How to sell your business in 2021

From startups out of runway to side project started last weekend

Reality sucks

Launch a new startup, side gig or whatever venture just to shut it down a few months later with a suitcase full of broken dreams, and a boatload of cash less.

That’s the norm. Everywhere.

Nothing wrong with it to an extent, as you have to take risks and all of that.

If you’ve been through the process before however, you might feel a bit “iffy” about starting it once more, especially if your past has been mainly, if not only, riddled with projects that don’t really bring money in.

And there you were dreaming of taking those office for the day pictures in Bali :D

Starting any type of new business is going to involve creating so much of everything, just to see so little of it work. And being aware of that, makes you look at the process in a very different way, because essentially you know you are about to produce a shit-ton of waste in the odd chance that things work out and you make sales, somehow sustain and grow them, and maybe, just maybe one day get acquired or go public.

If you are a gambler those odds must look beyond fucky. Lots of risk, questionable reward.

A new hope

The good news is the odds are improving. There is an increasing number of platforms that allow you to sell your company/project and some even appear to be legit.

Exchange

I got exited some years back when I came across Exchange, a marketplace where you can buy and sell dropshipping or e-commerce websites. 99% of the offers have zero traffic or questionable (fake af) numbers. Nevertheless, a real place to sell your website. For real.

If you are suspicious, Exchange is now owned by Shopify. It all makes sense as Exchange was owned by Oberlo, a solution to build dropshipping websites using Shopify stores.

If you see a “brand”, or better a design you like and you know you are good at online marketing for example, this site could save you weeks of messing around with names, domains and whatnot. To me this is essentially a way to buy a domain I can work with for a project or a way to kickstart a project rapidly if I’m stuck in analysis-paralysis. Don’t think for a second you are buying a user base.


Microacquire

Microacquire has become the leader in terms of reputation. It’s very simple, you list some key metrics, buyers look at them without knowing specifically what company they are looking at. If you both agree on the price, they have a framework and procedures that enable the transfer in a simple and legal way, making it safe for both parties.

It’s simple, it’s transparent, it works and it’s becoming popular. Cool.

One of the latest offers I read about, was for $10k for a 2 week old company with 7 non recurring sales. Sometimes people know something you don’t, other times people are just stupid with more money than sense. You can sell either way :)


All other options

These are all the other platforms I could find. Keep in mind, I haven’t done any due diligence on most of them yet, but some are bound to catch up in terms of popularity.

A special mention goes to Amazon brands. There is an increasing amount of successful past founders who are starting their investment funds to acquire Amazon brands as they see a lot more value in using their skills to scale what’s selling rather than create new concepts from scratch.


Should you sell?

lol, as if I would know.

If it makes you happy and pays the bills, probably no. If you have no particular feelings towards it and you have a pipeline of other ideas to test (and won’t bitch about it if they later become successful) then definitely yes.

If you are holding on for dear life because one days this project that has barely generated any sales will make you a billionaire, well… you might need to find out the hard way before you are ready to see the light.


How much can you sell for?

If you have a good project with recurring revenue, low churn rate and an overall low risk, even if you don’t have many customers or sales, you might think you don’t have much, but you definitely have something worth selling. In fact, a project like that would most likely receive some aggressive offers in order to close within the first day.

You would be looking at anything from “5k to “50k+ for it.

If you really want to get a number but don’t want to go crazy, here you can get a good framework to put a value on a SAAS company.


Conclusion

If you start projects and instantly daydream about exit scenarios, rejoice! It’s no longer just a fantasy.

When you are putting a ton of time and your soul into a project and things aren’t happening, it’s good to know you are likely generating some valuable assets along the way that can be monetized.

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