SRS Have you ever sold an online business?

saabguy

Saab-free since 2013. Mortgage guru
OT Supporter
Aug 11, 2003
26,048
Loserville. Population: 1
My mom had a retail business for 20+ years. The last 5 or so years of the physical retail location, she started an online store for the same business. The physical location closed it's doors about 8 years ago and she went 100% online. She has tens of thousands of people on her mailing list, had gross sales of about $330k last year and is on track for about $400k this year, and business continues to grow.

She still has the suppliers that would buy from for the retail location who sell to her for the online store. Customers shop her site, buy from her, she orders the stuff from her vendors, and then re-packages and sends them to her customers. The business is run out of her home (it's kind of taken over her home. She knocked out the wall between mine and my sister's childhood bedrooms to make a big "shipping & receiving room" :wtc: ).

It's a viable business, margins average about 28%, the business continues to grow despite little to no social media marketing on FB/IG/Pinterest/etc. which would be highly effective for the type of business/consumer. She just doesn't have time to do it. It's just her doing it, and she has about 3 retired ladies that come by and help out with packing/shipping/orders a couple days a week.

She would like to retire, what's the best way to try and sell this business? She has been in touch with some business brokers and some free local state small business advocacy groups for guidance. But I don't trust much of the advice or guidance she's been given so far. Someone with a little bit of tech savvy, with a small dedicated office space to do shipping/receiving, and a small staff to do all the day-to-day stuff so they can continue doing marketing/advertising, could see this business blow up.

Any prior experience or recommendations on how to market & sell this type of business?
 

FutureMan

On the rights of your wealth, I disagree
OT Supporter
Aug 28, 2002
387,828
Liberal Enclave of Darien, CT
I’d ask any friends if they know anyone who might be interested. Ask them to ask their friends to ask their friends. Try to avoid the brokers and stuff.
 
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saabguy

saabguy

Saab-free since 2013. Mortgage guru
OT Supporter
Aug 11, 2003
26,048
Loserville. Population: 1
I’d ask any friends if they know anyone who might be interested. Ask them to ask their friends to ask their friends. Try to avoid the brokers and stuff.
I guess, but it’s a bigger deal than I think most “people you know” might be able to swing.

figure a subway franchise costs like $300k to start up, plus ongoing franchise fees, all for the owner to work there and make like $60k/yr.

This is a business that will do gross sales higher than the average subway, with very little overhead, little inventory, and higher margins.
 
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pookrat

OT Supporter
Dec 6, 2002
5,306
The Woodlands
Maybe try the online ones first and see if you have any luck? BizBySell is probably one of the larger ones. I know someone that has used it and everything went well. Still will need to get a lawyer and such for the transaction but can give you an idea of what to expect money and process wise.

https://www.bizbuysell.com/

Also for strictly E-Commerce sites there are places like https://exchangemarketplace.com/ and the like. There are a ton of those.

HTH!!!
 

whatever

OT Supporter
Feb 18, 2004
214,130
I guess, but it’s a bigger deal than I think most “people you know” might be able to swing.

figure a subway franchise costs like $300k to start up, plus ongoing franchise fees, all for the owner to work there and make like $60k/yr.

This is a business that will do gross sales higher than the average subway, with very little overhead, little inventory, and higher margins.

ask people that buy from her in high numbers. someone might want to break out from their company and into the supply chain for it
 

B-Line

*****d[-_-]b*****
OT Supporter
Mar 8, 2009
24,917
Los Angeles
It's a multiple of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). The multiple depends on the industry. You can usually consider a 3x to 5x depending on multiple of factors.
Sometimes a multiple of gross sales is used, ex: 1.2x gross sales.

There are definitely industry standards that a MnA rep will be familiar with.

I've sold a few businesses. PM me if you want some more info.
 

contactone

Well-Known Member
She taking home enough to where she can just straight up hire someone to do the work AND lease out a tiny office/commercial space? She doesn't have to divulge the entire ins and outs of the business, just hire someone to do what she's doing now. Breaking down the bigger orders to the individual orders and ship them out. That way the business is out of the house and
still making her some money. All she would have to do is just show up once a week too to make sure everything's not burned down.

It would make for easier hand off when someone does want to buy it.
 

HipHopHead

My flow spill like using the wrong end of a funnel
Jul 18, 2001
68,719
Minnesota
She taking home enough to where she can just straight up hire someone to do the work AND lease out a tiny office/commercial space? She doesn't have to divulge the entire ins and outs of the business, just hire someone to do what she's doing now. Breaking down the bigger orders to the individual orders and ship them out. That way the business is out of the house and
still making her some money. All she would have to do is just show up once a week too to make sure everything's not burned down.

It would make for easier hand off when someone does want to buy it.
"just" hire someone to run your life's work. lol

Good help is hard to find
 
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saabguy

saabguy

Saab-free since 2013. Mortgage guru
OT Supporter
Aug 11, 2003
26,048
Loserville. Population: 1
She taking home enough to where she can just straight up hire someone to do the work AND lease out a tiny office/commercial space? She doesn't have to divulge the entire ins and outs of the business, just hire someone to do what she's doing now. Breaking down the bigger orders to the individual orders and ship them out. That way the business is out of the house and
still making her some money. All she would have to do is just show up once a week too to make sure everything's not burned down.

It would make for easier hand off when someone does want to buy it.
I’ve told her for years...she gets so stressed out because she does almost everything and doesn’t think she can trust anyone else. I’ve been telling her to hire more people, do all the menial stuff for her, and she can do newsletters, posting on socials, etc. but that’s also hard because it’s out of her house. I brought up possibly renting out a small office space, but she doesn’t want to get into that situation again, especially if she’s winding down her involvement in the business (or trying to).
 

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