Last year I sold a business.
Or I should say, a side hustle that had a lot of potential, but never really turned into a business with the capital B.
It started out as a passion project. And it was for a while.
The business was an affiliate site about electric skateboards.
Since I tried my first e-board back in 2018, I was hooked.
And bought my Boosted Board Mini right away (too bad the company went bankrupt 3 years later, but that’s a story for another day).
I was looking for content websites to start at that time to make some side passive income.
So I started a site about eskates. The potential was there, competitors weren’t huge and it was a crazy growing market.
How did it go?
Well, slow as it’s the case for any content site nowadays. But surprisingly well for my expectations. And I learned a lot about SEO, Html and writing in the process.
I made zero in the first 7 months and the first sale came in right after. It felt like magic.
Then it grew, but it was a constant up and down, pretty much based on Google’s algorithms. Oh and Amazon decided to cut their affiliate commissions by half at some point, which wasn’t fun.
I even received a couple of electric skateboards for free to review. THAT was fun!
Anyway, long story short, I realized I wasn’t really working on the site. Writing was a slog and I preferred riding e-skates than talking about them.
After almost 2 years of trying freelance writers and basically outsourcing everything, to then stop working on it, I decided to get rid of it.
And it was making, on a good month, ~$100.
How do you sell a website that makes so little?
Well, you position the sale in a way that makes people want to invest in it with a very long-term potential kind of thinking.
You create a vision in their minds of what they could do if only they worked on it (and show how much you accomplished working so little on it).
Incredibly I sold it for $6,500. That’s 65x its monthly revenue.
Not bad to be honest and I got back everything that I invested, plus more.
What were the “secrets”?
- Understanding my buyers: they wanted something with growth potential, so I showed them how little I worked on it and how much I gained out of it (getting free products from manufacturers is not easy, especially when they’re $800 a pop).
- Having built a “cool” brand in line with the target audience (you can still see the site live here, they even kept my photo for the homepage lol). This alone has a lot of value for anyone buying a business because you can build on it very easily.
- Setting the right expectations: I was very clear with everything that went into the site and what they could expect going forward.
You place the value somewhere else. In the brand, in the potential growth etc.
It just takes some willingness to put yourself in other people’s shoes.
Speaking of selling and buying businesses, I’m partnering with the guys at Empire Flippers. They are always looking for business owners who want to jump on the next opportunity to either grow something that’s already making money or sell their amazing business and find great buyers.
If you’re interested you can check them out here (full disclosure, this is an affiliate link).
P.S. I’m also gonna be a guest on their The Opportunity podcast talking about SaaS conversion copy and research, so stay tuned for that.