How did you finance the venture?
We bootstrapped the company, and naturally, I put a lot of that money in. While we started with the end in mind and had the ultimate goal of selling, I didn’t think it would happen for another year or so.
What was the process of selling?
At first, I listed the company myself on BizBuySell.com, just to see what was out there. While I didn’t follow through with that, a business broker approached me through a mutual connection about entertaining offers.
So I did and we provided financials and a document with any question that a potential buyer might ask. We had four offers and went through lots of back and forth prior to accepting the final one. From there we packaged all the specific details up and used an escrow service to transfer assets.
What did you learn from the experience in hindsight?
We began as pure play e-commerce company but a key pivot for us was to increase our B2B sales channel. This kicked our growth into gear and created ‘annuity’ clients while significantly increasing our average order. Ultimately it made the company more attractive, which drove our valuation up.
I think having a 3rd party involved in the transaction added credibility and transparency to what I was saying to be true. That said, I would have negotiated a lower commission, perhaps talked with other potential brokers as well.
Meshing with the buyer was more important than I anticipated. I want the business to continue to grow and prosper without me, so that rapport was necessary.
Do you have a one way ticket to a warm destination? What’s next for you & the team?
Maybe next time!? We had 8 people when we sold — three full time and five part time. Myself and our core team is already moving on to a startup we’ve been running on the side: BoomBoomPrints. We’re going to do this one a little differently — bigger vision and faster growth.