Many shop owners start out thinking of a business that fits in with their lives, the family, social nights out!
Those dreams soon disappear and realise that they are shackled to their business. It is the business that demands of them. The long days soon turn into long weeks, months, and then years.
So you decided to sell – assuming that’s the reason you’re reading this page.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid when selling an off-license shop
1. Failing to Plan is Planning for Failure
Don’t expect your shop to sell immediately when you put it on the market. Too many shop keepers think that they soon as they’ve decided to sell our going to have a buyer waiting.
Plan a date you want to be out of the business and start ‘courting’ buyers. Tell agents you’re looking to sell and start marketing your off-licence or an empty shop. Some property owners elect to pay VAT so check your VAT status.
2. Using the right broker to represent your business
Brokers make their money by selling a business. They will pick and choose the one that will give the fastest sale.
• They will consider the turnover of the shop or off-license.
• The location
• Accounting ledgers
• The price you want for it
Getting the wrong broker will cost in time and having marketed by one agent after the next will only prostitute your business.
You don’t need to be waiting 6 months before you realise you are with the wrong agent. So do your research and get the right one.
3. Being a marketer
Do not rely entirely on your broker to ensure a sale. Keep your eyes and ears open for a buyer.
The best seller of your business is you. You know your off license or store better than anyone. And you are more motivated and passionate about your business than the agent.
Get proactive about it and reach out to friends and family that may know of a potential buyer.
Getting the right price
Most start selling their business with unreal expectations’ not only of time but that of price. The ‘blood, sweat, and tears, have a price – but the accounting books tell the true story of your business.
It’s not difficult to price your business and it’s based on:
• The Off-Licence or Store – Turnover and Profit
• The Property – Whether it is an operational business or to sell an empty shop.
If you’re realistic about these then you will have priced your business.
4. Find the right person to sell to
Taking the first offer tends to be the longest one. Many have not researched your business industry nor sector. They tend to think of an off-license or store as a ‘panacea’ to all their life needs.
Once they find out the true realities of running a business they tend to fall out of the process quickly, wasting your time and expectations.
Identify the buyer that understands what is needed, that they show a good commercial brain and above all they have the money to buy the business.
Many buyers start the process by finding out what they think they can buy! That usually means an off-license or store well outside of their commercial means.
Once you have identified a potential buyer, ask them ‘How are they going to buy the business?’ This question will put many buyers’ ‘noses out of joint’, as it challenges their ability to buy the business. good savvy buyer would probably respond – ‘How much do you want for your business?’ Putting your nose out of joint – which probably means you are talking to a potential buyer.
To Sell Vacant Shop then go to
Frequency Asked Questions about what to do about empty shops
- What is a vacant shop worth?
Many factors affect the value of an empty property, which can make it difficult to pinpoint an exact number. A few primary influencers are rental rates of properties in the area, the size and business classification of the property, and its distance to areas like schools or hospitals. In general, smaller commercial properties tend to have a lower value than larger ones. It’s also important to note that sometimes it is not just what is on the inside that makes a space valuable–exposure (e.g., storefronts in densely populated locations) or location (e.g., on busy street fronts), among other factors, play a large role in determining whether any given commercial space will be economically viable for rent – therefore influencing how much it is worth
- What would you do to create demand for your shop?
You could try to come up with a unique product that’s not available anywhere else, or drive enough traffic to make it more worthwhile to your customers. The latter is a more realistic goal for a small business, and something that could be achieved with a strong local marketing campaign: I.e., an MP cutting a ribbon. Many shops act as hubs for other shops
- What changes could be done to attract more traffic?
For your empty commercial unit, there are two things you need to do to attract more customers: 1. Publish a blog about the products and services you provide, and 2. Start a Facebook page and a Twitter account and use them actively. It’s important to have a website that attracts more customers. You can use your website to show pictures of any products and services and also write blog posts about the specific needs of my customer. The information on the website can attract customers who are more interested in what the website is offering. And the website can also be a bridge between the customers and me. You can post the location of your shop, and some information about the shop’s unique products.
- If the city won’t change, what other option does a property owner have to boost rent and put a shop in service again (e.g., turning it into a residential home)?
An empty property owner has more options than just residential or commercial premises. One of those options is to hire a property manager so they can convert the building into individual units for short term lease. Others may opt to turn the site into a mixed-use development, which often has separate entrances and parking spaces for both commercial and recreational use (a combination that creates vibrant streetscapes). Although it’s not possible to guarantee what type of tenant will move in, an experienced broker will be able to inspect the location of your commercial properties and advise you on what you can feasibly charge in rent.
- How do you think the liveability of an area will fare if there is nothing but residential spaces and no commercial ones available?
Empty shop premises, also known as vacant shops, mean more than just the loss of a business. It’s a symbol of there being little in the way of options available for residents and customers. As this is true for areas across the world, empty shops have been one underlying factor in why communities are becoming less liveable. This situation is exacerbated by the trend to offer up big blocks as retail space which leaves only little pockets of traditional stores left amid increasingly uninteresting retail parks that surround them. That said we’re seeing some economies recovering from this malaise with new investment and innovative approaches like pop-up stores and multi-functional stores springing up everywhere from an old petrol station through to local shop hosting services – like drop off parcel points, dry cleaners, money transfer shops, and etc.
- How do councils plan to ensure the neighbourhood stays vibrant when there is an abundance of empty shops?
There is no easy solution to the problem of empty stores. Empty shops can be due to several factors such as a change in customer preferences changing lifestyles, or changes in the economy. The council is faced with having to respond as quickly as it can if we are to retain vitality and vibrancy though other measures may need to be considered. Trying new things has paid off before – such as when living breathing sculptures were installed outside galleries round Barking Riverside, which prompted people outside cafés and restaurants. Your council may have a regeneration plan – so it is advisable to seek whether there are grants or advice available.