As an entrepreneur and business consultant who has bought and sold many businesses, I am always surprised by how many people ask me how to find a liquor store for sale. One would think that despite the potential sales volume, state regulations would be too much of a hassle to buy a liquor store, but that must not be the case. Historically speaking, any time I’ve seen a “liquor store for sale” it hasn’t remained on the market for long.
Short of being a license to print money, there is still a lot of regulation in this industry, and while liquor sales remain strong in most areas, higher operating costs are starting to cut into profit margins, especially in highly competitive markets. As a result, it is very important to study the books very carefully and investigate everything before you buy a liquor store.
If you need help learning how to buy a liquor store, and how to make it more profitable, there are plenty of online resources that will provide you with valuable advice.
Here are a few of the tips I often give my clients:
- Make sure you fully understand why the current owner is selling, and make sure there are no “hidden reasons” that could make it difficult for a new owner to succeed.
- Find out every detail about the liquor license, including the state and local laws about transferring an existing liquor license to a new owner. If getting a new license is required, you may want to think twice before you buy a liquor store in that area.
- Carefully study what the current owner has done to be successful and be sure you can replicate it once you take over.
- The most successful liquor stores are ones that are closely managed for the most cost-effective inventory control. Learn as much as you can about this from the current owner others with similar experience.
Once you find a liquor store for sale in your area, don’t hesitate to contact the owner right away to express interest. Remember, you are not the only one who wants to buy a liquor store, so be prepared for a bidding war.