has anyone here taken over a chocolate shop/store? and can share what to look for and what questions…

has anyone here taken over a chocolate shop/store? and can share what to look for and what questions to ask?

@greenbergeli - The first thing you want to ask about is the books. You need to find out what costs are and gross revenues.

Is the business a going concern? What is the customer base? Is there an email list or other lists? What does the local community think about the product? Can you change the product mix without upsetting the core customer constituency?

Do you need to invest in renovating the shop? Is the place clean? Well lighted? Kitted out in a way that supports the name/brand? How old is the equipment and what state is it in? Are there employees who are going to stay around who know how everything gets made? Are the recipes written down? Is the owner going to stay on for a while and teach you how everything is done? Who are the suppliers and what sort of terms do you have with them? What is the competition (have you visited all of them and see how your business is differentiated from them)?

What do you like about the chocolate business? Do you like business (and want to spend your time on things like managing and growing the business)? Do you like front-line customer service (and want to be behind the counter all day)? Or do you like production (and want to spend most of your time in the kitchen)? As the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of a small business you are going to be splitting your time among these tasks. But you should really have a good handle on what excites you most about the business.

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