Buying a recruitment agency

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Glamping and the staycation: holiday parks in the austerity age

Listen to this podcast interview with Victoria Brannen, co-founder of Maya Asset Management, which specialises in the acquisition, turnaround and operational management of investment assets, in particular holiday parks.

Brannen, who specialises in strategic planning and marketing strategy integration, examines the implications for the holiday park sector of the rise of eco-holidays and short breaks and the squeeze on consumer incomes.

Asked to highlight the key trends in the camping and caravanning sector, she notes “an eco-trend, where you have the rise in tipis, yurts, pods… the whole ‘glamping’ experience. You have the mainstay holidaymakers who like to go to static caravan parks, and then your diehard campers who want to pitch up their tent.” [See rest of transcript via link above]

Examining the hotels market

Listen to a podcast interview with Haydn Fentum, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Hotels, a fast-growing boutique hotel chain.

Fentum, who founded the first hotel 11 years ago, says “the market is quite volatile at the moment, there’s quite a lot of activity. It’s only the last two or three years that have not been great for the hotel sector.”

He also suggests that cash-strapped consumers have very different expectations to the typical boom-time consumer: “There’s always a flight to value, so hotels that have been underinvested and undercapitalised suffer, and properties in good order and which provide good value for money prosper. The market has become more polarised that way; you’re less inclined to forgive a bad experience.”

The perfect time to buy a business – if you can find the funds

The businesses-for-sale marketplace is rich with promise for bargain hunters with enough capital to bypass the banks, according to leading professionals in business transfer.

Speaking to BusinessesForSale.com, agents also report that the dwindling number of businesses with healthy balance sheets are more in demand than ever as entrepreneurs seek reliable investments in a turbulent economic climate.

Providing they are patient – deals are increasingly tortuous, collapsing more frequently because of nervous buyers, sellers and banks – cash-rich buyers can capitalise on the desperation of some sellers to exit amid challenging trading conditions. Caution and the dearth of credit is inhibiting activity so buyers armed with ready cash have less competition for the best opportunities.

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Microsoft’s huge gamble

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spied an opportunity to strengthen Windows

This piece about Microsoft’s $8.5bn acquisition of Skype showcases my ability to write stock-market news and about mid-market sales.

Although most of my writing for BusinessesForSale.com has covered small businesses – the newsagent, the pub buyer or the subpostmaster – we do cover million-pound plus revenue enterprises too.