Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Businesses for Sale Essex – 5 Reasons Why Essex is Primed for Growth

For private investors looking for businesses for sale, Essex is proving to be a "diamond in the rough". A key focus for all UK investors at the moment is to look for companies and locations which seem to be successfully bucking the current economic trend - and Essex seems to be just such an area. A 2011 study by Essex Ltd showed that Essex’s top 100 companies showed an increase in turnover, profits and employment over the previous year. Turnover was up by 12% and the number of people employed was up by nearly 5%. An overall loss of the previous year of £60 million - proving that Essex has certainly not escaped its share of challenges over the last few years - was transformed into a pre-tax profit of £121million.

These figures are impressive enough - but they are further bolstered by a marked recent increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions taking place in the county, fuelled by interest from trade and private equity buyers alike in businesses for sale Essex. Acquisition prices have started to rise, which all helps the general level of liquidity and means money flowing into the county, helping to secure jobs and create a more stable environment for smaller companies supplying goods and services to the larger ones.

But if you are a prospective investor considering businesses for sale in Essex you will want to know what’s behind these figures. What is different about Essex? And what makes it better placed than others to see business growth sooner rather than later? There will be many contributing factors of course, but here we note five structural factors about Essex which are likely to be fuelling business growth in Essex now and into the future.

1.    Proximity to London

Essex includes large parts of East London suburbs such as Dagenham, Barking, Ilford and Romford which all lie within the M25. Other major Essex towns are easily accessed by train and road from London, including Basildon, Southend and Colchester. This means that many businesses based in Essex are located next to a large and prosperous customer base. This generally helps to keep up demand from both business and residential customers. So if an Essex business sees a fall in demand locally, it is an easy matter to target potential customers in London. For this reason businesses for sale in Essex can be of as much interest to investors as those in London, offering similar benefits in terms of proximity, but without the additional overheads of a Central London business.

2.    Commuting

Essex is well connected to London by train, with Liverpool Street connecting the capital to Colchester, Chelmsford and beyond, and Fenchurch Street serving Brentwood, Billericay, Rayleigh and Southend. Many Essex residents work in London and are bringing home relatively higher wages which then circulates into the local economy. So as London’s economy grows, it is hard for the Essex economy to do anything other than grow with it. And of course, when local jobs are affected, London offers a good alternative area in which to search for jobs. All this help to maintain general employment rates, which we consider next.

3.    Employment Rates

Employment within Essex is generally higher than the national average, and in some parts of Essex unemployment is below 2%. This all points to money in the local economy, which means that suppliers of local goods and services have a relatively prosperous customer base to work with. As a result smaller enterprises are less likely to be driven out of business in a downturn, and are then poised to immediately take advantage of the upturn when it comes.

 4.   Good Infrastructure

We have already mentioned the strong rail links between London and Essex. As well as linking the county to the capital, this also serves to link Essex to the rest of the UK. A train ride of less than an hour and a tube ride will take the Essex resident to Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire or Middlesex. Not to mention connections to the South West, North and Scotland via Euston, Kings Cross and so on. So while being one of the most easterly counties in the UK, there is a feeling of being oddly central.

The A127, A12, A13 and M11 - all connected by the M25 - offer fast car journeys between the capital and the rest of the county. Essex is also well served by airports including Stansted and Southend. The opening and planned future growth of London City airport to the east of the capital offers Essex businesses yet another easy way to access the rest of the UK as well as the continent. In addition, Essex also has over 99% broadband penetration, making it easier than ever for Essex business to market themselves online and for customers to find them.

For buyers of businesses for sale in Essex, this means easy access and communication with your new acquisition, as well as creating a useful working base - especially important if you have expansion in mind.

5.    Entrepreneurial Spirit

Our final factor is more speculative and based on the past history of emigration out of London. Many waves of immigrants have found themselves in the East End of London and have successfully manufactured and traded their way to economic success. And as individuals and communities have prospered they have, typically, moved away from the East End and out to neighbouring counties, with Essex being an obvious choice for relocation. But once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur, and it seems plausible that these ex-East Enders may have brought their entrepreneurial spirit with them.

The low unemployment rate creates a general expectation towards having a job and, if not, starting a business. Essex may be jokingly known as the home of "White Van Man", but there’s a reason why the white van - icon of the small business - may be more prevalent on Essex roads than elsewhere. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills showed that in 2009 the number of small businesses in the South East (of which Essex is a major county) was 750,000 - only slightly less than that of London at around 850,000, and significantly ahead of its next most active region, the East, at around 400,000. Certainly when it comes to forging business growth there is no substitute for a will to succeed - and Essex seems to have plenty of that.

So what does this all mean for a prospective buyer of businesses for sale in Essex? In short, it means a pro-business climate in which a strong entrepreneurial spirit is assisted by powerful geographic and infrastructure advantages. Buying a business based in Essex means also buying into that climate and those advantages. For those looking for signs of economic growth in the UK, Essex could be the county to watch.

About Axis Partnership

Business for Sale Essex - Axis have a wide range of businesses for sale in Essex and throughout the UK. We operate in a number of sectors including Healthcare, Property Management, Commercial Cleaning, Manufacturing & Engineering, Recruitment, Packaging, and Logistics.

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