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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:

  1. 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. 

The hardest challenge every entrepreneur faces is convincing investors that your business model is feasible. Stakeholders definitely want proof that will tell them that you can deliver on your promise; and the option to prefer to a subscription model will do more than just lessen investors’ worries and concerns. Not only that, it will also give stability and permanence on your revenue stream.

Revenue streams can be ambiguous. As you create your retail business plans and models, you make assumptions and brief estimates on average order sizes and possible repeat purchases. You are too excited in anticipating your business successful in figures which can sometimes be uneducated.

That is the reason why there is subscriptions work – they remove the uncertainty.  Once you create a subscribers scheme every month, you simply estimate retention rates before you present revenue figures that both you and your investors can expect. We know that investors prefer business with long-term customers, and the best way to attract the sustainability of your business is by giving them a long list of valued subscribers.

Opportunity Thrives.

The subscription spaces are filled with opportunities and flush with models. By providing a cheap yet high-caliber product is the promise Dollar Shave Club made to its customers, which then give them a rapid success. Yes, this simple approach worked for them. The Club has been so effective on this strategy that Gillette has also began a subscription service.

Graze, a lunchbox and snacking services have few players on its consumer, product and lifestyle categories. However, most of them are in still in the early stages which haven’t established themselves as the premier option.

Everyone needs something and loves convenience. If you can make their lives simpler though a superior quality product then your idea is doable.

How to Get Right Subscriptions and Relationships

A weak relationship with your subscribers can be detrimental in your subscription service. Getting people in the door and signed up might be as easy as pie, but convincing them to upgrade their subscription levels will be very hard.

Building clients and brand ambassadors can be demanding. You need to create a relationship-centric content marketing and devise potential upsell strategies. This will show the fine line between a disrupting subscription services that succeed and the ones that fail. 

Birchbox is one of the most successful subscription companies. They focus on their customers and adopt the rewarding engagement system. For them, having customers to click on that “Subscribe!” button is not enough. They believe that in order to establish a continued success, you must excite your customers with upgrades and treat them as your trusted partner, not just as your customers. 

The subscription space is consistently giving many opportunities for entrepreneurs like you. Should you wish to try on this strategy, here are some advices you can consider:

  1. Don’t run after investments.

It sounds unreasonable to run after investments that may prevent you from creating a solid foundation. Ask yourself how far you can handle a business growth. From there, decide whether or not you choose a minimal investment with slower growth, or a maximum investment with volatile growth. 

2. Provide authentic consumer data.

People might love Picasso-themed wristwatches but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people will subscribe to a monthly wristwatch delivery service. So what does this mean then? Well, it means that is relevant for you to smartly identify who your target audience is. You need to be specific what they really want both qualitatively and quantitatively. Asking them questions that are relevant to your brand will definitely help you gather more data about your target market.

  • Know your enemy.

Not everyone get into the subscription space, but that doesn’t mean you have to play loose with your competitors. You need to keep an eye on the current players in the market. Investigate and emulate their strengths, and make their weakness to your advantage. Netflix have tried this approach and said that it is really hard to study your competitors for you to be ahead of the game.  

  • Identify what you are best.

You always have that one thing that you are best at. That is the secret of many subscription businesses. Figure out which part do you excel the most and use that to your advantage. Let’s consider SoulCycle which is a fitness studio. They offer various services like spinning classes, Pilates, yoga and Zumba but since they are best at cycling, they focused on that and positioned themselves as one of the best cycling gyms.   

  • Delight your customers with upsell and reward loyalty. 

Give your customers something to be excited about. You may offer multiple tiers, lengthen their subscriptions for a discount, or create a product community. Birchbox, for example, encourages their customers to post product video reviews in return of a reward. 

The subscription mode is undeniably a lucrative idea. The space is continuously growing and everyone is starting to embrace this approach. Do you think that switching to a subscription model will work for your business? If yes, then go ahead and give it a try.