Let’s say your business has skyrocket its sales and it’s everything that you have envisioned it to be. In short, the business is sustainable enough for you to move on to exit and move on to your next business venture.
Many entrepreneurs do this. If the business has a promising return, they will sell their business in exchange of a huge amount of money. But how it’s really like selling a business? What do you need to know? It’s not as easy as pie… You need to have strategies.
Here are five successful entrepreneurs sharing their secrets of a graceful business exit:
- Build Exposure Engines
Young CEO of Devise, Jeff Taylor sold a seven-figure fitness website some years ago.
If you aren’t familiar with exposure engines, the idea is quite simple. It’s about getting your listing seen on as many high-visibility websites as possible. It’s worth digging a little deeper into the topic if you’re starting to plan your exit.
Building exposure engines mean getting your website highly visible and well-visited by many people. High traffic websites are highly profitable, so that’s how it is.
Jeff Taylor said “First focus on quality and user experience. After that focus on creating exposure engines. Exposure engines can be organic or paid. Taking the time to develop a large social media page can pay dividends over the course of time. These exposure engines can put thousands of eyeballs on your content in minutes. They provide a strong launch pad for what you’re offering. With these launch pads, if the offering is quality, it’s hard to fail.”
Taylor emphasizes that the selling process was arduous but gratifying. You have to make your analytics convince investors to buy your seven-figure business. It would not come easy; investors will scrutinize meticulously before diving in.
- Prepare long before you start.
Mike Angell, a self-taught programmer and owner of Evulse says, “…the best thing you can do is prepare your site for sale well before you even consider selling it. This means doing all the little things such as making all the domain names, hosting accounts etc. under their own entity.”
While Jeff Taylor describes the process as time-consuming, Mike Angell finds the selling process simple and direct. He stressed that if you wish to sell your business, better start preparing early on to make the transfer process less hassle and painless.
- Consult a Broker.
A New-York based entrepreneur Allan Kong explained: “Make sure to speak to a broker a half year or year before you sell. You’ll learn what can make your business much more attractive to prospective buyers, which makes for a much easier sale when you’re ready.”
Allan believes that a broker can help you identify what buyers are looking for, which will make it easier for you to make adjustments ahead on, hence, making a smooth-sailing selling process.
- Keep records. Document.
Tim Seidler of Get Niche Quick has earned his employment income through the websites he has developed.
“Keep records. Document your earnings, annotate your analytics, save your receipts. Buyers want proof and they want you to back up that proof. You having these things ready will not only expedite the process, but it’ll give the buyers confidence that you and your site are the real deal”, he said.
For him, transparency is the key. Potential buyers will likely be convinced when you backed your sales pitch with documents, records and receipts. Numbers will make it easier for them to make a decision whether or not to buy your business.
- Create systems and processes.
Brian Casel, an experienced web designer and a podcaster have built WordPress templates, successful SaaS service, and educational resources said: “If you’re new at this, like I was, it never hurts to ask a lot of questions. A good broker will answer all of them and then some. As for the business itself, do as much as you can to prepare it to be sellable. Focus on systems, processes, and do as much as you can to remove yourself from the day-to-day so that a new owner can easily take over.”
Casel agrees with Allan Kong to consult a broker first before getting into the real deal. Casel believes that a broker will help you figure out a more tailored step in transitioning your business to the new owner. He highlights to make a system where you, the seller and the buyer will have lesser supervision and involvement in the process.
Many technopreneurs dream of a successful online business exit. This has become a trend for the new generation entrepreneurs, where they work real hard for a project, build it, sell it – and enjoy its fruits falling endlessly while venturing into new business. It’s like building an empire after empire. Others may take some time to recuperate; others spend long vacations traveling from one place to the other, while others start their own coaching and consulting businesses.
If you dream of big for yourself and for others — then selling a business can be a good starting point. You just have to put your heart, time and all-out effort for it to flourish successfully.
So are you ready? Are you willing to adopt and accept the challenge of these 5 entrepreneurs? Are you willing to seek help and advice from veteran brokers? Do you think you can you prepare yourself and your business ahead on before getting too much excited of selling it? Are you confident to create a system and lay out procedures for a smooth-running business?
These questions shouldn’t scare you; these should inspire. So yes, go for it! The MAEXIT framework is to make your idea sellable to visitors and attractive to investors.