Affected companies should not wait for the “knock-on” impact, warns South West expert – Jerry O’Sullivan
Latest announcements that the number of home sales has plummeted do not just spell the closure of estate agency offices across the South West, warns one of the region’s leading business recovery experts.
According to Jerry O’Sullivan, a business recovery partner at South West accountancy firm, Bishop Fleming: “Every time we move home, we create work and income for a long feeding-chain of businesses.
“Top of that chain are estate agents and removals companies. Both sectors have issued stark reports this week, highlighting that transactions are just half or less than this time last year. Conveyancing solicitors are also high up the chain.
“In the case of the National Guild of Removers, they make the important additional point that, while their orders are down by almost 70% in the past six weeks, their members’ diesel costs have rocketed for every removal trip they do make.
“This is a vital clue for businesses further down the feeding-chain that relies on home sales and moves”, said Mr O’Sullivan.
“At a time when that major source of income is dropping, many companies’ costs are soaring. This makes it doubly crucial that any business likely to feel the impact of home sale decline takes early advice and action to protect and preserve their business: if they wait for the impact to hit them, it may well be too late”, he warned.
“Many businesses will (or should) already know how reliant they are on the home-move feeding-chain. These include retailers selling the large purchases that we tend to make when we move home, like furniture, major electrical appliances, and carpets”, said Bishop Fleming’s Jerry O’Sullivan.
“But many others in that feeding-chain may not have realised their dependence on home moves for much of their business. These can include builders, interior designers, bathroom and kitchen suppliers, lighting companies, garden contractors, plumbers and heating engineers, decorators, roofing companies, garage and shed suppliers, DIY shops, fitted-bedroom companies, electricians, garden centres, etc.
“If removal companies are using half the number of packing cases, the manufacturers of those cases are in the chain; and if estate agents are selling half the number of homes, some will halve their spending on advertisements in local newspapers and magazines, which are also in the feeding-chain”, Mr O’Sullivan points out.
“People in my profession get far more satisfaction from helping to preserve businesses than from being appointed to oversee the dismantling of good companies. My plea to any business owner is to think about whether they are in the feeding-chain for home-moves, and to take advice now”, he said.