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Buying a Business - Success Stories

It's Location, Location, Location for this idyllic York B&B

Harmony House Boutique B&B is a luxury guest house, with adjoining self-catering holiday Cottage and Tea Room, all comprised in a 17th Century home, just south of York.

A stunning 17th Century build, Harmony House is a luxury B&B, located in Stillingfleet, a  tranquil village, situated just 6 miles south of York and 8 miles north of Selby.

We’ve all watched Channel 4’s ‘4 in a Bed’ and languished with second-hand embarrassment as we saw hapless owners demonstrate how not to run a B&B. We saw belligerent management bemoan their insect-infested bedrooms. We saw properties, marketed as luxury, exposed as a laughably subpar guest experience. We saw businesses, advertised as budget-friendly, charge ridiculous add-on expenses for bare minimum service. 

That’s why it’s a genuine pleasure to work with a business that provides a true, luxury guesthouse experience, boasting a service that regardless of our professional relationship, is one we’d love to frequent. 

Harmony House Boutique B&B is one of those businesses. The luxury B&B & Tea Rooms is located in the picturesque rural village of Stillingfleet, 6 miles south of York. The village is within a three-mile radius of the villages of Escrick, Naburn, Cawood and Riccall and boasts an 11th Century Norman Church along with plentiful history. The surrounding North Yorkshire countryside is ideal for scenic walks, while being conveniently located to a host of pubs, shops, and local amenities. 

Adele York, current owner of Harmony House, commented:

“The property is fabulous, the landlords and the villagers have been amazing, and the purchase was definitely the right thing to do. We do not have any regrets. .”

The business itself is comprised of a luxury Guest House, a self-catering holiday 1-bedroom Cottage and a Tea Room, all comprised in a 17th Century home, built in rustic red brick.

We had the pleasure to talk with Adele York, co-owner of Harmony House, to discuss the experience buying such a charming business.

Why Harmony House?

Friends who met while working in a charity, Adele and Hannah wanted to live and breathe hospitality, and were driven to provide a great boutique experience for their customers and guests. 

“We were drawn to the business as it was very affordable, located in the area we wanted, with all the attributes we had been looking for. It had a good track record, even throughout a pandemic!  We hadn’t previously considered buying a tenancy, but we are very glad we did.”

Adele went on to describe her approach to business sales, saying, “no one should discount buying a business and paying rent on the building. If it’s a good business (and landlord) then it can still be a financially viable proposition. Do your due diligence. It’s worth the upfront cost.  If you do not, then expect the unexpected to come out once you’re in and up and running! 

Working with Hilton Smythe

Before Harmony House, Adele and Hannah were close to buying another business, “we had finance, a purchase agreed, and a moving date agreed on another business and property. We were gazumped by £27K at the last minute.  It was a costly and painful experience.”

Fortunately, Adele felt her luck changed when working with Hilton Smythe. “You were excellent for us, the buyer, and the process was professional and friendly throughout. The processing team (Karen in particular) were excellent. You were really on the ball, kept us up to date at every turn.”

“Hilton Smythe are just a really great team of people who know their stuff. We felt we were in safe hands we would recommend Hilton Smythe to anyone selling or buying a business or property. 

Life as a Business Owner

We’ve seen many business owners decide to take on a new opportunity, but the decision never comes lightly. When reflecting on the challenges of taking on a new business owners, Adele noted that the website, and social media were time-consuming and a lot to do seemingly all at once.

We now have a flourishing Boutique B&B, Holiday cottage and Tea Room. We are getting some great reviews and word is getting out that we are here and providing a great service. We’re building good relationships with people in our village and planning retreats for burned out ministers in the New Year. 

If, like Adele, you have identified an opportune time to buy a business, please feel free to contact Hilton Smythe where we can discuss a range of suitable options and finance solutions.

For any enquiries about buying or selling, we offer nationwide coverage and can be reached on 01204 920 135 or enquiries@hiltonsmythe.co.uk.

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