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Buying a Retail Business: A Buyer’s Checklist


Man and woman working behind the counter in a clothing store


The retail sector is massive and there are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs. To make sure you find the right opportunity, though, you will need to have a clear plan beforehand. That’s why we have put together a checklist for you to follow and keep you on the right track.

Read through it and see that, as long as you have done your research and understood the process and the sector, there is no reason that you should not find the ideal business for you and your success!


The finance

Before you begin looking for a business, you will need to know where you will be getting the money to buy it. Ideally, you will have money saved that will allow you to purchase it without any strings attached.

This is, of course, not a reality for most as buying a retail business will take a considerable outlay of money. While you should be looking at a business that is within your budget, and there are a huge range of options, you can also identify ways that you will raise the money that you need.

A bank is usually the most obvious way to get the money that you need. There are other options though like seller financing, or angel investors. Make sure that you have identified how you will finance the purchase of your business before you set out on the journey of buying a business.


The business plan

Creating a business plan will be a vital step in applying for financing but it is also a good way for you to organise you goals and expectations along with realistic projections. Your business plan should act as a road map that will keep you on track.

The business plan will help you with all the other points of the checklist and so make sure not to miss this step! Until you have your ideas written down in a logical way, they are just dreams.


The location

If you are buying a bricks and mortar store, you will need to focus on the location of the business. The footfall that goes past your shop is an important part of the business that you will be doing.

While an online presence can really add to your brand and your sales, getting people through your doors is the way that you will really drive sales. Make sure that you know what locations will work for the type of retail business that you will be looking to buy so you know where to look.

Don’t forget to research whether there are any planned changes to the location where you are going to buy. It can be devastating to business owners to find the perfect business just to have a new development open up nearby resulting in a dramatic reduction of sales.


The business

Be specific about what business you are looking to buy. You will need to take a lot of factors into account when deciding this. Consider the trends in retail. What businesses will be all but defunct in the coming years?

Buying a business is also a commitment. You will be spending a lot of time with your business, its products and the customers that it attracts. Find a retail business you’re passionate about so that this is something you look forward to doing over the coming years.


Your goals

Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? Does this business fit into your plans? If you are hoping to buy this business and run it until you retire, you might be looking for a lifestyle business.

If, however, you are hoping to run this business for a few years, increase its profits and then sell it and make some money, is this the kind of business that has a lot of room for growth? You will need to identify where you will be able to make improvements to the business to dramatically increase what it is currently turning over.



By Matthew Hernon is an Account Manager at Dynamis looking after Business Transfer Agents and Franchises across and