Get rid of the tyre kickers early on.

A lot of cafe owners that I talk to about selling their cafe ask me about how to deal with time wasters or “tyre kickers” as they are affectionately known.

I also see a lot of private sale averts saying things like “No Time Wasters” the irony here is that although they are few and far between time wasters don’t actually know that they are time wasters.

If you advertise the right way then dealing with enquiries in the early stages does not need to be nearly as time consuming as you might think it is.

The reality with the sale process is that the real work begins once you have got through this early stage and you have accepted an offer (but that’s a whole separate post on its own)

When you advertise your business for sale, the WAY that you advertise it and WHERE you advertise it will make a big difference to the volume and quality of leads that you generate.

Regardless of what you decide to do you will want a system in place in filter the leads as they come in so that you are only talking to serious buyers.

Think about asking buyers to take a simple action such as signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before giving out any information about your business.

You would be surprised how many buyers can’t be bothered to do this, with our listings we follow up 5-6 times to chase people to return these. We use multiple methods such as email, phone, SMS and messenger.

If we do not get the signed form back after that we assume that they can’t be that serious and we then remove them from our list.

I don’t know about you but whenever I was seriously looking to buy a business I had no problem being asked to sign and return an NDA, in fact I expected it.

If you get somebody objecting to doing this then it’s unlikely they are that serious, chances are they are just being nosey or are a competitor or both!

Once you have the signed form back the next stage is to qualify them over the phone, resist giving out too much information just yet. Getting the buyer on the phone is your first chance to make sure that they are a good fit for your business.

This stage is not just about you just answering questions to do with the business it allows you to make sure that they are genuine, that they have the ability, funds and experience required to proceed with the sale.

Plenty of people might be interested in your business but not all of them are going to stack up, keep control here and for the remainder of the deal.




Release Some Information

Once you have gone through these two stages and you feel like they may be a qualified buyer for your shop then it’s time to send out the business profile.

The business profile will give the buyer just enough information to confirm that your business is exactly what they are looking for. At this stage you do not want to give away too much confidential information, let’s leave that until you have qualified them face to face.

This document will also save you answering too many questions about things like the lease, liquor license, staff etc. Our document is about 20 -25 pages but to be honest if you are selling on your own a 4-5 page Word document would probably do it.

Think of this step as selling an appointment to come and look at the business rather than selling the business itself.

You know that when they take time out for an inspection they are genuinely keen, this is also where (when done right) you can get them emotionally engaged with the thought of buying your business.

The face to face meeting is also the perfect time to finish your qualifying process, when you get the hang of this you end up getting more information than you give.

At the end of this meeting you should have enough information about the buyer to know whether or not they are genuinely interested and whether or not they are qualified to buy.

Remember also that in the current market, more than ever, you need to present a good case to your landlord to have the lease assignment granted. Putting in some work at this part of the deal with save you a lot of time and stress later on.

There is nothing worse than thinking that you have sold only to find that the landlord does not approve your buyer.

Once you have your buyer fully qualified then you can move more into sales mode and of course try and move then towards an offer and from there hopefully towards settlement.

To summarise, don’t give out too much information early on, especially the confidential stuff. Ask the buyer to make some small commitments such as signing the non disclosure agreement, taking a call to discuss the business, reviewing the profile and then coming down to see you.

I hope that you find this useful, as mentioned above try and stay in control of the process and make sure that you sell on your terms.

If you would like to learn more about preparing your cafe for sale then why not book in a call with us. On this 30 min call we will cover the following with you:

  • What the current market value of your cafe might be.
  • The steps you need to take to prepare for the sale.
  • What the market is like at the moment.
  • How to make sure that your cafe stands the best possible chance of selling.
  • What the market is like at the moment.


There is no charge for this call and there is no obligation. At the end of the call if we think that we can help you we will let you know about how we work and, if we don’t think we can help we will give you some advice about alternative options.

Either way you will come off of the call with a much clearer idea about the potential value of your business and of what you need to do next to achieve a sale.

Click on the link below to book in a time that suits you best, once you have selected a time you will be taken to a form which has around 6-7 questions about your business that will help us to get a better understanding and save time on the call.

Book your call here