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Business for Sale

Selling your café or restaurant can be a very painful experience if you do not have a plan.

What plan? You may ask. The answer to that is, every part of your business needs a plan from the start to the middle right to the end. The end plan is your exit strategy and you need to have that in place very early on, way before you think of selling.

Often people put their business on the market because of a reactive reason rather than a proactive reason, which means it, can go on the market before it is ready to be offered to the market, this can often deliver poor results.

The Hospitality Industry is a tough business to be in; there are many hours of sweat and sometimes tears going in to keeping the business viable. So when it comes time to sell you would like to think you can at least get back what you paid and hopefully some profit on top. Many business owners do very well when they sell but there are many who don’t. In fact, many never want to go into business ever again because of their painful experience.

When you put your business on the market make sure it is presented in the best possible light if you want to get the right result. If you were selling your house or your car you know you have a better chance of a higher price if they are presented well. It is no different with a business.

All businesses are different some are very profitable and some not so but they can all be presented at their best. Some business owners make the mistake of thinking- it does not matter anymore, the business is for sale, and they already have one foot out of the door before it is sold. This is financial suicide and can often lead to the business staying on the market for months and months and in some cases years.

I am a firm believer in common sense and I tell all my clients whose businesses I am selling that it is not rocket science. The secret to selling your business quickly and for a good price is to make your business desirable to a buyer. If a business ticks all the boxes… good set of books – good profits – ease of operation – adequate lease – affordable rent etc it will attract interested buyers quickly.

When working with a consultant or business broker, honesty is critical, it is no good bending the truth about the businesses performance and expecting the consultant or business broker to get you good results.

Often when I go to visit a potential client they talk their business up so much you would think they were trying to sell it to me. I won’t buy it but I have a better chance of selling it if I know the good and the bad. There is always a down side to a business and as a seller you are far better having that out in the open so it can be dealt with in the initial stages rather than trying to deal with it when a potential buyer has found out about it just before they were about to make an offer, that can be disastrous.

Cafes and restaurants are a vibrant part of our society, they are places where we start our day and end our day, and they are places where we meet friends or where we read the morning paper in the sun sipping on a great coffee while smelling the bacon and eggs cooking. They can be fun places to own and if run well they can be profitable, they will always continue to change owners, so if you are a seller or a buyer don’t forget…

“You will need a plan”

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