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Does Curb Appeal Really Help Sell A Business?

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Comments & Replies: 4     Views: 3369     Posted By: Rob Hartman  Rob Hartman, Business Broker, SF Bay Area



Topics: Selling A Business     Tags: selling a business


Contributor: Business Broker: LA County Area

Terrific article Craig. I've found over the years that many owners don't bother to clean up because it seems like such an awesome and awful task. They often don't know where to start, so they never try. They fall in love with the term "as is." To these owners I point them to one thought - the magic of paint! A new paint job may cost a couple grand along with some time and effort, but the transformation is often incredible. Especially with retail and other businesses where comfort and cleanliness is a big part of the customer experience. The unintended benefit is that the painting and prepping usually leads to cleaning up space and tossing out clutter that's been there for years. It can make a huge difference when it's time to sell.


Craig's post is "essential reading" for any prospective business seller. Curb appeal is critically important, not just to the amount of the final sale price, but also to whether there will be a sale at all.

And, Brian's comment about a fresh coat of paint illustrates how "do-able" enhancing curb appeal can be.

A few other pointers:

- Get rid of outdated posters, notices, and displays.
- De-clutter.... The more open space there is the larger the premises will appear and the more efficient the operation will seem.
- Lighten up.... The effect of more sunshine coming in or higher-wattage bulbs is amazing.
- Empty the trash.
- Make sure the restrooms are spotless. People form generalized opinions about the whole establishment based on the appearance of the lavatories. It's indicative of how you treat and respect your employees and customers. Same goes for the staff kitchen or break area.
- If the business has an office, clear the desks. Few things scare prospective buyers more than piles of paperwork.

Now for the real secret -- when business owners improve their "curb appeal," they are usually pleasantly surprised to find that their team's efficiency, productivity, and profitability improve as well.


Great article Craig.

I tell my clients to think about what people like most about franchise restaurants and businesses like 7-11 convenience stores. Corporate stores like In-n-Out Burgers are clean, bright, and have easy to read menus. 7-11 stores, with the exception of decals in the windows for monthly specials, also have clean windows and the store is brightly lit inside. I have gone into mini-marts where the entire windows are covered with posters, and inside is dark with missing fluorescent bulbs.

Just because a small business does not have the cache of a well know name is no excuse for the business not to be clean. Every Burger King, either in California to Maine, probably has the same guidelines on when the bathroom should be cleaned and whose responsibility it is to take out the trash. I often times will go into a public restrooms and on the wall is a clipboard with who cleaned it and their initials they wrote every hour it got done.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area

McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.

Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.


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