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Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying A Liquor Store

By Richard Parker: President of The Resource Center for Buying a Liquor Store™ and author of How To Buy A Good Liquor Store At A Great Price© .


  1. “Do I have a strong work ethic?” – You cannot reasonably expect hard work from your employees unless you roll up your sleeves and work hard yourself. This is one reason why even absentee business owners get in the habit of being visible at the retail operations they own. While owning a good retail business can provide you with a great income, make no mistake; the hours are long, and you have to be there (not always – but most of the time), if you want to be successful.
  2. “Do my people skills measure up?” - Any retail enterprise ultimately succeeds or fails because of the owner’s interpersonal strengths – the “people” factor. To be effective, you need to interact well with customers, employees, suppliers, and everyone else. That requires assertiveness, tact, flexibility and patience. If you have these traits skill, you will naturally gravitate to hiring people with the same talents.
  3. “Am I completely honest?”– The people who work for you will take their cues from you in this critical area. If you fail to take the high road in all your business transactions, you cannot realistically expect honesty from your workers. And, when dealing with a business with multiple cash transactions, honesty is paramount.
  4. “Can I focus and follow through?” – When a customer or a supplier has an issue to discuss, you need to be able to stop, set other problems aside for a moment, and find a solution. The flip side of that skill is the ability to express your ideas clearly – both in speech and writing.
  5. “Am I a top negotiator?” -  To own a retail business is to negotiate! Any retailer has to negotiate on prices and service with suppliers, vendors, and service-providers. If you’re a “my way or the highway” kind of guy or gal, you’d do well to read one of the popular books on negotiation and learn new skills.
  6. “Do I have a positive, motivational attitude?” – In any organization, employees tend to adopt the attitude that they observe in the people at the top. That’s another way of saying that the more upbeat you are, the more positive your workforce will become.
  7. “Am I decisive?” – You can’t sit around, scratching your head, wondering what to do. When a wholesaler calls to offer you favorable terms, you can’t say, “I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” You need the courage to act quickly. Even in the smallest businesses, the owner makes countless decisions every day. Get used to it.
  8. “Can I solve complex problems?” Problems are the lifeblood of retail. If a team of shoplifters enters your store and then leaves with pockets full of your merchandise, should you call the police, give chase yourself, file a report with the police – or take some other course of action? Your ability to solve complex problems decisively – and quickly – is important in the retail trades.
  9. “Am I a natural politician?” - The most successful operators of retail businesses think politically. They get to know other businesspeople, take part in community organizations. They realize that doing business in any community requires a certain amount of political outreach and connectedness.
  10. “Do I have a reasonable, fair outlook?” - That means admitting your own mistakes, and not demanding perfection from the people who work for you. Should you expect hard work and commitment? Yes. But perfection? No. 

To learn more success secrets of top-performing liquor stores, be sure to order our guide, How to Buy a Good Liquor Store at a Great Price.

This article represents a fraction of what you’ll learn in How To Buy A Good Liquor Store At A Great Price© - the most widely used reference resource and strategy guide for anyone thinking about buying a liquor store. Read a detailed listing of what you'll learn.

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