Friday, June 5, 2020

Coffee and Business | Chip Langerak, Villa Coffeehouse

Chip Langerak
Becoming a business broker wasn't what Chip Langerak saw himself doing, but joining Arthur Berry & Co. four years ago allowed him the opportunity to help business owners sell their businesses and move into retirement. “Building the package, marketing the business, fielding the questions, pitching it to people, that's my specialty,” he explained.

In looking at what the coronavirus pandemic has done to businesses who are ready to sell Langerak says we have to see what happens going forward. “It won't have a huge impact on business evaluation unless it effects your business beyond now. Some businesses have been propped up by a vibrant economy.”

Langerak and his wife, Alexis, own The Villa Coffeehouse in downtown Idaho Falls (with another location in the lobby of Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center) and have been directly impacted by the pandemic. “We will survive. It may put us behind but we'll survive,” he said

When advising business owners who are looking to sell he suggests that at least three years prior the business owner should be thinking about the sale and what needs to be put in order to get the highest valuation. “The financials of a business are that business' curb appeal,” he said. About half the buyers he encounters are coming here from out of state. They are looking at financials, which means a business owner needs the financials to look as good as possible.

Asked what the number one mistake business owners make, he said, “I see not enough detail in financial reporting.”

The Langeraks have owned The Villa for eight years. Chip describes his wife as “the perfect operator” and attributes any success of The Villa to her.

“What drew us to The Villa was a love for the place. Ultimately we asked ourselves the question of is this something we could do for several years, and we knew it was,” he said. So many in the restaurant industry are focused on turning around tables but at The Villa they are happy to provide a space for people to spend time and feel comfortable. “It's built around the idea of community, and that's the part that's rewarding and we love about being here,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a dramatic decrease in sales. “The advice I would give to anyone in this position right now is adapt and adapt quickly and consider that change to be permanent,” he said. One of the adaptations they have implemented is a delivery service to Idaho Falls and Ammon.

Langerak admits to feelings of self-doubt, and thinks it's a common thing with business owners. “I think some of that comes from making entrepreneurship sound sexy,” he said. “We have to shift that thinking. We have to realize that those that are successful are closer to us that we realize. We are closer to that success than we know.”

A couple of thoughts he has for all business owners is to be thinking about their businesses and how they will transition no matter where they are. Start that process earlier than you need to. The second thing is to ignore the naysayers but don't let anyone talk you out of something that will bring you joy.

For more information on Arthur Berry and Co go to their site https://www.arthurberry.com/.
For more information on The Villa Coffeehouse visit their site at http://villacoffeeandcafe.com/. Remember, free delivery on orders over $10.