Business Sales - Manifesto
The hidden truth about online business sales ads
Warning: This Manifesto is about the real, lesser known part of a business's life cycle - selling it. I will not make too many friends in the field by saying the following. But whatever the consequences, these must be said.
"I don't know who would take over my business. I don't know how to do it... In fact, I don't even know who could help me"- I am often told.
These are not my words.
But I always hear them when I talk to entrepreneurs who want to exit their business. These are the most frequently invoked issues of business entrepreneurs whose value is up to 10 million Euros.
Then they tell me that all they did until then was talk to their acquaintances and eventually asking them if they knew anyone who would buy their business.
Searching on Google will bring different local and global platforms with online business sales ads.
Putting out a simple ad is often free, so they put one out for you. They have nothing to lose, after all–only money to gain if your business happens to sell.
Most entrepreneurs have no experience selling a business. So they do what they can, how they can.
That's OK too. It's better than nothing.
The problem is with the expectations they create after they publish those ads. They begin to see themselves with their business already sold.
I also had a site with online business sales ads about 3-4 years ago. It was
I thought it would be an extra help for those looking for solutions to sell their business, and a customer generator for me. A win-win for everyone, right?
The idea seemed very good. You couldn't really find anything else to do, or someone who could really help you sell your business, whether it was a small or medium one. I know because I didn't find anyone to help me before I sold my small businesses. (Right now I'm exiting the biggest business I've ever owned.)
You don't need much for such a website: some work, a website template for online ads, and about 250 Euros.
Then you are looking for people who are willing to place their ad on your website.
I did not spend anything for promotion in this regard and in the first 2 months there were about 20 free ads in place.
If you think that someone will invest somewhat significantly in attracting potential investors in the businesses listed on the site, you would be wrong.
The business with online ads is based on collecting money from "highlighting" your ad, from monthly subscriptions for it, and even on collecting money from reading your messages from those interested in knowing more about your business. If they did a promotion, it would be just a free ad with an extremely low impact, such as a post on Facebook and LinkedIn, with the text that they have some new businesses for sale.
They don't need to do more because their real interest is to get new businesses listed, not sold.
So… it was easy.
I did the exact same thing. I just didn't collect any money.
I considered it a test.
I kept the site open for 1 year. Then I closed it. I've learned my lesson.
Even more: I saw how other people's websites worked.
There is nothing to praise.
It's not the way to go.
That's why these "tactics" of selling a business should stop.
They are relics from another era, even if they seem "modern" because they are "on the internet."
They are simply useless tools for their customers.
But, nevertheless, they are still sought after and used by many people.
Because we are attracted to simple, light, fashionable tactics. Give us the easy way. We believe that since everyone does it, we certainly can't be wrong.
I may repeat myself, but it's not a good method to sell your business through online ads. I'll explain more a little later why it's not a good idea.
I closed that site promising never to do another one, even if sometimes, in exceptional cases, it could be a good way to go.
I was lucky. I chose early to get off that road that led nowhere neither for me, nor for my clients.
Now I'm on a different path. It’s longer and more difficult, but more efficient and faster for those I choose to serve.
You remember, don't you? You have to zig when they zag.
I don't think we're better than others. We’re just some fools who gave up making easy money from hundreds of customers to serve only a few dozen a year with quality.
We can't tell if it's good or bad.
We made a simple decision and assume the consequences.
And now the inevitable is beginning to happen.
More and more entrepreneurs who have posted their business for sale on these websites are starting to catch on. The change has begun. And it comes, whether you agree with me or not.
Most entrepreneurs do not know what to do or how to do it when they want to sell their business.
They place online ads and wait - because it's simple and they don't know another way.
I'm not saying it would be good or bad to do the same. Sometimes it's very good. Just remember that every decision has its consequences.
Things are changing. Entrepreneurs are beginning to understand and change their decisions.