Have you ever thought about selling your biz? If so, you’re in for a treat with today’s episode, Meet our guest Chelsea Clarke. Chelsea is a business strategist, investor, business broker and the founder of entrepreneurship blog, podcast and school HerPaperRoute™. Her specialties are blog monetization and website investing. Chelsea developed the Paper Route Profit Model™ a system for monetizing and scaling content, which she teaches at HerPaperRoute Academy. Listen in as she opens up about her journey to launching the Blogs For Sale brokerage, where she helps investors and content creators buy and sell niche online businesses, blogs and media properties. Plus, catch her best tips for preparing to sell your business.
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When did you realize entrepreneurs needed help selling their businesses?
So I sort of had an aha moment on both sides, the side for people who were selling their businesses and the side for people who were looking to buy. So what really surprised me was the people who were looking to buy. I knew that there was a market because I personally had an interest in it.
And I just had a feeling that because there was so much profitability involved, like you could take a site, you can flip it, you can make a good profit, you could take something. And it’s not like when you buy a house, you don’t have to get a huge mortgage. You know, you don’t have to get a team of contractors to flip it.
But even, so you may have a small team of writers and people to help on the website, the, uh, actual entry into blog, flipping a website, investing really is so much more accessible to people. So as soon as I launched, I was still surprised by how many people were contacting me with interest to buy so soon.
That was something that I was very pleasantly surprised about. But one of the reasons that I started the marketplace was because. Of the blogging community that I had been working with over at her paper route, I kept seeing people, they would get excited, they’d start their blog. They would spend hours writing all this content and pinning and working on SEO and just doing all of this work.
And then for whatever reason, their passions would change or they would get pulled to something else. And they would just say, okay, well I’ll just give up. I’ll just let my hosting expire. I gave it a good shot. To me. I was like, no, there’s so much value in all of that time, spent money, spent all of that content that you created all of that time.
You were creating things even on Instagram and growing your community on all of these different platforms. There has to be a way to be able to have that. Live on so that you can cash out. You can earn some money from it. You can go and focus on something else, but all of that work that you did doesn’t have to just die out.
So that was sort of my aha moment on either side and being able to provide that platform and that service for people. Was really just, it all kind of fell into place after that. And that’s why I’m so excited because it’s just like, it’s, it’s the most fun thing to get, to create content and get to help people to buy and sell and earn overturn on all of that hard work that I know goes into creating content because I’ve been there. It’s a lot of work.
Why do you think people most often decide to sell their businesses?
I see a lot of the time people have just, they started something, they were really passionate about it. And then things just change.
Maybe years have gone by maybe they have kids now or. Just their interest in that niche has changed. Maybe their skills have grown somewhere else, and they’re just feel called to working on something different, whether that be a different type of business, a different type of website or something completely offline.
So that’s what we see a lot. People just want to be able to focus on other projects. That’s the biggest reason. Then there’s some reasons where times when people feel like they’ve taken the business, as far as they personally can, they feel like they have set it up with all of the affiliate links and they’ve done all the promotion that they.
They know how to do, and they’re not sure how to take it further. And they feel like someone else would be better to be able to take it now and run with it and improve it. Those are really the two main reasons. There’s other reasons, too, like people just, they’re no longer interested in redoing the domain.
Sometimes it’s as simple as that, they just, they don’t feel. Maintaining a website anymore. And for someone else, they’ll look at your website and they’ll see all of this cool content and to them it’s brand new. So you might feel like your content is dry or old, but to fresh eyes, it may be the most awesome thing ever.
If you’re going to sell your business, what are 3 things you need to consider and do first?
So some of the things that you would do to prepare your site to sell are things that you’re probably doing in your business already.
So things like keeping track of your profit and loss, what money is coming in, what money is going out, keeping some sort of a spreadsheet of a record of your monthly profit loss. That’s going to be one of your most recent. Pieces of the selling process, because buyers will want to see that they’ll want to understand exactly how the business is making money.
Another thing is making sure that your Google analytics are connected to whether it’s your website or if you’re using a third-party type of shopping platform, having that tracking set up so that buyers can go and take a look at the analytics and just verify that yes, your business is getting traffic.
People are clicking on things and you really do have an active business. So those would be the two main things and then other things to take into consideration, sort of, as we touched on about removing your persona, you may want to start taking down a pictures of yourself or pictures of your kids. For sure.
If you have any pictures of your family like that personal things, just start taking those down, replacing them with different images. That just puts your, your website in a good position to be ready to go out onto the market. You also may want to start thinking about some of the things that buyers may be curious about.
So things like your social accounts, if you’re going to be including your email list and your social accounts, just making sure that you’re keeping record of how many people are opening your emails. And if you use something like ConvertKit or MailChimp. That’s all done for you. You can just go and see your report.
And if people are opening your emails a lot and clicking, you have a high open and click rate, then that also helps the saleability of your business when it comes time to sell. And certainly there’s other sort of technical things to take into consideration like the actual. Transfer of those files, the actual website migration can be done really easily.
How does your business specifically help people who want to sell their businesses? What are the benefits of working with your brokerage?
it’s a good thing to work with a broker.
And what we do is we really are there for you every single step of the way. So we’re there to give you a free valuation. You can just go to blogs for sale.co/v a L just like Fallows and valuation. And then you fill out a couple of questions. Just get us some information about your business. And then I will personally respond and give you some suggested prices of a range that it could potentially list for as well as some suggestions, like maybe if there’s something that could be worked on or improved to increase the value, I’ll let you know.
And then if you want it to list, we can. Get right into that. I give you a listing agreement and everything is sort of just laid out. So you are totally aware of everything. And then what we do is we don’t just list it on our marketplace, but we have co broker sites where we are advertising all over the internet and we are reaching out to our own network of investors and buyers as well.
Different networks and communities of buyers as well. Um, I’m also partnered in some private equity groups that I meet with weekly and I bring deals to them. So if your site is a great fit for someone in these meetings that we have, that’s another great way that we can get your listing out there as well.
And then, like we were talking about. Um, so you can just focus on your business and you’re not having to answer all of those questions. That’s what I do for you. So I’m daily talking to potential interested buyers and going through the nitty gritty of things so that you don’t actually have to deal with anything until someone is ready to present an offer to you.
And then you get to just either access. Decline or send a counter and then I go back and I’m able to do the negotiations on your behalf. So you don’t even have to worry about saying the wrong thing. I can let you know, like, oh, maybe that’s a little low, your counter. Let’s come back a little bit higher.
And, um, you know, I’m most working on your side to get you the best price and. Then when it comes time to actually sign that agreement, um, we provide the legal documents. We open an escrow account and I’m there to manage the transfer to make sure that all of your website files and all of the assets that go with your business, get transferred over to the new owner.
And then I’m also there to make sure that you get paid in a timely fashion. So that money from escrow gets back to you and everyone is happy at the end. So there’s tons of questions that come up and meet myself and my team. We’re always there to be able to answer questions at any time, really jump on a zoom call with me.
And, uh, yeah, it feels daunting when it’s your first time thinking about selling, but once you’ve done it, Such an exciting thing that I keep seeing over and over again, first time sellers, they get obsessed, they get addicted like I do. And we have people who just keep on coming back and selling different businesses or buying a business and reselling it on the platform.
What are you hoping to accomplish in 2021? Any specific goals you want to share with your audience, or encouragement?
Ooh, I’m glad you asked because actually I wanted to invite you guys to take part in something. I am actually working on my virtual summit coming up this year. It’s not announced yet. We are just in the planning stages and I would love to have both of you. Speakers. If you’re interested, I’m putting you on the hot seat right now, but yeah, I know it’s going to be so much fun.
It’s going to be all about content creation and creating income from your online content. So I would love to have both of you guys on as speakers, if you would be interested. We’re absolutely interested send the info over so we can take a look at everything we’ve done some summits before. So it is a fun, I should say summit, but we have ideas like multiple, to be honest.
There are a lot of work. Yes. Definitely interested. And this is we’ll just have to keep our audience tuned. Yeah. So that is a very lofty and amazing goal. So very excited. Thank you. That’s why all my focus right now, because I did host the summit last year. And man, it is so much work. It’s so fun and so rewarding, but it takes months of planning.
So that is where all my brain power is going right now. That’s really the only big goal I can put out into the world.