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Selling a Coffee Shop? Follow These 5 Steps To Success

Posted On: 10/02/2019 / By:
Selling A Business

Our society has a special relationship with coffee shops. We meet friends, treat ourselves, and even host meetings in them. As such, it’s no surprise that the coffee and snack shop industry has grown to a $51 billion industry. If you’re thinking of selling a coffee shop, the good news is it may be the perfect time to cash-in.

How to Sell a Coffee Shop

IBISWorld reports that the demand for the coffee and snack shop industry continues to increase faster than other segments of the food sector. The combination of health-conscious consumers and the desire for affordable, convenient options have made coffeehouses a commodity. Whether you’re retiring or have your eye on a new venture, it’s essential to prepare your business for sale carefully. Utilize the following steps to set the sale of your coffee shop up for success.

  1. Plan Your Exit

different drinks from above in a coffee shop

Before you list your coffee shop, you’ll need to plan out how you, as the coffee shop owner, plan to leave the business. Potential buyers will want to have a clear picture of how the company will run without you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How quickly do you plan on leaving? Are you able to stay on while the new owner learns the ropes, or do you need to move on immediately?
  • Are your plans dependent on the sale of your coffee shop?
  • Do your employees plan to stay with the coffee shop after the transfer of ownership? Baristas, in particular, can develop a special relationship with your customer base. Consider how their presence, or departure, could impact the future of your coffee business.
  • How will the transfer of ownership take place?
  • If you’re selling a coffee franchise, do you know the terms related to selling? Check your agreement before pursuing a buyer.

Answering these questions will help you get a better picture of what you need to do. Plus, it will set you up to avoid issues that could complicate, or even terminate, the sale.

  1. Get Organized

Another crucial step in preparing your coffee shop for sale is getting all your paperwork in order. Those interested in buying a coffee shop will want to see records of everything from tax statements, inventory, contracts, leases, and more. Consider working with an accountant or lawyer to help you organize all your legal documents. Make sure that a potential business owner has all the information they need to feel confident about the sale.

  1. Assess and Improve

One of the most critical factors in the success of a coffee shop is having a great location with significant foot traffic in the area. Although you can’t pick up and move your shop to make it more attractive, you should make sure it’s in the best possible shape for a sale. Address any weaknesses in your daily operations, marketing strategy, and pricing and develop a plan for improvement. Taking time to address any issues will make sure that your coffee business is showcased as a great opportunity for a potential business owner.

Make sure things are clean, tidy, and running smoothly. There’s no need to do anything drastic, as the new owner will likely have different ideas for the shop. That said, replacing older coffee machines and grinders or putting up a fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards enhancing a prospective buyer’s perspective of your shop. Another inexpensive option is to implement a social media marketing plan. Select a few platforms, and start sharing content to encourage a broader range of customers to visit your shop.

In addition, consider the customer experience that you’re offering your clientele. Does your coffee shop provide free wi-fi to encourage customers to sit and stay for a while? Your coffee business probably already provides a variety of lattes, high-quality coffee beans, and espresso. To give your customer base a boost, consider networking with other small businesses in the area that might be interested in partnering to offer ice cream, smoothies, or craft beer at your shop.

  1. Determine the Value of Your Coffee Shop

When valuing your coffee shop, it’s best to turn to a third-party for help. Often, the emotional attachment to the business can cloud your judgment. Receiving a formal business valuation from an accountant or business broker is the best way to determine a fair asking price. Also, there are different approaches to valuing a business, and things can get complicated.

  1. List Your Coffee Shop for Sale

Finally, you’ll need to list your coffee shop for sale. While you can list the business yourself, it’s often simpler to hire a broker. Professional business brokers have the industry experience to know how to successfully market your coffee shop to get you a fast and profitable sale. Plus, they can take care of the grunt work and guide you through the process from start to finish so that you can stay focused on the day-to-day operations.

If you’re prepared to list your coffee shop for sale, consider working with Sunbelt Business Brokers. Our years of experience connecting buyers and sellers means you can depend on our brokers to sell your coffee shop for the best price possible. Contact a Sunbelt office near you to get started selling your coffee shop today!


Brian Knoderer

Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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