Not many people go into business thinking that they’ll one day sell it, but it happens more than you might think. A digital product shop isn’t just a way to make passive income — it can one day turn into a huge cash payout if you decide selling is right for you.
Even if you don’t plan to sell, there are a few things you can do to remove yourself from the day-to-day of your business that — OMG! — actually benefit you in the event you ever do want to sell.
And because I recently sold The Contract Shop® through a brokerage, I want to take a closer look at this process so you can see what it’s really like. I wish I had these resources when I was selling… but I didn’t find anything. So I’m filling in that hole.
That’s why, today, we’re talking about the top three things you need to get in check before you decide to sell! (This is also helpful for anyone who’s just tired of operating their business alone.)
You probably hear a lot about this in the online business world…”Figure out why! Figure out your why!” But it’s so important, especially when you’re talking about selling your business.
Knowing this will help you navigate the complex process and help pitch your business to the right buyers.
Was your business a stepping stone in the bigger picture of your career? Have you outgrown it? Has that business pivoted?
I decided to sell The Contract Shop® because, quite frankly, if I had to talk about one more legal term, I would lose it. And getting to that point wasn’t the best feeling (I worked really hard to build that brand, after all!), but it made me realize that I had outgrown it.
Plus, I wasn’t giving it the attention it deserved. I wanted to be able to focus more on the Christina Scalera brand and talk about other ways to sell passive income, like real estate, not just digital products. I also wanted to figure out how that change would support and fit into my family life and our goals.
Thankfully, when I put The Contract Shop® up for sale, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. But it definitely did not start out like that. In 2021, I asked a brokerage to valuate (appraise) it because I thought it was time to go separate ways.
Turns out, it wasn’t time because they didn’t offer my business what it was worth, not even close. They were super unhelpful and told me that if I didn’t like it…I should just come back later and try again. No help. No resources. No tips to improve.
As you might think, that was a little discouraging. But the second time around, in October 2022, I decided to use a different brokerage that ended up doubling what the other had offered.
And had I not known how much The Contract Shop® was worth (in legit financial value, not just theory), I would have way undersold it.
There’s a lot that goes into putting a price on your business when it’s time to sell, but what helped me was keeping my financials separate between both of my businesses. That way, I could better see the tax reports and other financial documents, and the brokerage could clearly see what it was worth.
When you’ve got your financials all mixed up with another business/brand or your personal life, you don’t have a way to prove the value to the brokerage. And you may not get what it’s worth.
There’s so much more that goes into prepping your business to sell than what I’m talking about today, but the biggest advice I have is to keep it all separate, as I said above. But I’m not just talking about that money, I’m talking about ev-er-y-thing.
A mistake I made was thinking I had it all done, but there was just onnnnne tiny thing I missed — my email service provider!
I had been hosting the Christina Scalera brand and The Contract Shop®’s email marketing in ActiveCampaign because it was cheaper than running them on separate accounts. I probably should have just separated them to begin with…but you know…hindsight is 20/20, and I wear contacts.
The biggest downfall in all this was knowing I would have to establish authority with the brand I pulled out of the email subscription, which ended up being the Christina Scalera brand. I still have to keep all the content inside and export all the contacts, but now I’m going to have to work a bit to establish authority on the backend.
I got lucky with that one though, because I got to keep everything and just start a new account with ActiveCampaign, but some software platforms don’t let you do that once you close out an account, so make sure you back things up and keep them separate!
Above all, know that selling your business is a challenge and one that will take time to work through. None of this happened overnight, it was the product of many decisions made long ago, and some made recently.
While I have been working at that for a while, I am excited to see not only what the Christina Scalera brand moves towards in the future, but what The Contract Shop® does as well.
And ICYMI about why I decided to sell The Contract Shop®, you can catch the 411 on the video below!