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How to Sell a Convenience Store

Read on for tips to make selling your convenience store easier.

If you have a convenience store in South Africa, you will be aware of the hard work that it takes to run it successfully. Most convenience stores have long hours and they are open on weekends and public holidays. 

There are a lot of businesses that have gone from informal spaza shops to formalised convenience stores over the years. If you are one of the people who have managed to grow your business this successfully, it might be time for you to sell and reap the rewards.

Read on to discover what it takes to get the best price for your business and get through the process unscathed.


Preparing for the sale

There are a lot of convenience stores that are run as cash-based businesses. This often means that not all transactions are recorded in a formal manner. If you are going to sell, you will need to get your business organised and make sure there is a clear record of stock, payments and sales in the years leading up to the sale.

There are also numerous convenience stores in South Africa so make sure your business stands out. How are you different from the shop down the road? There are convenience shops that have seen their turnover leap ahead by offering hot food. Think about selling flame-grilled chicken or pies that customers can come in and grab on the go. 

While changing things in the years leading up to the sale of your business may sound counter-intuitive, being able to demonstrate growth will add great value. Preparing for the sale far in advance will make sure that you are able to get the highest possible price in the sale.


Convenience is key

It seems unnecessary to point it out, but the linchpin of your business is the convenience it offers to your customers. Use this aspect of it to market to potential buyers.

Be sure to do your research so that you can offer them insight into potential housing developments that may offer a larger pool of customers to the business in the future. If you want to be able to sell your business, you need to have a clear idea of who your customers are and why they are coming to you.

If you are clear on these aspects of your business, you can make them clear to potential buyers. Buyers will be focused on the future and will want to be secure in the knowledge that they will be able to grow the business and make returns on their investment.


Marketing your businessSell Your Business

Some of the people that will be most familiar with your business are the local community. It can be very useful to advertise in local publications and even on local notice boards. You may even want to put up a notice in your own shop about the sale.

If you want to reach a wider audience, consider advertising online. Because your store might only be known to those in the local community, finding potential buyers from further afield means getting the word out there using tools like online business marketplaces.

Alternatively, you could use a business broker. Find someone that has experience selling businesses like yours and someone that you trust. This can be a long and difficult process and so the people you choose to work with will be important as it is vital you have a good relationship with them.

Bruce Hakutizwi

About the author

USA and International Manager for, a global online marketplace for buying and selling small medium size businesses. The website has over 60,000 business listings and attracts over 1.5 million buyers to the site every month.