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Sell my mobile beauty business

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Mali

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Hi,

I wonder if anyone could help me. I have a successful mobile beauty business based around Chiswick, west London. I am relocationg to another country so I need to sell my business. I have spoken to my clients about me leaving and they are all desperate to have someone take over from me because it is convenient for them to have their treatments done at home.

Could anyone please give me advice on how I could go about advertising and how I would work out how much I could sell my business for?

Thank you so much!
 

KHS

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I've never heard of anyone selling a mobile business.

Interested to know how this would work. As the only thing you'll be selling is "good will" no lease, no stock or fixtures and fittings - I'm intrigued
 

Diamondgirl

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You would definitely have to make sure that all your clients are happy with their data being passed to someone else I'm sure you can't just sell a client list unless all the clients affected have given their consent or you could be committing a criminal offence under the Data Protection Act.........as KHS states what are you actually selling? Are you selling the business as a whole ie stock ...or just trying to sell your clients? God I'd love to sell some of my clients if it was that easy lol.......if I was to buy your business as a mobile therapist I'd be buying into you if that makes sense where as with a shop I'd be buying the business as a whole ....I think this would be difficult to do but I may be wrong x
 

KHS

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It's the data protection that's stumped me, as when selling a salon, someone buys that business lock stock and barrel. It's the clients choice to stay or go elsewhere after the sale.

So if you sell a mobile round the buyer has nothing to show for her. Or his...cash - I'm confused lol
 

Cathi44

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Maybe I'm missing something but I don't quite understand what you're selling? If your business is mobile, other than your stock & equipment there's nothing to sell? You don't "own" the clients so can't sell them on (and as above, you're getting on to very shaky ground with data protection) I left my mobile business in the UK to move abroad and naturally all my clients were panicking about finding someone else to go to. So I simply recommend a couple of good therapists (salon and mobile) in the area who they could contact. Even if you did sell on your business, for whoever buys it there are no guarentees that any of your existing clients would like the new beautician and stay with her, or even go to her in the first place, so I can't see that anyone would be willing to part with money for your client list. Pack up your kit, wave farewell to your clients and head off to your new life! :) x
 

kamikate

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Your customers are your business, whether or not you are bricks and mortar or you're mobile. You can have premises but no clients and you have very little to pass onto a buyer, or you have no premises but a full client list. Which is more valuable? When I first started there were 3 years when I had so few clients I could barely call my business a business. The difficulty is your clients, even though some may not realise it, come to you not just for your treatments but for you, your method of working, your integrity, your personality. If you sell your client list, you need to find someone like you otherwise your clients will walk away. I've heard of similar situations to your's in the mobile massage industry. Some people have sold their entire client list for a price. What one did was to pass on her client list to a 'buyer', then for a year or so after that, she earned commission on every treatment her clients had with that 'buyer'. It did mean she had to trust the buyer but it did work. You could also do this with more than 1 'buyer', so some flexibility for you and your clients. You could start to look in directories and websites for other freelance therapists.
 

Mali

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I would be selling the business as a whole; stock, equipment and my client list. I know all about the data protection act and you are able to pass on the clients information if they have given written and signed consent, the documentation will be drawn up by my lawyer. I have also spoken to each and every one of my clients and asked if they would be happy with this, which they are, as they know that I will not sell to a person that is not good enough to continue their treatments.

I also have proof of all income and expenditure for the business since it started 5 years ago. So it wouldn't be sold on "good will". It will be up to the new owner to continue running the business to a good standard to ensure the clients stay with them.
 

Beansy

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I also have proof of all income and expenditure for the business since it started 5 years ago. So it wouldn't be sold on "good will". It will be up to the new owner to continue running the business to a good standard to ensure the clients stay with them.
Goodwill is the term usually used to describe the sale of the client list/customer base.
 

cheekychick

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I would be selling the business as a whole; stock, equipment and my client list. I know all about the data protection act and you are able to pass on the clients information if they have given written and signed consent, the documentation will be drawn up by my lawyer. I have also spoken to each and every one of my clients and asked if they would be happy with this, which they are, as they know that I will not sell to a person that is not good enough to continue their treatments.

I also have proof of all income and expenditure for the business since it started 5 years ago. So it wouldn't be sold on "good will". It will be up to the new owner to continue running the business to a good standard to ensure the clients stay with them.

So let's say you 'sell' your client list. Then they don't use the therapist at all, EVER.
Then what has the other therapist actually paid for?
How can you put a price on that?

So you are going to speak to every single client and make sure they are okay with you passing their details on?
I very much doubt you told them you might be selling their details when you made your consultation cards/client database.
 

exquisitebeauty

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unfortunately i have to agree with everyone else other than selling you equipment off your cant sell a client list as again the new therapist mighten get used by them and also someone else in that area might know you moving and might just go an canvas you clients. This is the exact same issue i wonder with buying businesses as a whole as as soon as equipment is bought its depleting in value like cars and other items so i always found it odd when looking at businesses for sale as they put stupid prices on as equipment value decreases and your renting a building from another person so whats left to sell clients at the end of the day walk where in a generation that think ooooh cost or will windowshop and find cheaper or quicker etc good luck in your move x
 

Mali

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So let's say you 'sell' your client list. Then they don't use the therapist at all, EVER.
Then what has the other therapist actually paid for?
How can you put a price on that?

So you are going to speak to every single client and make sure they are okay with you passing their details on?
I very much doubt you told them you might be selling their details when you made your consultation cards/client database.
That's down to the therapist to continue carrying out the treatments at the same standard as I deliver them, if they loose the clients then it's down to them.

Actually I have already spoken to all my clients and they are happy with me passing on their details to the person who purchases the business. As I said before, documentation to pass their details onto the new owner will be drawn up by my lawyer and given to each client to sign, if they decide they do not want their details passed on then they will be removed off the client list that would be sold with the business.
 

Mali

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unfortunately i have to agree with everyone else other than selling you equipment off your cant sell a client list as again the new therapist mighten get used by them and also someone else in that area might know you moving and might just go an canvas you clients. This is the exact same issue i wonder with buying businesses as a whole as as soon as equipment is bought its depleting in value like cars and other items so i always found it odd when looking at businesses for sale as they put stupid prices on as equipment value decreases and your renting a building from another person so whats left to sell clients at the end of the day walk where in a generation that think ooooh cost or will windowshop and find cheaper or quicker etc good luck in your move x

The plan is to
unfortunately i have to agree with everyone else other than selling you equipment off your cant sell a client list as again the new therapist mighten get used by them and also someone else in that area might know you moving and might just go an canvas you clients. This is the exact same issue i wonder with buying businesses as a whole as as soon as equipment is bought its depleting in value like cars and other items so i always found it odd when looking at businesses for sale as they put stupid prices on as equipment value decreases and your renting a building from another person so whats left to sell clients at the end of the day walk where in a generation that think ooooh cost or will windowshop and find cheaper or quicker etc good luck in your move x

Thank you for your input and I understand what you mean. Initially when I told my clients that I was thinking on moving back over a year ago, they were the ones who asked if I was going to get someone to take over from me so that they could keep getting their treatments done at home. I would not want someone who is not similar to me in personality or manner to take over my clients... With regards to the new therapist, I would want to go over how I do my treatments and write notes about each client, so that the new therapist would know how my clients like their treatments done, etc. I love my clients and I don't want to leave them, but due to certain circumstances I am moving, so I want to know that they will be looked after. They all like the convenience of someone doing their treatments for them, in the comfort of their own homes. If you're a nice person and a good therapist and do what your clients want, then there is no way that you could go wrong and they will be loyal to you forever. I don't advertise, I'm purely word of mouth, so I doubt anyone in my area would know who I am or who my clients are, but I do understand that some people are cheeky and would try take the clients.
 

attitude

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If you are that concerned about your clients, just recommend a good therapist to them. As far as I can see, you have nothing to sell except equipment.
 

NailsXpress

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I believe she can sell it as a going concern.
 

Mands

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I think when a person has mobile it's not only about how good someone is at actually carrying the job out its about liking that person that is coming into your home. Your clients probably like you because it's you coming. It's not just about the level of service you provide. The new person might do an amazing job but not have the same personality as you...
 

Baggybear

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I am sorry it is not what you want to hear but the general response is that you don't have anything to sell other than your equipment, the clients information is not really worth any tangable amount as they are not yours to sell (they dont have to book the replacement if they chose not to).

It is lovely that you want to make sure the person who takes over from you and continues their treatments is as good as you BUT your moving away, you have lots to do, it is not your responsibility to find these clients a new therapist.

IF you decide to sell where will you advertise the sale?
How quickly do you need to find a buyer?
How long do you have to do all the trials that it will take to check the interested parties out (you say they have to be as good as you with treatments and they have to be like you in personality etc..)
How long will it take to get to know any/all interested parties enough to judge their personalities to be like yours or not?
How long do you have to draw up all the paperwork needed and is the sale going to cover the expenses your going to have to pay out? (solicitors fees for contracts and sale papers etc..)
 
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KrisKross

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I think you're going to struggle to sell your business, and the idea that you'll have an abundance of potential buyers that you can test to ensure their manner, personality and treatments meet your standards is a dream, sorry.
 

NailsXpress

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Surely it's worth what someone is prepared to pay, the same as anything. If you already have a round of clients set up who are regulars then that is worth something to whoever wants to take it over isnt it. It may not be worth much but it's worth something isnt it? I may be naive but I would rather take over a group of clients than start from scratch in a new area. If you can check the buyers standard of work and interview her, then if she seems a really nice person and is very approachable that would help. You would interview someone working in a salon, so why not interview who wants to buy your business. There is nothing to stop you doing that. Then negotiate how much between you. The business name may also be well know for the right reasons too. That may be worth something to someone. I myself can see why she would want someone nice to take over as I too care about my clients not being left with nobody to carry on their services. Some of my clients are house bound so really do struggle. I've always found replacements in my business and told my clients about the new person too. They are then prepared to try them out and MOST keep going.
It's really up to whoever is selling and whoever is prepared to buy some equipment and a round of clients I guess.
 

hazelb

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Years ago I read an article about how to value your business if you were to 'sell-up'. It was based on being a complementary therapist, with a client list and regular appointment bookings. The upshot of the article was that client may try out the replacement therapist once or twice, stay if they liked them or move on if they didn't. They suggested that as a generous guess, 30% of clients may stay with the new therapist.

I would suggest value your stock /equipment as second hand ( ebay prices), then with the client's permission ( data protection ), give their details to the new therapist - that will be the good will part of the business and will only have a nominal value.
As to the value of that? it's anyone's guess! but I would be in the hundreds and not thousands- see what the potential buyer is prepared to pay.
 

Nat-Nat

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I know somebody who successfully sold their client list for £2k! She worked alongside the new therapist booked her clients in with her so she could see them booked in and showed her accounts. It can be done but I'd say it was very much trust based!
 

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