"The most complete program on buying a business that I have ever read." 
                             Peter Shea - Chairman and CEO - Entrepreneur Magazine

Program Outline Part One
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Program Outline Part Two
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This section will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the liquor store industry including ratios, trends and complete industry outlook.

While you may consider a liquor store to be a stable business, there have been, and continue to be, significant changes happening in the industry right now that will have a profound long-term impact on certain liquor store businesses currently listed for sale.

This up-to-date section will explain what those issues are, the effects they will have, and what looming threats are hovering that you absolutely need to know.

In this section you will learn:

  • Major trends and what they mean for any liquor store you might consider buying.
  • How the liquor store industry is impacted during various economic times.
  • Number of liquor stores currently in business and links to determine regional activity.
  • Breakdown by product of retail liquor store profits so you can compare these to specific businesses you may be investigating.
  • Understanding industry jargon.
  • What are the best sources to purchase wholesale supplies?
  • How the shift away from hard liquors is impacting the industry

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To the outsider, it is easy to state: “you’ve seen one liquor store; you’ve seen them all”. However, why is it that some barely stay in business, while others thrive? What is the difference? There are a whole host of factors and the more readily you can identify the winners, and walk from the losers, the more successful you will be.

In today’s ever-increasing competitive marketplace, the most profitable retail liquor store businesses share common traits that you certainly want to have in place. Or, at the very least, you need to know what this attributes are, and how to make sure you can add them to any liquor store you consider purchasing and at what cost.

In this section you will learn:

  • What specific location is deemed to the “gold-standard” or, the holy grail of locations?
  • Should you look for a location near a highway, a mall, or other specific area?
  • How you can network locally and uncover key information from real estate agents, other merchants. Chamber of Commerce members, local newspapers and City Hall staff.
  • Where to find “diamond in the rough” locations you can steal that other buyers will pass up.
  • What are the key factors that a liquor store needs to have in place to be attractive to prospective clients (this goes way beyond competitive prices).
  • Six fundamental issues that must be in place to drastically reduce potential crime.
  • What are the products and services that can actually hurt profits? (You are going to be very surprised.)

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In this section we'll review all of the considerations to be made: the upsides, the downsides, and all of the personal, professional and family considerations that must be factored into your decision.

There is only one reason "why" you should buy any business: because you want something better than whatever it is that you are presently doing. Most people spend their whole life "making a living" and completely forget to make any money!

There is absolutely no better investment vehicle than owning a good business and a liquor store is an excellent choice. Not stocks, not bonds, not even owning your own home. Whatever it is that you can possibly want in life from a financial and lifestyle perspective can be gained from owning your own business.

In this section, you will learn:

  • Understanding and outlining your reasons for buying.
  • Why business ownership is the quickest route to riches.
  • How to form the right attitude to buy that will immediately set your head straight for this project.
  • Why looking to "buy a job" is the wrong approach.
  • Learn to buy benefits and the future lifestyle that a liquor store will bring.
  • Discussion of the potential financial rewards.
  • Controlling your own destiny and the challenges to consider.
  • How to creatively attack any potential liquor store purchase.
  • Financial considerations you must make.
  • Learn the 12 things you must do today to get your finances in order to make a purchase.
  • Why you must realize that there is no such thing as a secure job unless you own the company!
  • How your past professional career has already prepared you for the risks you may face.
  • What are the downside possibilities?
  • How to overcome all obstacles if you've never been in business before.
  • A three-step system that will overcome any lack of experience you may have.
  • Understanding the objections and situations you will face with family members and how to include, not exclude, them.
  • The attitude you need if this process is new to you.
  • Deciding if you are window-shopping or committed to buying.
  • Why 90% never buy and how their "looking" paralyzes them to make any decisions.
  • Why your best chances of success are in buying an existing business.
  • The tax benefits of business ownership.  
  • How long will it take to buy the "perfect" liquor store business for sale? (By the way, there's no such thing. We'll explain why.)
  • Ready! Aim, Aim, Aim! Learn why others can't make that final leap and how you will avoid their dismal fate.
  • Preparation and completion of your Personal Financial Statement (interactive worksheet).

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Fundamental to your purchase is determining the most basic of factors: is this a good business? This section outlines the ten rules that cannot be bent, avoided or broken. Any business that you buy must subscribe to all ten.

For example: Commandment # 2- Buy A Good Business and Make It Great! Don't look to buy a cheap retail liquor store business; it's like a bad used car. You'll spend all of your time trying to patch 'leaks" and you'll have little or no time left for building the business. Buy a good business, a solid one, that through your talents, can grow and flourish. Start off with a strong foundation and build from there!

In this section you will learn:

Commandment # 1 - Pay For The Past, Consider The Present, But Buy It For The Future!

  • The past financials will help determine the purchase price, but they do NOT guarantee what the business will look like in the future.
  • You must evaluate the business for what it can expect to provide you with after you buy it.

Commandment # 2 - Buy A Good Business and Make It Great!

  • All good businesses possess certain common features; you'll learn how to determine whether the one you're considering already has these in place.

Commandment # 3 - Ingredients Are NOTHING Without A Recipe.

  • After the purchase, can you put all parts of the store together into one cohesive unit poised for growth, and at what cost?

Commandment # 4 - Fall In Love With the Profit, NOT the Product!

  • You'll learn how this traps so many others when they get emotional about the business before they buy it and their judgment is forever clouded. You must remain objective!

Commandment # 5 - Do What You Do Best and You'll Manage The Rest

  • Making certain that you already possess what the business really needs.

Commandment # 6 - Autopilot - (can the business be put on "cruise control"?)

  • In order to grow any business, you must take advantage of technology - can this business improve it's systems and run on its own so you can focus your attention on driving the profits?
  • Where can you access the technology and what are the costs?

Commandment # 7 - Determining What Holds "The Gold"

  • Nearly all businesses possess certain components that the current seller has not exploited.
  • You'll learn how to identify these sometimes "hidden" values.

Commandment # 8 - The Three Personal Things That Every Business Must Possess

  • You MUST be able to explain it in simple terms to others.
  • You MUST be able to explain it with great enthusiasm.
  • It MUST be a business that makes you very proud.

Commandment # 9 - Evaluating and Identifying What's Not Perfect Yet

  • No liquor store business is perfect and every business needs attention. Sometimes the smallest improvements yield the greatest results. You'll learn how to pinpoint all of them.

Commandment # 10 - What's It Worth To YOU?

  • Only you can truly evaluate the benefits of any venture. You'll understand how to take a realistic approach to this crucial exercise.

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This lesson is so important! Quite often, people who want to buy a retail liquor store, end up purchasing something completely different. This section will be a tremendous help to not only identify what type of liquor store is right for you, but will also help you truly determine if that is the industry you should pursue. In other words, it's the ultimate reality check.

Many buyers fail to recognize what business is right for them. Only you know what it is; nobody can tell you what's right. You know your talents, your strengths, and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. Don't be delusional. Don't pretend you're something that you're not. The really successful people are those who realize that they don't know it all. Focus your search on businesses that will grow from your strengths and not suffer from your weaknesses.

As long as you match your greatest strengths to the right business, you can't help but be successful.

In this section you will learn:

  • A complete review and evaluation of the knowledge you already own.
  • Identifying potential businesses that can benefit from your strengths and not suffer from your weaknesses.
  • Discussion of your areas of familiarity.
  • Identifying the industry you know best .  
  • Targeting businesses that you've always liked.
  • Establishing expectations that are realistic and achievable.
  • The sacrifices you must be willing to make.
  • Clearly identifying what "drives" you (money, the need to build something, control of your own destiny, independence?).
  • Understanding, dealing and overcoming restrictions you may have.
  • Identifying the job functions that you like to do (we tend to be better at the things we enjoy)
  • Recognizing specific tasks that you don't enjoy.
  • Discussion of your individual strengths.
  • Honestly identifying weaknesses, how to deal with them and understanding their role.
  • Income expectations.
  •  Why turning a hobby into a business is not a good idea

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Every jurisdiction has specific laws and licensing that govern the sale of retail liquor stores. While this does present some challenges, the key for any buyer is to have a clear understanding of what's involved and how to ensure you have the proper licenses in pace to operate the business.

In this section you will learn:

  • Getting the initial information about licenses and who to approach for this data.
  • Understanding the four main license scenarios.
  • Reviewing the existing license to determine if it is transferrable.
  • Analyzing the open market that trades in liquor licenses.
  • Knowing the type of license you need to operate.
  • Lists and contact information for all state licensing authorities.
  • When there may be moratoriums on new licenses and how to deal with it.
  • How to operate the business if you cannot obtain a license in time to close the deal.

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This lesson will set your schedule for buying a liquor store in a fraction of the time it takes others. You will learn what time you must devote to each phase of the process and how to avoid wasting time like so many other people do. Your search will be highly focused; your attention will be on businesses that make sense for you.

The average "buyer" spends over a year looking for a business and then there's a ninety-percent chance that they will drop out. The longer you look, the greater the chances you'll never buy!

Instead of looking at one business after another trying to decide if any are right, you will know what businesses may be right for you, and then you'll find them.

Life is short; opportunity comes in a second and disappears in an instant. There is far too much potential upside to not complete this project in the shortest time possible and move on to earn the benefits that you so richly deserve!

In this section you will learn:

  • The real truth about time management, its importance, and how to control your time.
  • Buying process timeline and schedules to be met from beginning (course study completion) to the end (your purchase of a retail liquor store business).
  • Learn what traps most people into becoming chronic lookers.
  • The strategy you need to follow to get this done quickly and right!
  • Specific steps to take that will cut the average buying time by 70%.
  • How to get all of the information you need quickly and easily on any liquor store without spending a dime.
  • Use interactive worksheets that will prepare you for any possible situation that you will encounter.
  • How to get the seller and broker to work on your timelines.
  • Why all other parties will procrastinate at every chance and how to keep things moving.
  • Outlining your buying schedule and the tasks to be completed for each step.
  • Seven things to do immediately so you won't get delayed later on.

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If you don't know what to look for precisely, it's difficult, if not impossible, to find the real good liquor store businesses for sale. The longer you look, the greater the chances you'll never buy. Remember, this is a buying process, not a looking process!

After reading this section,  you will know exactly how to identify good potential businesses.

This section is a comprehensive examination of all the resources available to you. You will learn how to properly review every resource where liquor stores are listed for sale. You will understand what to look for specifically in the local newspaper and online and in the individual broker listings.

Recently, we conducted an interesting project: we spent ninety minutes on the Internet, bought three local Sunday papers and reviewed four popular business magazines. We wanted to get a feel for what the average person faces when they decided to look for a business that particular week. We found over 150,000 businesses available for sale.

If you do not know where to look, what to look for, and how to tear apart liquor store for sale listings, well good luck - because you will spend the rest of your days looking!

In this section you will learn:

  • Examination of all the resources that are available to you.
  • The best places for you to find a wide array of liquor stores for sale.
  • What to look for specifically in the classified section.
  • How to interpret the business broker listings in the paper.
  • Which prospective liquor stores for sale should you pursue and which ones to toss aside.
  • How to get far more information than is published.
  • How to identify key "for sale by owner" listings.
  • Understanding the "attitude" of every "for sale by owner" seller.
  • Learn why you must wait before calling the seller.
  • How to dissect buyer-listing sheets quickly and focus solely on ones that are right for you.
  • Publications to use and ones to avoid.
  • Who to contact at the various publications and get them to give you great industry information and potential available retail liquor store businesses for sale.
  • The Internet - a complete review of all of the websites.
  • Listing of the best websites for business for sale listings.
  • How to avoid hours of useless searching.
  • Utilizing the networks of Lawyers and Accountants.
  • Getting your network to help solicit businesses for you (at no cost).
  • Networking with banks and other lenders.
  • Using the local Chamber of Commerce as a tool and how to get in even if you do not qualify for membership.
  • Leveraging friends, family and business contacts.

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Buying a business is a project that combines several individual stages. No single part is more important than another, somewhat like the spokes on a wheel. If you do a great job with everything but neglect the due diligence phase, you won't make the right decision. You can put all the pieces together but overlook preparing for the and you will fall short.

START RIGHT: Begin right and set the proper foundation - that's the key. To do so, you must be well-organized. If you do not properly sort, record, review and file Multiple Listings for example, you won't have the luxury of reviewing comparative listings as you narrow the search. Get off to the right start. By organizing yourself from the very beginning, each stage can build upon the last one. This lesson will show you how to get set up, the files you need, how to log the mountains of information, and how to successfully retrieve what you need in a moment's notice.

In this section you will learn:

  • Making organization a priority.
  • A complete list of all of the items that you will need to effectively begin the search.
  • Specific file that you need to set up.
  • A proven system to manage all of the paper.
  • Keeping the paper under control, and at your fingertips.
  • Organizing the business for sale listing sheets and offering documents.
  • What to highlight and identify in the individual business listings.
  • Discussion of Non Disclosure Forms and what you should and should not sign (this is VERY important!).
  • Dissecting the initial financial information.
  • How to catalog individual businesses.
  • Gathering the banking information you will need.
  • Creating the due diligence worksheets and "post-purchase" fto do iles.
  • Review of the money required for the search.

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Most inexperienced buyers make the terrible assumption that all they need to do is hire a business broker and presto, the right business will come to them. Nothing is further from the truth!

A good broker can help you but the wrong one will prove to be a monumental waste of your time!

A business broker cannot and will not do your work!

Remember, when using a business broker, unless you have hired them and are paying them, they do NOT represent you. They either represent the seller or the deal - ALWAYS! The seller pays their commission even when they may be a co-broker on the deal (when it is not their listing) and so they are immediately in a conflict of interest.

A business broker's goal is to sell you ANY business; not necessarily the right one!

We recommend that you "use" a business broker to help you in three specific areas:

  • providing access to available businesses for sale through their database of multiple listings.
  • delivering bad news to the seller.
  • helping to keep the deal moving and getting all the documents in order

In this section you will learn:

  • Should you even use one? (Yes you should, but you must use the right one.)
  • Understanding why and how you must show them you're a serious buyer (because they probably won't even return your emails/phone calls until then).
  • How can brokers help you.
  • How they can hurt you.
  • What's in it for them?
  • Who pays their commission and why this is important?
  • Is their commission negotiable and how to get them to reduce it to help you pay for a business?
  • What are the obligations you may have to the broker.
  • How to find a good business broker.
  • Websites to use to find local ones.
  • Your strategy on your first call to them.
  • Setting up a meetings with a potential broker.
  • Learn one great technique that will immediately identify how effective they will be.
  • 18 Questions to ask each business broker when YOU interview THEM.
  • Checking out their references with former buyers and sellers.
  • The 17 Questions to ask their current clients.
  • How to get a broker to show you ALL the listings and the ones that may be "reserved " for someone else.
  • Understanding how the brokers negotiate with the seller.
  • Should you use the broker's contacts (professionals, banks, etc.).
  • How to handle businesses that you may find on your own.
  • Review and case study of the Broker Listings, Non Disclosure Forms and Multiple Listing Sheets.
  • Exhibits and forms they will want you to sign (understand why you can't agree to some of them).

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EVERY BUSINESS BUYER NEEDS TO KNOW ONE THING: Every single business is for sale, even those that are not currently listed. Under the right conditions every owner would sell. Wouldn't you? The right liquor store for you may in fact be one that is not currently on the market. Why limit yourself to strictly what is listed on the open-market?

You will learn how to creatively approach every prospective business, even those that may not be “on the market” currently. You will learn how to present yourself properly to the seller without being perceived as overly eager (which will cause the seller to believe you will overpay).  You will also be equipped with the skills you need to convince someone to sell you their business even though they may say that it's not for sale.

In this section you will learn:

  • Understanding the reasons why every business owner will sell and how to get them excited about doing so.
  • The six conditions by which sellers choose to sell.
  • Identifying under-valued and potential candidates.
  • Learn how to tune in to every business you come across and see their strengths and weaknesses.
  • The program includes sample letters to send out to potential businesses (some of our clients have enjoyed over 40 percent response rates).  
  • Proven strategies to approach and solicit a liquor store that is not currently for sale.

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Regardless of what size business that you are looking to purchase, you'll need to use the services of both an accountant and lawyer. When it comes to buying a liquor store, and all of the problems you could inherit if you are not prudent, well, it is easy to see why you need the right lawyer. They will be a defense mechanism for you to be certain that anything that you agree to is legal and binding, and to ensure that you are well aware of and protected from any risk or exposure.

Fairness, reason and balance should be sought. Don't let lawyers screw up your deal - they are very capable of doing just that. Remember, the lawyer's role is simply to write in "legalese" what you and the seller have agreed upon and to be certain you are insulated from potential problems.

You'll learn how to hire them, and what questions to ask that will assure you of engaging the right professionals who can assist you in your purchase and not simply take your money for drawing up contracts. 

In this section you will learn:

  • Complete discussion on accountants and lawyers and the way they operate.
  • Understand why they can ruin every deal.
  • What role can they play in getting you a better deal.
  • The protections they can offer.
  • How they can help you.
  • Leveraging their contacts.
  • How to avoid the traps that many fall into and pay a fortune for services you can easily do on your own.
  • How to choose them.
  • 9 key questions to ask them to be sure that they're right for you.
  • Checking their references.
  • Getting free information from them.
  • Why you need a retail specialist?
  • Setting the parameters of the relationship.
  • 20 key points to cover in your first meeting.
  • Negotiating their fees (everything is negotiable!).
  • How to keep them focused on your work.
  • Why big fees don't necessarily mean that they are any good.
  • Eleven Surefire Ways to save money on their fees (this is bulletproof!).

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A fear or lack of knowledge in accounting must not, will not and cannot prevent you from buying a retail liquor store business.The beauty of accounting is that it's based on numbers and numbers don't lie. Sellers may lie, but not numbers.

The bad news is that many liquor store owners keep poor records and so you need to know your stuff so you don't get ripped off!

Financial Statements follow a similar pattern from one business to the next so the format will become familiar to you quickly and our approach will have you feeling confident and comfortable within an hour. It is really very easy to gain a grasp on this area quickly and effectively.

You will learn how to properly interpret Financial Statements in one hour! 

In this section you will learn:

  • A complete overview of accounting in simple terms.
  • Defining "accounting" for the most inexperienced buyer.
  • Understand why a lack of accounting cannot prevent you from purchasing a business.
  • How to reconstruct figures to learn the truth. 
  • Learning all of the ways that a seller can manipulate the financials to make them look better than they are.
  • Perform an interactive exercise that can save you thousands of dollars, not to mention a lot of aggravation.
  • Why accounting is "overrated".
  • Learn what aspects of accounting can give you a glimpse of the future.
  • A case study that will clearly define the accounting basics.
  • If you can add, subtract multiply and divide, you've got most of it covered.
  • Matching debits and credits.
  • Understanding time and its relationship within accounting.
  • Understanding the difference between Cash and Accrual Accounting.
  • What many people fail to overlook.
  • Learn all the buzz words so sellers will know you're an expert.
  • Real-life examples, worksheets and case studies.
  • The different periods in the life of a business.
  • The Balance Sheet (interactive worksheet).
  • Defining Net Worth.
  • Valuing Assets.
  • Understanding Liabilities.
  • Determining Owner's Equity.
  • The Income Statement (interactive worksheet).
  • Understanding the various types of revenues and expenses and their meaning and impact.


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