In all aspects of life, timing plays an important role. If you’re playing the stock market, for example, timing is what is going to either make you or break you. In sports, excellent timing is the one trait that separates the great from the average. The idea is, no matter what you’re doing, timing should be considered before you make any major decision.

This couldn’t be more true of buying and selling liquor Bar & Restaurant Businesses. If you’re thinking of getting out of or into the bar or restaurant business, consider these tips to help you time everything just right and set yourself up for success.

When Should I Buy?

The bar and restaurant business is already difficult enough. If you add bad timing to the mix, you’re just waiting for a disaster to happen. First-timers have a variety of problems and obstacles that they must overcome in order to succeed. One of the biggest of these hurdles is finding the right time to open their business. When I talk about timing to new operators, they don’t seem to understand what a burden “bad timing” can create for them in terms of lost dollars and higher expenses. “Try to wait,” I tell them. “All you will have in January is no business and high utilities.”

Every single business owner out there has good and bad times of the year. It’s nothing new that our business runs in cycles for different venues. But every bar and restaurant owner in Pittsburgh can probably attest to the fact that business is almost nonexistent during a big snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. Thus, if you don’t already have your business up and running prior to the holidays, the dead of winter is clearly a horrible time to start.

Instead, try to plan your grand opening as strategically as possible. If you’re in Shadyside area of Pittsburgh, for example, you might time your opening to coincide prior to fall or even the shadyside arts festivals which attracts thousands of visitors.

When Should I Sell?

We have seen sellers who timed the sale of their business so poorly that they went out of business before they had time to properly market their bar or restaurant for sale because they didn’t have an exit strategy in place  You could also put the restaurant up for sale when it is not ready to either. We’ll cover that in a separate article.

One of the most common questions our brokerage division gets from bar or restaurant owners looking to sell is, “How long will it take?” Of course, the answer to this question depends on how quickly we can locate a buyer who wants a business in that specific area and/or size. Kitchen size…… Is confidentiality important? Unless the business is closed down we work confidentially. Working confidentially takes longer than selling a commercial piece of property with a large sign or house listed in a multi-list.

As for how long will it take to sell my liquor license?  Selling a Bar or Restaurant timing plays a key role and exists with license sales as well. lIt is all about timing which equates to supply and demand. If your license happens to be the only license available, you can ask to get top dollar. If there are many others, you will be more reliant on the market value. The Bottom Line

When you talk to a financial advisor about retiring or putting money away in an organized fashion, they talk about one, two or five-year plans. That’s because planning and timing coincide with each other.

In your business, make sure that you have a similar plan for its cycle. When you think it might be time to make a big decision and either buy or sell, make sure your timing is spot on. By doing so you’re contributing to maximizing the value of the sale. If you’d like some guidance to get the timing just right, contact us and speak to one of our expert team members here at Specialty Group who would be happy to help.