A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

10 things you could do in your newsagency business to make it more valuable when you choose to sell

Here are 10 things newsagents could do in their businesses to make them more valuable when it comes time to sell. based on my years of experience working with newsagents and, yes, owning newsagency businesses, most items on this list will be ignored most of the time.

  • Declutter. An appealing looking business is easier to sell. On the shop floor, at the counter, in the back room – declutter and make the business more appealing to you, prospective buyers and customers.
  • Deal with old stock. Old stock is worthless to you and anyone being the business. Keeping it is a waste of space, time and cash. This work starts with you knowing what is old stock. Note: a business doing this for the first time will usually find that a third of their current stock is performing well below what is average for the business.
  • Review unprofitable activity. Look carefully at each category of product or service you offer. Get to an accurate understanding of the value of each. Consider quitting those that are under performing.
  • Trim the roster. Labour costs around 11% of revenue. Every dollar saved is a dollar that benefits the P&L. Yes, this likely means more hours for you. It all depends what you want out of the business.
  • Price for margin. While plenty of retailers pressure suppliers for lower prices, too few actively consider what they could sell some items for, missing the opportunity for a better margin. Where you can, price for a better margin.
  • Document. Write up your processes, systems you follow and more. Document this and make the business easier to run and appear easier to run. The documenting process itself is likely to lead to efficiency opportunities uncovered. The resulting documentation will make the business more appealing.
  • Clean up online. Review your Facebook, Google and other listings. Make sure they are current for if they are not it reflects poorly on the business.
  • Reduce debt. I see too many retail businesses where debt is used with an expectation that it will be dealt with when the business is sold. Clean it up now as much as you are able. The less interest you pay the more money the business makes.
  • Review opening hours. Often in business data I see opening hours opportunities – either for longer hours or shorter hours. be guided by your business data.
  • Balance sheet clean up. While selling a retail business will often not include selling the company structure, the tidiness of your balance sheet may not be ideal for that time you do come to sell. It’s better you discover this and work on it prior to needing to.

This list could be considerably longer. My goal is to encourage newsagents top consider what they can do in their businesses today to make them more valuable when they do choose to sell.

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