On February 1st I was alone at a bar, sipping a vodka martini when I text messaged my husband that “I’M DONE.” I’m done with Savvy Sassy Moms, I am going to wrap things up but my last day is February 29th. It’s over and I am moving on. February 29th, no more savvy sassy for me.
To which he replied, “Well um – honey we’re gonna sell it then.” To which I replied “Fine, but I’m done February 29th.”
The very next morning I got a friendly email from a guy named Rob Toth, saying that my husband, Harris, contacted him and that he would like to possibly represent and sell my website. (Harris Fellman moves quickly.) He asked me a few basic questions about my website, my business and why I wanted to sell. Hyped up on two cups of coffee, I fired back a loaded email to him and two days later we were on the phone talking about how this was all gonna go down.
Harris also told Rob a little bit about what was happening with my mom, as if to warn him that I may be highly erratic and emotional right now. So I sensed that he was also making sure that I was serious and that I really wanted to do this. After our phone conversation, I’m pretty sure he got the impression that I was the type of woman who, when I make up my mind, you either get on board or get the hell out of the way.
Rob knew my end date of February 29th. He said that it was going to be a tight turn around to actually close by that date, as we had a lot of work to do, but he was up for the challenge.
After his initial evaluation of my website, and based on his 13 years of experience in business, deep knowledge in digital media and experience selling many online properties he came up with the value and a positioned price. Then his question to me was; How much do you want to sell for? What number would make you happy, what number would you be okay with and what number would suck. This was to gauge how far my number was from his evaluation.
To my surprise, Rob thought he could definitely get me my happy number, maybe even a little more. So we got to work.
We worked for two solid weeks gathering data to build the presentation. Harris and Rob worked on the back end of things, gathering all the stats, traffic history, demographics, financials, tax returns etc., while I gathered all the administrative items: how the business is run, what my revenue streams were, how I paid my writers, past contracts and partnerships, ongoing business partnerships, business perks and opportunities, potential revenue and partnerships, business expenses, my marketing budget (ha, ha, ha) services that help run my business, memberships, blogger networks, affiliate networks, business contacts, influential relationships, social media channels and all other assets.
I also talked to Rob for an hour and a half on what he calls a Founders Call. Where he really drills down on some of the hard questions, that are easier to get answers to over the phone than in email. Then we scheduled a Founders Interview, which would be recorded. This was for the purpose of potential buyers to listen to me explain the business better.
By February 18th the presentation was finished and we were officially FOR SALE. It was in Rob’s hands and we let him go and do his thing. I honestly did not know where people list websites for sale or how he gathers potential buyers, I wasn’t sure if there was some internet underworld of website-hungry people just waiting for fresh meat or what. I just hoped that wherever he put it, we wouldn’t just hear crickets chirping. That someone, somewhere would be interested.
After a few days I had not heard anything from Rob, which made me nervous because we had exchanged over 100 emails (for real) in the last three weeks. So the radio silence for even one afternoon was a little concerning. But sure enough, there were lots of interested parties and he was “busy fielding all the inquiries.” OMG. He was busy with so many inquiries! Fast forward to March 3rd – I got an email with the subject line: Proposal to purchase SavvySassyMoms.com.
Not bad, Rob.
Three days after my target date of “Let’s get this shit done!” we had four quality offers. Let me repeat. FOUR QUALITY OFFERS.
One of my favorite shows is Shark Tank. I have watched that show for years, thinking that if I stood in the tank, the sharks would certainly laugh my business right out of the room. This was my shark tank, and 4 pre-qualified buyers were sitting at the table all wanting to buy my business. Holy. Shit.
The next step was narrowing down the potential buyers and jumping on the phone with them to see who was the best fit to take over Savvy Sassy Moms. I was not going to sell it to just anyone. I wanted to sell it to the right person. I knew that I only took Savvy Sassy Moms so far, but it had potential to be so much more – even if I wanted to opt out of this specific niche, I believe I laid a solid foundation and there was plenty of room for someone to keep it going and maybe grow it even bigger.
After my round of interviews and conversations with Rob and my husband, we decided on who we wanted to sell Savvy Sassy Moms to and then more work began.
The APA. Asset Purchase Agreement. This document was no joke. This is where Rob really earned his money;) This document was all handled by Rob. Once it was completed, it took almost two weeks for all parties to finalize. There were some items to be negotiated and some clear non- compete items to be worked out as well as details about payment, setting up an escrow account and transferring of the domain and all agreed upon assets and accounts. There was a lawyer and a financial expert looking all this over. You don’t just hand over your WordPress and Twitter password and wait for them to Paypal you. This was legit.
The final closing date was March 25th and then I began to train and transition the new owners for 30 days, as per the purchase agreement. I was actually happy to do this, I knew there was A LOT to learn about the business of blogging and the social media world, so training them was going to be very important for their success. I had bi-weekly calls with the new owners and it took some time to get all business accounts transferred.
April 30th was my official last day, but a few days later when my face came down off the homepage – that was when everything truly became final.
I realize we are not talking about a million dollar company here, but that doesn’t matter. I started a business, made it profitable and sold it. How many people can say that? And not only that – I had accomplished my original goal – to sell it. I have learned SO much over the past 7 years, but these last three months have really made me realize just how much I accomplished. Part of me feels that this was an accidental business, that I just stumbled into it, figured some shit out and made it happen. But that’s being an entrepreneur, and I never really felt like one until now.
So now, after some of the dust has settled, I can’t help but think “Well that was fun. Maybe I should do it again!”
Rob Toth can be found circling the globe and interwebs making shit happen. (And now trolling mom blogs)