The best lifestyle businesses to buy in 2017

How to buy a business

A lifestyle business is as much about personal fulfilment as it is about profit. You may be thinking about moving into a lifestyle business because you want a more flexible work schedule, a happier working environment, the opportunity to move somewhere new or so you can settle into a new phase of your life.

Whatever you choose, there has to be a profit in it – otherwise it’s just a hobby – but there should be some joy in it too. With a lifestyle business, success and comfort are the main drivers, and the risks are lower than with a startup. If your focus is on making a happy life rather than just making a living – a lifestyle business could be the way to go.

Café

There’s always a market for good cafes, coffee shops and tea shops in the UK – especially in market towns and honeypot villages in picturesque locations. For many, the location is the biggest draw: who wouldn’t want to work in a beauty spot?

It’s important to decide what kind of business you want to run. A café could mean anything from a roadside trailer to a Betty’s-style posh-nosh tearoom with all the bells and whistles. But whether you’re keen to get the gingham tablecloths out or prefer to cater to cool urbanites, there’s a business that’s just right for you.

Think long and hard about the kind of hours you want to work. If you’re baking and serving from dawn till dusk, there won’t be much time left for the lifestyle you crave. So consider limited opening times or buy a business with a management team in place so you can set your own schedule.

Health and fitness

With many people giving fresh focus to the state of their health, business is booming for professionals involved in the health industry. If you fancy a future in health, exercise and wellness, there’s never been a better time to get involved and make your mark.

People are mainly looking for quick fixes – they love to follow the latest fad diet, training regime or superfood trend, no matter how effective they actually are. The best long-term business to be in, though, is one that offers clients honest, relevant and proven products and services that help sustain good health.

Winning propositions in this market include gym, fitness and personal training businesses. There will always be a requirement for businesses that help people get fitter and stay healthier – and there’s lots of scope to provide basic level or super-swish facilities to a targeted audience.

Ecommerce from home

Trading online is booming and buying a business that specialises in online transactions often means you can run your business from home – the epitome of the 21st-century lifestyle business! When you’re searching for an online business, you apply the same principles as with any business hunt. Set your budget, look at the stats and make sure you do your due diligence before taking the plunge.

You’ll need to ascertain how many hours the owner spends working in the business and you should analyse the various income streams – some may be from product sales, others from affiliate advertising – so you can see where there’s potential for growth. Make sure the IT infrastructure is fit for purpose and that there’s scope to upgrade or update – you’ll probably need specialist advice on this.

Pub

If you’ve dreamed of running a pub in a sleepy village or bustling market town, it may well be your idea of a perfect lifestyle business. It’s still a popular investment – partly because there are pubs available to buy in a wide variety of locations.

You could look for a tenanted pub or a freehouse. A freehouse will cost you more upfront because you’re buying the property as well as the business but because they’re independent of brewers or pub companies, there are more profits to be had – and you’ll be calling the shots.

The most successful pubs are often those that develop a reputation for good food and entertainment. Pub owners are also branching out by offering community services such as post offices and village shops – all worth considering to help support your perfect lifestyle business.

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