Case Study: BMH Imports Limited

One way that Business Partnership can help when you’re selling a business is by identifying the types of potential buyers who would be the best fit. 

In the case of BMH Imports, a garden furniture retailer, we targeted experienced businesses that were looking for ways to increase their summer sales. Having this ideal buyer in mind enabled us to focus our efforts and complete the sale successfully. 

About the Business 

BMH Imports is one of the leading importers and retailers of teak garden furniture and accessories in the UK. The business was established in 2001 and has grown steadily to have an annual turnover of approximately £500,000. The company has built an incredibly positive reputation, with many customers referring their friends or returning to buy again. Trade sales are a growing part of the business with big potential and the overall trend was an average increase in revenue of more than 10% over the last three years. 

Strong Selling Points

One of the strongest features of the business is its impressive 65% Gross Profit Margin, which has been achieved by importing ethically sourced products directly from the manufacturers, complete with a FLEDGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) licence – a document that proves the shipped timber or timber products have been legally produced. The owners have built valuable relationships with high quality, sustainable, licensed producers in Indonesia and Asia.

Another significant feature is that the business has moved online while remaining fully independent, rather than relying on portals such as Amazon. The business trades as Cotswold Teak via consumer and bulk order websites. The Cotswold Teak trading name has established a strong online presence, with most business now achieved through passive sales on the e-commerce site that are fulfilled from the company’s own dedicated warehouse. 

Decision to Sell 

BMH Imports is a thriving business with many loyal customers, but its owners had reached the point where they were ready to retire after 20 years of hard work. Retirement is one of the most common reasons for selling a business. Business owners who are selling up to retire will need to ensure their own financial security, but they will also want to see their business going on to succeed in the future so finding the right buyer is essential. 

The Sales Strategy 

Tim Bayley was the regional partner who took on the sale of BMH Imports for Business Partnership as it was based in his local area of Warwickshire. He knew that there could be widespread interest in the business because its import and e-commerce model would be easy to relocate or incorporate into an existing business. The ideal buyer would have enough experience to take over the roles of the previous owners, who were active in everything from purchasing and warehousing to customer liaison and even handling some deliveries. 

Another factor that Tim recognised the importance of was that the garden furniture business was seasonal, with most sales occurring between March and October. The business could therefore be a perfect match for buyers who were operating businesses that peaked during the winter but had spare capacity over the summer. Combining BMH Imports with their existing business would enable them to achieve reliable sales all year round. 

Having a target buyer in mind helps us to choose the right channels for reaching out to potential buyers and to present the business to them effectively. In the case of BMH Imports, Tim emphasised the value of their relationships with suppliers, which would be essential for anyone looking to expand into this market. He provided serious buyers with enough information on each supplier to prove the worth and reliability of the supply chains but made sure that there was no risk of revealing sensitive information to potential competitors. 

The Next Chapter

The buyer ended up being a home fireplace business, a seasonal winter market that proved to be the perfect match for the summer-based garden furniture business. BMH Import’s owners achieved their goal of selling to someone who can ensure the business continues to thrive, while enabling themselves to fulfil their retirement dreams, which will include travelling to support the British Lions at their international rugby matches. 

Are You Ready To Retire?

If you own a business and are looking at retirement but aren’t sure how to make the transition, we encourage you to contact your closest partner for a discussion on how to get started and full details on how we can help you with the sales process.