With confidence returning to the market, 2015 is proving to be a good time to sell your convenience store. But how can you maximise your sale price and what strategies might help your business to stand out from the crowd?
Make sure your paperwork is in tip-top order. Any buyer worth his or her salt will ask to see financial records for the past three years so they can quickly assess your business’s potential. While tax returns are often structured to minimise operating profits, your other financial documents – balance sheets, income and cash flow statements will help prospective buyers understand the earning potential of the store. Also, by providing organised financials, you’ll give the buyer an impression of a generally well-run business – and that’s all to the good.
Show how your convenience store is uniquely placed to bag its share of the market. What makes your store different? Are you in a superb, honeypot location with little in the way of competition? Do you sell products that others don’t? Highly differentiated stores usually enjoy a stronger market position – and, in turn, command a higher sales premium, so make sure to communicate those things that make your business special.
Prospective buyers are likely to base their first impressions of the business on the store’s immediate appeal. Evaluate the visual impact of your store – ask for a second opinion if you’re not sure you can be objective – and make the changes you need to present your store as smartly as you can. Simple improvements like a lick of paint, fresh signage and shelving can make a huge difference and attract buyers who want to move straight in and start trading without having to fix snags.
One of the first checks buyers make is to search online and examine your presence. So it makes sense to ensure your website is up to date, contains accurate information and reflects your brand image – you may have to make an investment here if it falls short of the mark. It’s no good sprucing up your store if its virtual counterpart is letting the side down. If you dabble in social media, spend some time increasing your following and reaching out to your audience. Combat any negative reviews with positive feedback and show you’re committed to excellent customer service.
Spend some time and effort to getting every aspect of your business into great shape and you’ll reap the rewards when you come to sell. Keep an eye on market trends and ask advice from professionals before you list. Bizdaq has an accurate valuation tool that takes into account your type of business, location and financials, so you can get a good idea of what your convenience store is worth at the outset. Remember that finding the right buyer can take time but if your business is in ready-to-go condition, you’ll have the best chance of securing an early sale at a favourable price.