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Top 10 Tips to Selling a Yogurt or Ice Cream Business

Being that Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers is located in Orlando, Florida, we see a lot of ice cream and yogurt shops.  While we don’t necessarily have one on every corner, we do have a lot of them.  Some do well and some don’t, but we get a lot of buyers looking for these types of businesses, so if you’re looking to sell here are the top 10 tips to selling an ice cream or yogurt shop business.

1) Keep your store clean and updated!  The days of the country cute store with 40-year-old curtains is over.  When customers see a clean and healthy looking store they will feel a lot better that the product they are consuming is also clean and healthy for them

2) Ice cream and yogurt shop buyers still want good books and records.  It is very tempting for retail business owners to accept cash for many $3 to $4 transactions and not report the cash.  After all, who would ever find out.  However this tactic hurts owners when they are looking to sell their business.  Many business owners feel that if they find someone who is in the business, that they will understand that there is cash that goes unreported.  The reality is that owners in the ice cream and yogurt shop business know that if an owner does not report their cash, they as buyers don’t have to accept that it is there and they can offer a lower price.

3) Put together some lists of brief processes and procedures and mention that you have these in place for potential business buyers.  Ice cream and yogurt businesses for sale attract a lot of first time business buyers.  Many first time business buyers are slightly intimidated to own and run their first business.  They are attracted to the ice cream and yogurt shop idea because they’ve been going to ice cream and yogurt shops since they were kids, so it is a business that they can identify with, one that they think they could get a handle of.   If a business seller tells a first time buyer that they have all the procedures in places of how to make everything, where to go for vendors, and what to do for emergencies, it will be a huge selling point over other businesses the buyers may be looking at.

4) Price your store to sell, if you want it to sell!  Too often ice cream shop and yogurt shop businesses come up for sale on the market and they do not make enough money to justify the price.   In many cases, especially with the new and trendy self-serve yogurt shop concepts in the market place, these retail shops are very expensive to build out.  A brand new store could cost an owner $250,000 to $400,000 to build out.  Even if a business owner is skilled at the art of building new stores, it will still cost them upwards of $150,000.  On average business buyers of this type of business will want to see a minimum of a 38 percent return of their investment within the first year for them to justify the price that they will pay.  If the business for sale makes little or no money, it will be up to the discretion of each buyer as to how much they feel the build out and the equipment will be worth before they decide on a price.

5) Have a marketing and advertising strategy in place for your business.  Most buyers falsely believe that when it comes to owning a yogurt and ice cream shop that location is everything.  It’s not!  In the Orlando and Central Florida area, all of the best located and most well-known ice cream yogurt shops in the area market and advertise their product in some way, shape or form.  Loyal fan email lists, facebook pages, websites, coupons, and local event sponsoring are all great ways to get the word out about the business.  Potential business buyers will feel more confident about the strength of the business they are buying.

6) Sell a product line that can be replicated.  As a business broker we cannot stress to sellers enough that when they sell a yogurt shop, ice cream shop or any type of food or restaurant business that they need to sell their recipes and proprietary information along with the business if they are hoping to get the best price.  What are the sellers saving it for?  And if it’s so important why are the seller’s selling their business?  This is something Buyers will ask and it will affect the final price in a deal or perhaps halt a deal altogether depending on the outcome.

7) Business name and trademarks are important, however sometimes the business owners find them so important that they refuse to give them up along with the sell of the business.  Just like the proprietary information on the product ingredients and suppliers, is the business trademark that important?  Is it worth costing you a $200,000 business sale?  For the best transactions, business owners should plan of having concepts and trademarks that they can sell to business buyers along with the business, equipment, and assets.  It is nothing more than what they themselves would request if they were purchasing a business.

8) One of the best tips for planning to sell a business unfortunately starts out way before when the business owner first develops the business.  While it may be too late for some owners reading this article, it is never to early for a business owner to plan out potential exit strategies for when they may have to sell their business.  Unfortunately there are too many tips to mention in this article, but the main tips we would offer owners starting up an ice cream or yogurt shop business is for them to focus on the business aspect of the business.  Future business owners in any case should figure out where they intend to draw customers from, how much of their product they think they can realistically sell, and how much they will make after covering all their fixed expenses.  Amazingly, most future ice cream and yogurt shop business owners fail to take just those few simple steps.  Don’t fall into that trap!

9) Branding and customer reviews matter!  If you’re trying to sell your ice cream or yogurt shop business please keep in mind that whether the store is doing well or not, the branding and customer reviews still matter.  Recently Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers sold a yogurt shop and it was not doing amazingly well financially, however the product was terrific and the online customer reviews showed this to be the case.  The new owners felt that they could turn the business around and they purchased it!

10) Hire a business broker!  If you’ve never sold a business before a skilled business broker can educate a seller on all of the above and much more.  They can give sellers an idea of what offers buyers might place on their business and what to expect by putting the business for sale on the open market.

For more information on selling your ice cream or yogurt store business please feel free to check out our website at or phone us at 407-478-4101.