Selling a business can be hard work and an extremely long process. It can be a minefield, and as well as putting time into preparing your business for sale, you’ll also need to work tirelessly to keep the company healthy and profitable before and during the business selling process.
Selling a café or a bistro can be difficult because it is currently a highly competitive industry, with plenty of options for buyers - so you’ll have to go even further to impress buyers with your café and business premises.
With a fierce market to compete with, it’s recommended that you get expert advice from a business broker if you want to sell a café for the best possible price. There are hundreds of food business listings for sale throughout New Zealand at any one point in time, so how will your business stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips we have gathered over the years to help you attract the attention of serious buyers.
1. Focus on the books
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re trying to sell; buyers and financers will be mostly interested in one thing – profitability. The appearance of your business premises and a high footfall in the area is of course a factor, but the most important thing to bring to the table is evidence of a healthy and sustainable profit margin.
2. Understand buyer motives
Try and look at your business from a buyer’s point of view. People buy businesses for different reasons so you should understand these and make your business attractive to a range of buyers. Why is your café a valuable asset and what sort of buyers should it attract?
3. Boost curb appeal
When selling a customer facing business, the same rules apply to selling a residential property – a café must look appealing from the outside. To some buyers the physical condition of the business may be just as central as the financial position, so make sure the outside of the shop looks its best. Some fresh paint and clean windows can make a positive impact. If a buyer doesn’t think the café can attract their ideal customer base, they might not bother looking inside.
4. Good food and service
It’s not unusual for potential buyers of a food business to visit as a customer and sample the food for themselves. This means you might get mystery shopped at any point, so you need to be offering a great customer experience around the clock.
5. Emphasise online presence
The majority of businesses these days require a good online presence to stay competitive and communicate with customers. Businesses with websites and active social media accounts can be much more appealing for many buyers as they don’t have to pay extra to set these up themselves after the sale.
6. Invest in marketing
A reasonable investment in marketing to introduce the business to the broadest range of possible buyers should be undertaken to help push your business in front of every other opportunity currently in the marketplace. Many businesses are purchased by buyers who are not necessarily active in looking to acquire, but will respond when they see an opportunity arise; hence we need to maximise the chances of their ‘happening across’ your business.
Contact Jono Kennedy or one of the Otago Team to discuss selling your hospitality business today.
021 045 3871