Making cosmetic changes to a company at the last minute before putting it on the market is a recipe for disappointment.
Planning and preparation for a transition is the way to go and entrepreneurs need to take the time to do it right.
- Ask the experts. Seek advisors with expertise in preparing a restaurant business for sale and conduct a formal valuation. Selling your restaurant is a monumental undertaking and may go against the grain for many entrepreneurs. Professional advice will help you go through the necessary steps more confidently.
- Boost your profits. In order to get a good offer, you need to show a profit. Who wants a business that's barely breaking even. Good retained earnings result in a healthy balance sheet, so don't move a lot of money out of the business accounts. Savvy buyers know that retained earnings indicated a healthy business with good reserves.
- Increase sales while lowering expenses. Look for ways to boost efficiency by cutting cost and controlling inventory closely. You may want to dust off your marketing plan and brainstorm ways to boost sales by updating your products or reaching new markets. If you focus on creating a wide base of customers, that also increases recurring revenue, which you can highlight to interested buyers.
- Invest in your bottom line and resale valuation by ensuring your kitchen and restaurant equipment is up-to-date. Online marketplaces and suppliers such as restaurantequipment.com make it easy and convenient to evaluate your current kitchen equipment, and replace any worn out appliances. When you stop investing in maintenance, equipment and improvements, the liquidation value of the business plummets.
- Know your strategic plan. Document a formal plan with measurable milestones that will give your business a fighting chance as a long-term going concern. The plan should include your elevator pitch to potential buyers.
- Empower your people. In order to empower your people, ongoing training and team meetings are crucial. If nothing else, you want your staff to be on their toes when potential investors drop by. A sharp staff also stays one step ahead of your customers' needs, which can help increase return visits.
- Stand out from the crowd. A unique business proposition helps you stand out from your competitor, which will, in turn, capture the attention of those looking to buy. Selling a restaurant presents a huge marketing conundrum. You need to make your menu, storefront and staff shine without having anyone get wind of the potential sale. Be sure to keep the dialogue centered on improvements to bolster the current business.
Even if you never go through with the sale, you'll reap the rewards of an efficient operation with low costs and high profits. This is either going to attract offers in the future, assuming you can maintain the momentum, or put more money in your business bank account.
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