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A week has passed since I went to the studio with my friend to get a feel for the place, and as you may remember, we were supposed to give our decision as to if we would be buying the business by week end.

We’re assured that securing a fixed term lease of the premises from the current landlords for a 2 or 3-year period won’t be a problem, so we can breathe fairly easy on that one, but the officially declared accounts which were sent our way don’t paint a neat and tidy, profitable picture and are the main reason we’ve not yet committed.

Considering the investment involved we have no guarantee of the profitability of the business, and while it is a passion project for us, we have no desire to flush money down the loo. We need it to make sufficient profit to pay back the loans which each of us will be securing in order to be able to invest.

Rather than throw in the towel and give up on this particular dream, which is so very alluring for the both of us, we’re meeting with the owner tomorrow evening to talk things through. We’re going to propose to her that unless she urgently needs the injection of funds that the sale will give her, she allow us to work with her for the next few months, giving our time and effort free of charge in order to get a working knowledge of the status of the finances as well as meet regular studio users, artists with memberships, the teachers and the students, and let them get to know us before a change of ownership occurs. She has had other offers, but explains that it is a passion project to her too and that she would much rather have people buy it from her that are also passionate about it. If that’s the case, and she’s not desperate for the sale funds, she may well agree to our proposal.

Hopefully we may be able to negotiate a discounted price too, as given the accounts as they are, we cannot buy the business, but would set up our own company, buying from her the operation; the premises lease, an extensive list of fittings and supplies she would be leaving in place, the contacts and regular classes etc.

It’s an exciting time for us, but we have to think beyond the excitement. Luckily we have lots of friends and relatives happy to give us input. Now I have to research the process and expense of setting up a Thai company from scratch.

Click for Part 4

Click for Part 3

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