Wife Asked Me About Selling My Business Tonight...

43 replies
When discussing our upcoming vacation this week (actually a poker tournament I'm entering), my wife asked me if I would make any money selling my online business (forum handle, IM website, clients, etc - the whole thing)

I do very well so I never really seriously considered it. Anyone with experience with such an undertaking want to throw in your two cents? Does the 12x-15x monthly profits apply to such a business or does that more or less apply only to the AdSense/Affiliate style site?

Would there even be a market for such an offering?
#asked #interesting #question #tonight #wife
  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    Yes and no. It used to be good on the return, with flippa though and the other online website selling businesses I fill as though they threw us under the bus. I have sold a few and now I only get about six months return on my investment.

    If you have the google analytic's and everything in order and use a escrow service you should do half way well. I sell alot of my websites. I build them make money when it dwindles a bit, I sell and get a fast return.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137029].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Yeah, but I'm talking about my entire business. Documented income is from several products (plugins, guides, etc) and website builds. It would include client lists, forum handles, etc.

    I'm curious if anyone has ever sold such a business (rather than just websites).
    Signature
    Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137038].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      Yeah, but I'm talking about my entire business. Documented income is from several products (plugins, guides, etc) and website builds. It would include client lists, forum handles, etc.

      I'm curious if anyone has ever sold such a business (rather than just websites).
      You are talking about products that were created by you?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137044].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
        Originally Posted by mikelmraz View Post

        You are talking about products that were created by you?
        Of course. That includes services (mostly website builds) that I offer as well.
        Signature
        Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
        CLICK HERE FOR INFO
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137050].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
          Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

          Of course. That includes services (mostly website builds) that I offer as well.
          Those products probably have a good value, but I'm not sure about your web design service (is it?), unless you have people employed and doing that stuff for you or you have recurring income from existing clients.

          Maybe you can try finding similar businesses that were sold on Flippa.com and see what prices they managed to fetch.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137075].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Thien
            Why would anyone want to buy your forum handle? Just curious.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137083].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
              If your making $$ why sell it?
              Signature
              Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
              juliusminor.com
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137119].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
                Originally Posted by Julius Minor View Post

                If your making $$ why sell it?
                This thought always comes to mind when I see someone talking about selling their money making business.

                I am puzzled at why someone would want to sell a business that is actually making money, unless it really isn't making more money than what it takes to run the business.

                :confused:

                If the OP reads this, and your wanting to sell your business to play poker or get a bigger bankroll, don't do it. It's much easier to build a bigger bankroll for poker by playing poker than to build a profitable online business that produces consistant earnings over and over.
                Signature
                Need Custom Graphics Work? - Message Me For A Design Quote!
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137137].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
                  Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                  This thought always comes to mind when I see someone talking about selling their money making business.

                  I am puzzled at why someone would want to sell a business that is actually making money, unless it really isn't making more money than what it takes to run the business.

                  :confused:

                  If the OP reads this, and your wanting to sell your business to play poker or get a bigger bankroll, don't do it. It's much easier to build a bigger bankroll for poker by playing poker than to build a profitable online business that produces consistant earnings over and over.
                  Hmm.. I was thinking.. If your business is profitable, you wouldn't have to sell it to support that lifestyle..
                  Signature
                  Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
                  juliusminor.com
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137147].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
                    Originally Posted by Julius Minor View Post

                    Hmm.. I was thinking.. If your business is profitable, you wouldn't have to sell it to support that lifestyle..
                    My thoughts exactly, but people do crazy things when they are in a pinch or when they need money fast.
                    Signature
                    Need Custom Graphics Work? - Message Me For A Design Quote!
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137163].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                  Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                  This thought always comes to mind when I see someone talking about selling their money making business.

                  I am puzzled at why someone would want to sell a business that is actually making money, unless it really isn't making more money than what it takes to run the business.
                  Boredom, burnout, family considerations, and retirement are the biggest reasons.

                  Alex
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137148].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
                    Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

                    Boredom, burnout, family considerations, and retirement are the biggest reasons.

                    Alex
                    Hmmm, I think those excuses are the most widely used as to why people are selling their business, but I do not believe that people who use these reasons are being 100% honest.

                    As for retirement, from what I have seen, no one really retires, they just quit a job that had stabillity and a steady income and end up working somewhere else for less money it seems. They end up trying to turn a hobby into a job, or end up as a walmart greeter.
                    Signature
                    Need Custom Graphics Work? - Message Me For A Design Quote!
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137161].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                      Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                      Hmmm, I think those excuses are the most widely used as to why people are selling their business, but I do not believe that people who use these reasons are being 100% honest.

                      As for retirement, from what I have seen, no one really retires, they just quit a job that had stabillity and a steady income and end up working somewhere else for less money it seems. They end up trying to turn a hobby into a job, or end up as a walmart greeter.
                      I was a business broker a few years back, and I can assure you that those reasons are valid.

                      That said, anyone who's looking to buy a business should do their due diligence before buying. In some cases, yes, owners are hiding their real reason for selling.

                      Alex
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137173].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
                      Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                      As for retirement, from what I have seen, no one really retires...
                      Hands down!.. This is the Quote of the day!.. People use the word "retire" loosely.. You.../Your body... will always "work" until you die..
                      Signature
                      Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
                      juliusminor.com
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137177].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                      Hmmm, I think those excuses are the most widely used as to why people are selling their business, but I do not believe that people who use these reasons are being 100% honest.

                      As for retirement, from what I have seen, no one really retires, they just quit a job that had stabillity and a steady income and end up working somewhere else for less money it seems. They end up trying to turn a hobby into a job, or end up as a walmart greeter.
                      Yet businesses are bought and sold everyday.

                      There is no stability in life.

                      If you think a job, business or income source is stable, you will have a rude awakening one day.
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137197].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                        Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

                        Yet businesses are bought and sold everyday.

                        .
                        For sure.

                        If anybody doubts you, they should check out BizBuySell - The Internet's Largest Business for Sale & Franchise for Sale Marketplace. And that is just one of many business-for-sale sites.

                        Alex
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137205].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
                        Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

                        Yet businesses are bought and sold everyday.

                        There is no stability in life.

                        If you think a job, business or income source is stable, you will have a rude awakening one day.
                        I understand where you are coming from and why you say and believe what you say, but I am speaking as to the normal beliefs of society.

                        Of course we all know that nothing is 100% stable and reliable in the world, but most people will readily admit that they rely upon their job and their insurance for security and safety.

                        I sure am blessed that my sufficiency is God, who supplies all my needs, and who owns cattle on a thousand hills. Many do not have nor share this type of believing or confidence towards God in their heart.
                        Signature
                        Need Custom Graphics Work? - Message Me For A Design Quote!
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137210].message }}
                        • Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                          Of course we all know that nothing is 100% stable and reliable in the world, but most people will readily admit that they rely upon their job and their insurance for security and safety.
                          That is why risk-diversification is important, and sometimes reducing your exposure by selling out (cashing out) is not a bad idea, specially if you're working towards your retirement capitalization.
                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8155695].message }}
                • Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                  I am puzzled at why someone would want to sell a business that is actually making money, unless it really isn't making more money than what it takes to run the business.

                  :confused:
                  For a number of reasons. I've sold quite a few profitable online business over the years, and every time I start a new project I always have a potential exit (sell out) strategy in my mind down the road.

                  Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

                  My thoughts exactly, but people do crazy things when they are in a pinch or when they need money fast.
                  Please don't be prompt to drop opinions like that, specially when, as it seems, you've never been in the position to sell a 6 or 7 figure business (thus "needing money fast" is not the reason).

                  I will give you a few reasons as of why I've sold some of my profitable sites over the years, none of them having anything to do with "needing money fast":

                  - Having plateaued the site's growth and, while revenue might not be decreasing, it might not be expanding any more either. Thus, better to cash out and let someone else with fresh new ideas take over (while perhaps keeping a portion of the stock).

                  - Capitalization for another upcoming (and more promising) project.

                  - Too many projects driving your attention too thin. Pack up, cash out, centralize around your top 2 or 3 sites, and invest your newly acquired capital into them.

                  - Forseeing a strong competitor in the horizon coming your way, and you prefer to fill up your pockets and walk away rather than clashing in battle.

                  - Risk diversification: being overly exposed to one single niche or type of business practice (say, for example, SEO'ing Google Sniper sites), and you prefer to sell away half of it to limit your exposure to potential unexpected threats (say, for example, a Google Panda/Pinguin).

                  - Being bored of a niche and looking for new challenges/motivations (yup, happens).
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8139609].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                Most profitable businesses sell for between 2x - 7x yearly cash flow. ("Cash flow" is defined as net profit + certain expenses.)

                If your business provides mostly services, it will most likely fall on the lower end of that range.

                Contact a competent business broker or two. They'll be able to properly appraise your business' value. Sunbelt Business Brokers and VR Business Brokers are two respected national companies with many local offices.

                Alex
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137143].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author azulita
                  Why are you going to sell it if you are making money?

                  DonĀ“t sell it!!! Remember that you never know if you are going to need these extra income that you are making now.

                  Well, is just my recommendation.
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137151].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
                  Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

                  Most profitable businesses sell for between 2x - 7x yearly cash flow. ("Cash flow" is defined as net profit + certain expenses.)

                  If your business provides mostly services, it will most likely fall on the lower end of that range.

                  Contact a competent business broker or two. They'll be able to properly appraise your business' value. Sunbelt Business Brokers and VR Business Brokers are two respected national companies with many local offices.

                  Alex
                  I've sold my websites in the the past with no problem.. (easy money).. But not my whole business.. Am I missing something?
                  Signature
                  Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
                  juliusminor.com
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137158].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                    Originally Posted by Julius Minor View Post

                    I've sold my websites in the the past with no problem.. (easy money).. But not my whole business.. Am I missing something?
                    Selling a website that derives its income from ads and is on autopilot is essentially a flip.

                    I gather from the OP's comments that he offers services which require his personal time.

                    The sales effort is different for each situation. For example, only a person with the same skills as the OP would want to buy his business.

                    Alex
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137164].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
                      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

                      Selling a website that derives its income from ads and is on autopilot is essentially a flip.

                      I gather from the OP's comments that he offers services which require his personal time.

                      The sales effort is different for each situation. For example, only a person with the same skills as the OP would want to buy his business.

                      Alex
                      So is this your "life line" or just a simple hustle?
                      Signature
                      Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
                      juliusminor.com
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137183].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
                        Originally Posted by Julius Minor View Post

                        So is this your "life line" or just a simple hustle?
                        LOL

                        I left the business broker gig five years ago.

                        Alex
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137199].message }}
                        • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
                          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

                          LOL

                          I left the business broker gig five years ago.

                          Alex
                          I was referring to the "OP"... My bad sometimes I type as I talk..:confused:
                          Signature
                          Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
                          juliusminor.com
                          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137225].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rdbranson
    As usual, there are a lot of factors. You can look up business valuation and that can tell you a lot.
    In your case, having you own products is interesting, because you can sell "the business" and maintain royalties.
    Main valuation factor is net earnings (after real operating costs, etc. are calculated in.) Growth rate and future potential increases the multiple.
    Terms and control and buy-back are other things that go into the equation so that you can increase the selling price.
    Is the buyer experienced or not? Is there a transition and are you going to be retained as a consultant?
    Can you repeat building your next business faster?
    Of course, there is the next fool theory. Somebody who doesn't know what they are doing pays you more than the business is worth.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137155].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I don't think selling forum handles, etc is very ethical especially if you are self branded as you seem to be. How can someone realistically just pick up and start using someone elses forum handle? It's very misleading. Not to mention most forums would not allow it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137213].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Julius Minor
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I don't think selling forum handles, etc is very ethical especially if you are self branded as you seem to be. How can someone realistically just pick up and start using someone elses forum handle? It's very misleading. Not to mention most forums would not allow it.
      I love it when you post.. You always make good points.. There must be some type of back-up plan/Angle somewhere.. for why he would sell it (if it's making money)
      Signature
      Real.. Proven.. Money Making Methods
      juliusminor.com
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137234].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I don't think selling forum handles, etc is very ethical especially if you are self branded as you seem to be. How can someone realistically just pick up and start using someone elses forum handle? It's very misleading. Not to mention most forums would not allow it.
      This. Exactly.

      And depending on the nature of the business, some/many/most of the same observations may also apply to the client lists.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137810].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

    Anyone with experience with such an undertaking want to throw in your two cents?
    Apparently not, but lots of spare change to go around. :rolleyes:
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137301].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jedsonack2
    It completely depends on the person who is thinking about selling the Business. He/ She only can judge the lows and highs in the business. And decide either to sell or not to sell.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137317].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Wow, lots of conspiracy theorists. I've made north of $15K so far this year with very few expenses working roughly 10 hours per week. Not millionaire status but certainly significant.

    For those asking why I would want to sell it...

    I'm not saying I do. Just investigating the possibilities as I always like to know my options. That said, the argument FOR selling it would be simple - I got into it as means to an end, not for a poker bankroll. It's grown at a rapid pace since. I also have a full-time day-job that I really enjoy.

    At some point, the online biz will grow to where it could begin to significantly impact my day job (which I would never consider quitting with a family of 7 to support).

    Like I said. It was something my wife asked me about so I figured I'd investigate.

    I believe it was Alex that provided what I was looking for. Thanks all for the input.

    I'll be dropping off the grid for a few days starting sometime today.
    Signature
    Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137787].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by Art of Marketing View Post


      You would Never quit your day job because of 7 to support and sell off Internet marketing and you love to Gamble?
      There is a method to the madness

      I maintain a monthly budget of what I can and can't spend on poker (very strict). The day job is very well paying and allows me to travel around the country basically whenever I want. It's also a 10-minute drive from my home.

      I use my internet funds to pay extra on a few bills every month as well as provide some more pocket money. Depending on what such a business would fetch, I could theoretically completely pay off those debts with the proceeds of a sale of the biz, effectively giving myself a $1200-$1500 per month raise without the need to basically hold two jobs.

      It was an interesting question that she posed and really made me think about it. That said, it's not like I'm going to go out and try to sell it next week. Maybe someday down the line. For now, the few extra grand a month is nice
      Signature
      Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
      CLICK HERE FOR INFO
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8138566].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post


      I believe it was Alex that provided what I was looking for. Thanks all for the input.
      You're welcome!

      Alex
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8139237].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Wife: "Are you even going to look for a job today?"

    Wolf: "I don't need a job. I have a BUSINESS."

    Wife: "Hahahaha, okay."
    Signature
    Free Special Report on Mindset - Level Up with Positive Thinking
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137834].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Wife actually went part-time at her "real" job to help out with the biz (she makes a decent chunk of change handling certain aspects of it). My day job is very well-paying with lots of travel perks so I'd never consider trading it for IM (contrary to what many would advise on the forums).
    Signature
    Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8137868].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Wow. Thanks.

    I admit my wife was a bit worried when I first got involved, playing at underground clubs and such but I always promised to maintain a strict spending limit and I've kept to that. Although I win more than I lose, I've never gotten real serious about it. With some proper bankroll management, I'd still be playing with poker profits

    These tournaments this week are my first real serious stab at making a run. We'll see how it goes.
    Signature
    Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8138735].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dad2four
      Hire someone to run it for you or oursource more so you are involved less.

      Don't sell it.

      This is coming from someone that has dreamt about owning his own business 24/7/365 for many years.
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8138849].message }}

Trending Topics