Newsagents are at the heart of many towns and villages throughout the UK, with the industry bringing a total revenue of £2.4 billion.
However, as the nation increasingly turns to technology to read their news, and with online retailers capitalising on stationary sales, many shop owners are struggling to stay afloat. Here’s some tips on how to sell your newsagent business:
Improve your curb appeal
Repaint your building and replace any broken signs or outdoor lighting to improve your newsagent frontage to potential buyers. Make sure the pavement outside your store is kept clean and maintain any steps leading to your shop to keep visitors safe.
First impressions can go a long way; make sure your window displays are simple yet effective. Get creative and come up with unique, seasonal and eye-catching displays. You should make sure all client’s advertisements are presented clearly.
Consider landscaping and include some greenery outside your shopfront; hanging baskets or plant pots is a great way to inject some colour and stand out on the high street. You could also use a sandwich board to advertise your services, e.g. printing.
Have clear objectives
Many entrepreneurs will have an exit strategy in place long before they decide to list their business on the market. However detailed your plan is, you cannot predict the economic climate and current uncontrollable factors may affect the sale process.
It’s important to have patience and understand your main priorities and what you hope to gain from the sale of your newsagents. For example, will you wait out for the best possible price? Or do you prefer to sell the business as quickly as possible?
Hiring a business broker or speaking with your accountant or solicitor can help you establish how best to achieve your main objectives. Appointing an impartial, unbiased professional to handle the sale will help when determining a fair valuation.
Communicating sale proceedings
Whether you’re retiring or plan to set up shop elsewhere, you will need to inform your employees about the sale. Once you’ve found the right buyer, you can discuss and establish whether they are keen to keep the current staff and managers in place.
The amount of notice you must give your staff will depend on how long they’ve been working for you. For example, less than two years of service will require one week’s notice. Research these procedures thoroughly so you don’t breach any regulations.
It is also important to communicate the sale of your newsagents to your suppliers and loyal customers. If it’s a private sale, wait until the deal has been finalised before making it public knowledge; some vendors prefer to advertise the proposition locally.
It’s very easy to get so caught up in selling the business that the daily operations fall by the wayside. You need to maintain healthy turnover figures and profit margins throughout the sale; if you let the ball drop it could be detrimental to the sale price.
You should still be continually improving the business; if there are any issues or concerns, it’s best to deal with them before you put your newsagents on the market. You need to eliminate any weaknesses to have the upper hand during negotiations.
You should also have all your books in order; potential buyers will usually want to review the last three years of accounts. Make sure any important documents, such as lease agreements or permit paperwork, is all readily available for buyers to review.