Author Topic: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!  (Read 721 times)

Nad

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Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« on: March 14, 2017, 07:24:14 PM »
Hey guys,

I've been contemplating selling my business for some time now. I created a watch brand a few years ago which I'm selling online.

Selling my business would bring me to FI.

I'd love to hear your stories about how you sold your business. How did you go about it? How did you know it was time to move on? What did you do after?

CargoBiker

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 09:56:35 PM »
If you're primarily selling online, I can help you some.  I'm going through the process now of getting my business sold.

I spoke with 3 different brokers, my favorite was Quietlight. They were professional, upfront, and had the lowest commission quoted to me at 10%. 

A broker functions a lot like a real estate agent.  They'll vet the buyers, set up a 3-way call with the serious ones, help go through the process, help draw up agreements, and of course expose your business/site to their network of buyers.

Beware of the broker that will try and hook you into an exclusive arrangement by giving you unrealistic multiples that he could sell your business for.  They get you in the exclusive, and then after a month of no one interested, they drop the price back down, but now you're stuck with them for the next 6 months.



Reasons for selling:  I have another business I want to get into, no longer interested in the products I sell, and some gut feelings about the future of the market I'm in.  I want to get out while things are going well, like you would when selling a house.

Nad

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 03:46:43 PM »
Nice, thanks for sharing. I'll check Quietlight out. Please do keep us updated about the progress of your sale!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 06:47:14 AM »
I sold 2 businesses. One was a Franchise I got in early, had 9 stores around the midwest and the company sold to a fortune 500 who said they wanted to grow the franchise business. I didn't buy into it. At the time I was President of the franchise committee so used that as leverage, call the company and they said " I am leaving for Israel in 20 minutes lets get this done. That one I doubled my money which was good!
 
The second one I had for 25+ years, made a great income and was offered quite a bit for it around the 20 year mark BUT i was like I can make that in .......years so why bother and it was running itself. Kick myself in the ass 5 years later I really was done, wanted to get out as the industry was changing. Couldn't really sell for to much so basically sold the accounts to my good employees and took my cash flow.

I have been looking to buy a business I can do from home so I dont have to deal with employees and make some side hustle cash but to no prevail so far.

Good Luck! wish you the best!
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Fishindude

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 07:01:08 AM »
Yep, just sold my business of 30+ years.
This was a lengthy process; hand picked a few young employees that were interested, sold them some stock to give them skin in the game, set up good accounting systems to value the business, worked with them for several years then sold out.  Profits from the company will pay me off over several years and there are covenants in place to prevent them from skimming profits until I'm paid off.  I remain part time, low paid employee and on board of directors until paid off.  So far has been a good deal for all.   They are getting into ownership of a good business for a pretty low entry fee, and I am getting max value out of sale of the company.

nawhite

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 02:52:08 PM »
We live in an RV full time while still working remotely. Check it out at http://therecklesschoice.com

khizr

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 11:34:53 AM »
Hey guys,

I've been contemplating selling my business for some time now. I created a watch brand a few years ago which I'm selling online.

Selling my business would bring me to FI.

I'd love to hear your stories about how you sold your business. How did you go about it? How did you know it was time to move on? What did you do after?
I've sold quite a few, and bought quite a few.

My first one it was because it was too small and the stress of going 24/7 was too much. I had a really nice job offer and it was a great opportunity so I sold the business. It was a good move and lead to some really great things.
*So after this one I took a job and enjoyed not having responsibility. That lasted about 6 months and started something on the side which eventually turned in #2.

The second time it was because I was getting bored and because the business I was in was mostly around content and I wanted to get into actually providing more services/value to people. Also because it was a really nice exit that gave me a tremendous amount of freedom.
*After this I took a big trip for a month to Thailand with my gf, then spent ~9 months off. Did some SEO consulting and just rested and thought about what next. Eventually on month 10 closed a deal to buy #3.

The third time it was because my business partner was having a bit of a mid life crisis and causing immense stress on me. After a year of it I had no other choice. It was a very good exit and I was sad because the business was getting really fun, but it was also a good time to get out of that industry.
*The after on this was a fucking mess. 17-month handover process which was bad and a lot of other stuff. I had to roll right into the next business as it was a spin out from assetts + team already running.

The fourth time because I was burned out and ready to take 9 months off and then move into a new industry.
*After this one taking 9 months off just to relax, regroup, and playing with some side projects.

I have a fantastic lawyer who I have used 5+ times and LOVE (100% remote and never actually met him face to face). He specializes in this sort of thing (acquisitions on both sides), esp tech and makes everything easy. Hit me up via PM if you want to chat, I am happy to share a lot of the pitfalls and problems I hit in each and so on. I can't recommend him enough.

Be prepared if you sell and this is a chunk of money to be very careful. Also be prepared to freak out in terms of time and identity the first time. It is a lot like feeling retired and not having anything to do when you were so busy and so wrapped up in an identity. It sounds silly but it happens.

I do not like brokers, some very bad experiences and not sure they add value if you know your industry.

Let me know if you want to do a skype or hangout, happy to tell you some common pitfalls I hit.

kurtnyc

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2017, 01:13:53 PM »

I do not like brokers, some very bad experiences and not sure they add value if you know your industry.

Let me know if you want to do a skype or hangout, happy to tell you some common pitfalls I hit.

thanks for this story, your in NC? me too. I'm new to this but curious how your buying/selling outside of the brokerages. I would imaging that is a better way to buy possibly. I'll pm you. thx
just gettin' this going, NYC escapee

khizr

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Re: Have you sold a business? Share your experience!
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 03:09:30 PM »

I do not like brokers, some very bad experiences and not sure they add value if you know your industry.

Let me know if you want to do a skype or hangout, happy to tell you some common pitfalls I hit.

thanks for this story, your in NC? me too. I'm new to this but curious how your buying/selling outside of the brokerages. I would imaging that is a better way to buy possibly. I'll pm you. thx
I think the forum defaulted to the wrong state for the city i put in :), not in NC.

Yep, rather than a broker there are a lot of places to list your business now to get eyes on, just you have to discern who is a serious buyer and who is not. If you are looking for SAAS or websites there are a ton of great brokers like:
FE International - https://feinternational.com/
More here that I don't know as well:
https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-business-brokerage-firms-that-specialize-in-the-buying-and-selling-of-SaaS-companies