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Just took a call from “Michigan Bill,” who reminded me that from the outside looking in, the view of the OCS and Micro Market business is very positive. Selling off his grocery stores, he wants an OCS operation, with Micro Markets, in a warm climate.

Bill understands that the OCS industry has taken a beating over the last 18 months. He knows that he will have to be creative and forward looking if he is going to make a deal for a quality OCS or Micro Market operation. He also realizes that 70% could be the new 100% in the workplace and when that will actually happen is anybody’s guess. Still, Bill wants in, for several reasons.

The allure of OCS and Micro Markets​

Bill acknowledges that he is tired of cold winters and that is why he is looking for a convenience services company to buy, ideally in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, the Carolinas, Nevada, New Mexico or California. “Come visit me in December and you’ll see what exactly what I am talking about,” he said.

But why the OCS business? Why Micro Markets?

“I have talked to a couple of local operators about the OCS and Micro Market business, and it sounds perfect. I see the power of coffee every day in my markets,” said Bill. “I know that things are down right now for operators, but it will come back. People can’t work from home forever.”

Plus – Bill pointed out that he certainly knows how to run a market.

Attracted by margins

“As an OCS operator, I will literally have to get used to charging more for items than I am accustomed to charging,” noted Bill. “OCS operators have no idea how good their margins are. Then again, one of the best margin items in my grocery stores is a cup of our gourmet coffee.”

Dealing B2B

Bill said that dealing with the general public on a day-to-day basis can really wear out a business owner. “Everybody complains about some of their customers, but I can’t tell you how much I look forward to dealing with other businesspeople,” he said.

Weekends off

“For once in my life, I would like to have a weekend off. In the grocery business, the weekends are crazy busy. In fact, your customers expect you to be up and running every day of the year,” said Bill. “OCS and Micro Market operators have no idea how challenging that is. Having a service tech on call or serving a special weekend account – that’s easy, especially with today’s staffing issues.”

OCS – A risky business?

“Being an operator is no riskier than anything else,” said Bill. “I have seen what weather can do to a business, like make it impossible for customers to get to your business, or cause damage to your building. If I never have to pay for another snowplowing service in my life, I will be happy.”

“If you become risk adverse, that’s when it is time to become a seller, not a buyer.”

Do the risks outweigh the benefits?

Bill makes a good point that is backed up by a recent article in Boss Magazine, which cites the risk associated with being in business today. Is the business keeping you up at night? Are you worried about the impact of cyber-attacks, tax laws, the latest COVID-19 variant or the impact of climate change on your business?

Is selling your company the right move for you and those who rely on your financial resources? If the risks outweigh the benefits, it may be the right time to develop your exit strategy.

We never lose sight of the fact that there is more than one buyer out there for your business. This is a defining characteristic of a “sell side broker.”

That is why I offer free resources like the 2021 Exit Strategy Planner. I want you to have your eyes wide open when you consider whether it is time to sell your business.


Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.

Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.

Order my free 2021 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.

Why make VBB Advisors a part of your team?

There are at least three very good reasons to talk to me about being a part of your team for this important chapter of your business journey.

  1. Experience – I have done more significant deals than any other business broker in our industry.

  2. Access to buyers – Throughout the pandemic, I have been in ongoing discussions with potential buyers, from both inside and outside the industry.

  3. We are a sell side broker – We only represent the seller. Everything we do is on behalf of the seller.

Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, the current frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.

I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Contact me for a confidential conversation and to explore the possibilities.

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