian bed and breakfast in the Isle of Wight.
Ray and his wife lived in California for 15 years, where they owned and managed two restaurants. In 2016, they sold the businesses and decided to move back to the United Kingdom as a stopgap before their retirement.
“At my age, I didn’t really want to get a job that requires me to work under someone else. I had five or six years until retirement, so we considered a bed and breakfast because I have hospitality experience and I’m a chef. Why not combine those two skills?” says Ray.
In May 2017, Ray and his wife toured the UK looking for the perfect bed and breakfast. They used BusinessesForSale.com to search for properties, and found Foxhills in the Isle of Wight, a beautiful bed and breakfast with an established reputation and good reviews.
By October 2017, Ray and his wife bought the bed and breakfast. After the challenges caused by the pandemic, 2021 proved to be the busiest and most profitable year for the couple.
“It was the busiest year we had ever had. Our turnover was so high that it increased the value of the property”, says Ray.
Ray explains that because they used BusinessesForSale.com to find their bed and breakfast, they knew they could turn to the site to sell it, as it has a great network of prospective buyers.
By 2022, the business had become extremely valuable and successful, with multiple forward bookings they could sell as goodwill, so it made sense to market it at this time. They assumed that it would take at least 12 to 24 months to sell the business and decided to use an agent in the first instance.
However, their experience with an agent proved to be disappointing. “Our business was undervalued, and the service with that specific agent was poor. I thought, why not do this myself with BusinessesForSale.com?”
Ray explains that listing the business on the site was a very straightforward and easy process. He uploaded his own photos, generated his own copy, and received over 16 leads. In three months, Ray’s bed and breakfast received two offers.
“Both our prospects continued to contact me while the deal was going through, so they were good quality leads. It was quite an incredible experience,” says Ray.
“I was stunned, because everyone told me how hard it was going to be to sell a business. But people loved our business, and we grew it into something that became very popular. So, I think that helped us sell it. But BusinessesForSale.com turned out to be the best decision we made".
Ray’s advice to aspiring business owners looking to buy a bed and breakfast
- Always look for something that is established, and always try and negotiate with the seller themselves. You’ll get the real experience and the truth directly from the seller.
- Run it as a business. A lot of people perceive a bed and breakfast as a semi-retirement plan, but it requires the same effort and dedication as running any business. Running it as a business will uncover multiple opportunities.
- Always create a niche. Don’t go for the run-of-the-mill route - you want to stand out.
- Always go the extra mile. People will remember those extra things, and it will retain them. Build the relationship before you meet them and maintain that relationship after their stay.
If you’re an aspiring business owner that is interested in pursuing this sector, you can explore bed and breakfast opportunities on our site.
BusinessesForSale.com has been supporting both business buyers and sellers for more than 20 years and will continue to improve its services to meet the needs of individual customers.
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