By Eloise Keating

A retail chain with 13 stores across South Australia is on the market, with the owner revealing he plan to retire.

Ned’s was founded in 1985 and sells affordable homewares and gifts, including furniture, kitchen products and party accessories.

The chain operates bricks-and-mortar outlets across multiple South Australian locations, including Elizabeth, Harbour Town, Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor, along with an online store, and the company recorded sales of $16 million for the 2014-15 financial year.

In an advertisement in today’s Australian Financial Review, Ned’s director Ned Wright said the business is on offer for a “realistic price” and the sale would include “good sites and lease terms” as well as “good POS, accounting [and] management systems”.

Ned’s also has an active social media presence, with close to 7000 fans on Facebook.

Wright said in the ad he is selling the business because he wishes to retire, however, he declined to comment further when contacted by SmartCompany this morning.

Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, told SmartCompany discount department stores are increasingly competing in the homewares and giftware retail sector.

However, Walker says it is likely Ned’s is “very well known among its local base” in South Australia and the current owner has done “a great job” growing the business to its current size.

The number of private businesses for sale in Australia has been on the rise for the past 12 months, with the BizExchange Index for Private Business Values showing a record number of 41,200 private businesses for sale in October last year.

According to Seek, the number of people looking online to purchase small businesses is also increasing, with the latest data from the online business listing site, released this month, recording a 32% year-on-year increase in businesses for sale listings.

Narissa Corrigan, principal of Ampersand & Ampersand, advises small and medium size businesses on both legal and marketing matters. She told SmartCompany this morning there are a wide range of boxes small business owners need to check before advertising their business for sale.

“The most important one from a legal perspective would be making sure whatever materials you produce to sell the business are correct and are not misleading,” Corrigan says.

Corrigan says it is essential for business owners to determine what assets are actually for sale and this includes intellectual property that may have been developed over a long period of time.

“It could include if the social media accounts are transferred to the new owner,” Corrigan says.

“And that is not always easy.”

Corrigan says business owners should also review all financial accounts to ensure they are up to date and there is “transparency across all elements, including sales and marketing plans and employee plans” and consider if the vendor will be involved in training the new owner during a transitional period.

“A buyer could place huge value on that in a sale negotiation,” she says.

First published in Smart Company, 8th September 2015