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NOTABLE! I just sold my first eCommerce business (FU money!)

biophase

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So I wanted to wait a few days for it to settle in to make a post about it. This week I sold my ecommerce business that I started back in 2007. It's been 10 years running this business that I started from scratch. I still remember my goal of making one sale a day at $50 profit and being happy if I took home $18,000 a year.

Fast forward 10 years and 3 months later... and it's sold and mostly gone.

I sold it because I started another ecommerce business in 2015 that I am much more passionate about. And passion combined with experience can really blow up a business. It took my first business 10 years to go from 0 to a million dollars a year. It took my second business 2 years to get to a million dollars a year.

I began thinking about selling the business about 2 years ago. I think once the thought gets in your head, you know it's about time. I put the business on the market in March 2017 and went through 3 serious buyers before the 4th actually closed.

What am I going to do with the money?

It's funny because if this happened 5 years ago, I know the first thing I'd be doing is getting a Ferrari. But honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I thought about buying another business to grow my second ecommerce business. Maybe I'll get some real estate. Bitcoin? Just kidding.

The odd thing about closing is that it the money hitting the bank account didn't even matter. I was more relieved that the business was sold and seeing the inventory leave my warehouse there was a sense of closure, but not fully because I still have to provide support for 6 months.

I am more excited that I get to spend 100% of my time on my second business because if I could get it from 0 to a mil in 2 years working on it 50% of the time, I can't wait to see where it could go with me working on it 100% of the time and with a huge cash infusion to expand!
 

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Almantas

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Congratulations on selling your business! I hear it again and again from folks who've built multiple multi-million businesses that building a first business is the hardest part, after that it's much easier. Your case study proves it again.

I hope you are 100% happy about the sale!

P.S. I am more than sure most people will click your post only to see how much you sold your business for - which is irrelevant as long as you provide the process of doing so.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Congratulations, I am really happy for you and wish you further success as you proceed with more successful ventures ahead.
 

Midas

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Congrats @biophase. Well deserved, thank you for everything you do to help us scrubs.

I just started my e-commerce journey in a niche that I'm extremely passionate about. Nervously, ordered my first shipment this morning. Wish me luck!
 

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Congrats man! Selling your first business is always a rush!

After you poured years into something, the culmination of so many different emotions is an amazing feeling. I can remember feeling joy, a touch of sadness and more than anything a sense of freedom once that wire finally hit my account.

The next one is easier too! :D
 

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Congrats man!

Now tell us all about it. How it works, lessons learned, etc. Everything please.
Are you talking about the sales process of selling a company? Biophase has over 5,000 posts and has been very helpful and forthcoming in general, so if you're looking for "lessons" in building a saleable business, he has more than provided.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Hope you don't mind I modified your thread title, seeing you don't have any immediate needs for the sale proceeds, you're in the realm of "FU" money.
 
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Congrats!
 

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RogueInnovation

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So I wanted to wait a few days for it to settle in to make a post about it. This week I sold my ecommerce business that I started back in 2007. It's been 10 years running this business that I started from scratch. I still remember my goal of making one sale a day at $50 profit and being happy if I took home $18,000 a year.

Fast forward 10 years and 3 months later... and it's sold and mostly gone.

I sold it because I started another ecommerce business in 2015 that I am much more passionate about. And passion combined with experience can really blow up a business. It took my first business 10 years to go from 0 to a million dollars a year. It took my second business 2 years to get to a million dollars a year.

I began thinking about selling the business about 2 years ago. I think once the thought gets in your head, you know it's about time. I put the business on the market in March 2017 and went through 3 serious buyers before the 4th actually closed.

What am I going to do with the money?

It's funny because if this happened 5 years ago, I know the first thing I'd be doing is getting a Ferrari. But honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I thought about buying another business to grow my second ecommerce business. Maybe I'll get some real estate. Bitcoin? Just kidding.

The odd thing about closing is that it the money hitting the bank account didn't even matter. I was more relieved that the business was sold and seeing the inventory leave my warehouse there was a sense of closure, but not fully because I still have to provide support for 6 months.

I am more excited that I get to spend 100% of my time on my second business because if I could get it from 0 to a mil in 2 years working on it 50% of the time, I can't wait to see where it could go with me working on it 100% of the time and with a huge cash infusion to expand!
YEAH MAN!!!
I know exactly how you feel.

For me, I took a while to think about what to do with my FU money, and I think if you take a while figuring out the best use and are really diligent about it, you will come up with a great idea that has you feeling set up for life and truly content as you pursue this new business of yours.

I'd say it is time for champagne!
And going out to dinner with friends to celebrate and mark the occassion!
Because you just did what most people find impossible to do in an entire lifetime!
That is no small feat

So go take some time to think, and feel out your next moves
Real estate is good, but be sure it is something you can sell, or rent out easily cuz of its location etc. I don't think you need to spend all that money on it of course, there are investments you can make, but you want to be as careful with the money as you were making it. So EXPECT A LOT for your money's worth, don't let anything or anyone persuade you cheaply.

If you play your cards right, you can feel 100% at peace as you go on to make your next business even more successful, and that is a hopeful thought.

Good luck and congratulations
Go celebrate
 

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I remember discussing selling your business a few years ago, and you were like why would I sell? Business is great.

I also remember first meeting you, and I thought this guy sells THESE *widgets* and does this well? Boy do I have a lot to learn.

I really think your passion for the new business is what pushed you over the edge.

Congrats man. The most inspirational thing I've learned from you is how to have a very long term outlook on business, money, investments, and life in general - which is something I personally struggle with.

Repped.
 

gabeb1920

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Huge congrats @biophase

Once again you provide inspiration and information for all of us working towards what you have achieved. Well done! :)

Out of curiosity, if you feel comfortable, what is the rough industry average multiplier for an eCommerce business?

Thanks and congrats again :)
 

MJ DeMarco

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Out of curiosity, if you feel comfortable, what is the rough industry average multiplier for an eCommerce business?
Can't speak to what bio sold his company for, but in all my conversations with people it's still around 2-4. It hasn't changed much in years, although that number is dependent on your moat. Bigger moat, bigger multiple.
 

JM35

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Huge congrats @biophase

Once again you provide inspiration and information for all of us working towards what you have achieved. Well done! :)

Out of curiosity, if you feel comfortable, what is the rough industry average multiplier for an eCommerce business?

Thanks and congrats again :)
I usually run off of a 2-3x yearly profits, but I think when you get into Bio's realm, you get some crazier (higher) valuations.

Congrats man. Can only hope to be in your shoes 10 years from now!
 

animalstyle

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Super inspiring stuff! Also thinking it takes 10 years to hit this goal really does put things in perspective. Congrats!
 

Andy Black

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So I wanted to wait a few days for it to settle in to make a post about it. This week I sold my ecommerce business that I started back in 2007. It's been 10 years running this business that I started from scratch. I still remember my goal of making one sale a day at $50 profit and being happy if I took home $18,000 a year.

Fast forward 10 years and 3 months later... and it's sold and mostly gone.

I sold it because I started another ecommerce business in 2015 that I am much more passionate about. And passion combined with experience can really blow up a business. It took my first business 10 years to go from 0 to a million dollars a year. It took my second business 2 years to get to a million dollars a year.

I began thinking about selling the business about 2 years ago. I think once the thought gets in your head, you know it's about time. I put the business on the market in March 2017 and went through 3 serious buyers before the 4th actually closed.

What am I going to do with the money?

It's funny because if this happened 5 years ago, I know the first thing I'd be doing is getting a Ferrari. But honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I thought about buying another business to grow my second ecommerce business. Maybe I'll get some real estate. Bitcoin? Just kidding.

The odd thing about closing is that it the money hitting the bank account didn't even matter. I was more relieved that the business was sold and seeing the inventory leave my warehouse there was a sense of closure, but not fully because I still have to provide support for 6 months.

I am more excited that I get to spend 100% of my time on my second business because if I could get it from 0 to a mil in 2 years working on it 50% of the time, I can't wait to see where it could go with me working on it 100% of the time and with a huge cash infusion to expand!
Well done @biophase, and thanks for all the breadcrumbs.
 

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Congratulations @biophase and i wish you all the success in your new venture.
 

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G_Alexander

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Big congrats, Kenric. So awesome to hear this great news. Man time flies! It feels like just yesterday that I was spending time with @RealOG and you in Scottsdale and you had just got your Ferrari 360 back then (while running the business).

Your first venture into ecommerce in 2007, followed by your posts here (& on your blog), and your never-ending quest for continued improvement in your business have been such a ray of light to so many people. I can honestly say that had you not taken the leap back in 2007: that I very well may not have in 2014 either.

Great to hear you are now chasing your passion 100% of the time. I struggle with the same thing (splitting my time) between my ecommerce business and my brick & mortar. No intention to sell either yet... but we will see where the road leads.

All I know is, your desire to always improve means more good posts in the future to look forward to =). Here's to $10M+ in sales with your new business!

And who needs the Ferrari? You already had it :playful:
 

fvcorp

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Thank you so much for sharing, @biophase! This is fantastic news! We're all very lucky to have you here, sharing your knowledge with us.

I sold it because I started another ecommerce business in 2015 that I am much more passionate about. And passion combined with experience can really blow up a business. It took my first business 10 years to go from 0 to a million dollars a year. It took my second business 2 years to get to a million dollars a year.
I've read though hundreds of your past posts. This statement is scary. It means you're getting EVEN BETTER at building and enjoying the process! The passion helps I bet!

It's funny because if this happened 5 years ago, I know the first thing I'd be doing is getting a Ferrari. But honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I thought about buying another business to grow my second ecommerce business. Maybe I'll get some real estate. Bitcoin? Just kidding.
This is a great feeling! One of the best moments in my life was when I first had multiple streams of income. Both large enough to pay the bills on their own. One account would stay the same and the other just kept on going up and I never had to touch it. The feeling of security and comfort is indescribable. Well...you know the feeling! Enjoy it!
 

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I usually run off of a 2-3x yearly profits, but I think when you get into Bio's realm, you get some crazier (higher) valuations.

Congrats man. Can only hope to be in your shoes 10 years from now!
2-3X yearly profits or yearly revenues? Congrats @biophase! I actually came to the forum today as I needed to read something positive about someones business, so I put "success" in the search box and this post came up! Just what I needed to read lol. Congrats again!
 

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2-3X yearly profits or yearly revenues? Congrats @biophase! I actually came to the forum today as I needed to read something positive about someones business, so I put "success" in the search box and this post came up! Just what I needed to read lol. Congrats again!
Profit, always profit.

It wouldn't make any sense to put a multiplier on rev.
 
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biophase

biophase

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Huge congrats @biophase

Once again you provide inspiration and information for all of us working towards what you have achieved. Well done! :)

Out of curiosity, if you feel comfortable, what is the rough industry average multiplier for an eCommerce business?

Thanks and congrats again :)
The multiplier is between 2-4x. If you are 100% Amazon the multiplier is lower. If you have website sales the number gets higher.

As your revenue goes up the multiplier also goes up.
 

cottonbuds

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The multiplier is between 2-4x. If you are 100% Amazon the multiplier is lower. If you have website sales the number gets higher.

As your revenue goes up the multiplier also goes up.
So the multiplier goes up as your revenue increases but the multiplier is quoted on your profit - so for example 2 times profit? I guess I feel like a 2-4X profit multiplier is on the lower side as I could run the business for a few years and make that. Even the Dow is trading at a 27 times earnings multiple.
 

JM35

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So the multiplier goes up as your revenue increases but the multiplier is quoted on your profit - so for example 2 times profit? I guess I feel like a 2-4X profit multiplier is on the lower side as I could run the business for a few years and make that. Even the Dow is trading at a 27 times earnings multiple.
Yes - you are correct, it is a 2-4 times profit multiplier. The multiple goes up as the revenue increases because it represents more stability in the business I'd say. A $2M revenue online business likely has more "secret sauce" and a more established and scale-able business model than a $10K revenue online business. Non-internet-based business typically trade at higher multiples, depending on the industry they are in. 4x would be on the low side for a more traditional business, with multiples going up past 15x for higher growth companies in hot industries (such as biotech). I would say the hot-spot for most private business deals is the 6x-10x range; at least this is what I saw from my experience at a middle market private equity firm.

Internet business get lower multiples because of the inherent risk with the internet. Think back to Google Panda in 2011...thousands of sites with poor SEO profiles and scam-like linking techniques got completely wiped from the search rankings. Updates like that have a massive impact on online business and therefore make it more risky than a standard business model. The barriers to entry are also so much lower making competition inherently higher. It is a lot harder to replicate a manufacturing company's business model than it is an online dropshipping store. This is also why many of the successful people on here are very careful about what information they share on the web.

And comparing the Dow and public companies to online business is honestly pretty apples to oranges. I can go a further into detail as to why they trade at higher multiples than small and internet business do if you are curious, but there are numerous factors.
 

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Great to hear!

You were one of the first posters on this forum that got me "hooked" to this place. The value, info and inspiration you've provided over the years is legendary.

So happy for you!
 

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