There are many reasons you may be considering selling your cattery. Perhaps you’re interested in a different business venture, or maybe you’re just ready to retire. Regardless of the reason, preparation is the key to a successful exit.
A seller’s profile
Thanks to an increase in travel, established and reputable catteries are in high demand. Since pet owners are willing to pay more for their cats to be boarded in luxury accommodations, savvy entrepreneurs view cattery ownership as a potentially lucrative opportunity.
With the industry showing signs of steady growth, it’s a great time to sell your cattery and turn a substantial profit.
Unless you’re being forced to sell quickly because of a sudden illness or financial reasons, the single most important thing you can do to maximise the value of your business is to allow yourself sufficient time to prepare it for a sale.
It’s also highly recommended to enlist the help of experts to set your cattery up for a successful sale. A reputable broker and accountant with experience in the cattery industry can help you get your business in the best possible shape to maximise its value.
They will also have a thorough understanding of the current market and can help you avoid pitfalls as well as put your cattery in front of the right buyers and save you valuable time by vetting them and only bringing serious, committed ones to your front door.
- Evaluate your property: Thoroughly inspect the physical condition of your property. Evaluate the landscaping and the cattery facilities and try to look at it through the eyes of a prospective buyer.
- Conduct repairs: Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Conduct necessary renovations and repairs, and update accommodations, equipment, toys, and play areas, so that you can showcase your cattery in the best possible light.
- Check compliance: Make sure you are legally compliant with all licences, permits, and environmental concerns so that you can present a worry-free establishment that’s ready to be transferred to a new owner.
- Prepare documents: You’ll need to make sure your financial records are accurate and clear. Consider hiring an accountant to organise your books and to prepare a clean account of the last three years of your business.
You should also be prepared to present your customer database, detailed records about staff hiring and training, and information about any relationships or contracts you have with vendors and suppliers.
The valuation process can be complicated. In addition to researching the selling price of similar catteries, it’s also wise to enlist the help of a business broker or professional valuer to thoroughly assess your business.
They will have a solid understanding of the current market and will be able to help you establish a fair and accurate value for your cattery.
The two most common methods used to value a cattery are the following:
- Calculating net worth (assets minus liabilities)
- Valuing based on the income or profits and the expected return on investment (ROI)
By seeking the help of experts, you will be able to present a well-prepared, balanced, and objective valuation to potential buyers that will instil confidence in your asking price and give everyone involved peace of mind.
Due diligence for sellers
A serious and committed buyer will want to investigate all aspects of your cattery’s operations, financial performance, legal and tax compliance, customer database, and assets.
A prospective buyer may want access to the following information:
- Financial records and profit and loss statements for the last three years
- Detailed list of total assets and total liabilities of your cattery
- Financial forecast and plans for growth
- Staff training manuals
- Third party supplier accounts and contracts
- Insurance, licences, and permits
- Furniture and equipment included in the sale
- Customer database
- Copies of safety and hygiene procedures used to minimise spread of disease
During the due diligence phase, it’s important to be as transparent as possible. Be prepared to answer questions about weaknesses in your cattery, and do your best to be honest about challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve strategically improved your business over the years.
Given the unique nature of the cattery industry, it might take some time to find the perfect buyer who is interested in a 24/7 lifestyle. The business can be demanding and can affect the owner’s ability to enjoy the usual holidays and vacations.
However, cattery ownership can offer a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction to animal lovers. The right buyer will probably be looking beyond just profit potential; they will also be seeking a healthy balance of work and personal satisfaction.