“We wanted something that could be a family unit. But we bought the wrong businesses,” she reflects. “Weekends and holidays were our busiest times and we had a young family ourselves so childcare became an issue. It was really challenging.”
Today, they rent out one pub, run a software-as-a-service business, Go Tenant, and have a property portfolio. Their busiest hours are during the day and working week, which fits with their two children. “You need to think about what works for you. For some businesses, you’re pretty much working 24/7.”
For Stuart, location is a key consideration, and he enjoys the freedom of an online business. As an online shop, Nero’s Notes suits the way Stuart splits his time between Andover and Cyprus - he can run the business from anywhere.
Is the business worth its valuation?
When you’re buying a business, the upfront cost is usually much higher than if you’d started something similar yourself. You’re paying for groundwork that’s already been laid and its reputation with existing customers.
On top of the capital to cover the price of the business, you’ll also need to cover fees associated with solicitors, surveyors and accountants.
Usually, you only see the accounts of a company once your offer has been accepted. You can then do your due diligence and the current owners may agree to take it off the market while you investigate.
“All the work you do before you take over will be worth double once you’re running it,” says Stuart. “Assume the worst and make sure it can survive.”