Advice for anyone considering buying a local retail newsagency

Buying a newsagency can be a good move. They are solid businesses with plenty of opportunity. From the traditional to the innovative, the local Aussie retail newsagency is a good business to own, one in which new retailers and experienced retailers can thrive.

newsXpress helps local Aussie retail newsagents make the most from their businesses.

There has been a surge of interest in buying a newsagency in the last couple of years. It makes sense. newsagencies are good businesses to own. Hard work, for sure, but good solid businesses that can improve in value.

Retail businesses in our channel are appealing, and, looking out in the market, there are some excellent opportunities.

A common question we are asked by people who find me through is what should I ask for when looking at buying a newsagency?

The question itself, when asked, indicates how green a prospective purchaser is when it comes to purchasing a business. Our first advice is that they better understand the newsagency business of today, to understand what they could be buying into.

There are newsagencies for sale today that are ready to run, and that are easy to run. There are others that need some love and attention. Either could be right for you, depending on your circumstances and what you are looking for.

This is why it is important to you are sure about what it is you are looking for from a retail newsagency you buy. Yes, it starts with what you want.

Here is an updated list of data we suggest prospective newsagency business purchasers access from the vendor or their representative:

P&L from the accountant for the last two years. i.e. not a spreadsheet created for the purpose.

A list of add-backs used to achieve a profit figure on which the asking price is based.

Tax returns for the same two years. While note always appropriate given business structures, they can provide a cross check with the accountant P&L.

Sales data reports, for the last two years, from the POS software in use – to verify the income claim. This source data is key.

Sales data reports from the lottery terminal to verify the income claim.

BAS forms to confirm data in the P&L.

A list of all inventory in the business including the purchase price and date last sold for each item. And, copies of invoices from which you can randomly select to verify.

A copy of the shop lease.

A copy of any leases the vendor expects you to take on board.

A list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.

A list of all employees: name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave and accrued long service leave.

This is good basic information, a starting point, which will enable any purchaser to undertake reasonable assessment of a business.

Our advice to newsagents looking to sell who may be concerned about this list is: think about it now and focus on your business so the data we have listed looks good. The time to prepare your newsagency for sale is every day you are in the business.

This is why we say every day is your pay day. Run a smart, lean and profit focused business and you will have a good pay day today and a good one when you come to sell.

The most appealing businesses are those that are easier to run and are making money.

Sure a purchaser can turn a business around. They should get the rewards if they are expected to do that for your business.

The price you can sell your business for will be based on what it is making now.

But back to those considering buying a newsagency:

Know what you want.

Know what you are capable of.

Know what you could achieve in a retail newsagency.

Buy based on opportunity.

Own the decisions yourself. It would be a mistake to buy a business Ess solely based on what someone else tells you you can do if they themselves are not going to be there to help you achieve those things. It’s why we say you need to own the decisions yourself in terms off what you can do.

newsXpress supports local retail newsagents. We do offer advice and practical help. we nurture, encourage and train. We provide a toolkit and commercial opportunities.

newsXpress can be the sounding board, the support network, the well of assistance. But, ultimately, your local retail newsagency is yours to run how you choose.

newsXpress can be a good support for anyone buying their first newsagency business. We can help you achieve.

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I am a Director of newsXpress, a marketing group for newsagents keen for a bright future. You can reach me on +61 418 321 338 or mark[at]

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