Starting and growing your Shopify store is an exciting process. However, a time may eventually arrive when you need to sell the store to try other opportunities. Figuring out how to sell your Shopify store for a good value and in a timely manner can be a challenge. You certainly don’t want to make a mistake and sell the store for far less than it is worth.
Rather than going through the hassle of trying to sell your store on your own, a business broker can take this task off your plate. An agency like First Choice Business Brokers helps you determine your Shopify store’s true value while finding potential customers.
Crazy Egg’s Favorite Tools to Sell Your Shopify Store
Selling a Shopify store occurs more frequently than you may think. We understand the challenges associated with this process, which is why we researched the best business broker options for you. These brokers are the experts in this field, giving you a better chance of finding multiple interested parties who respect the value of your Shopify store.
We selected First Choice Business Brokers as the best option for most people, as its brokers help you accurately determine the value of your Shopify business before finding interested buyers. First Choice Business Brokers also can provide advice for increasing the value of your business before you sell, and you can reach out to FCBB for free.
Murphy Business Sales offers some business consulting services along with its business brokerage services, which may help you maximize the value of your Shopify store. You can reach out to Murphy Business Sales for free, and the brokerage then helps you connect with a local branch office.
Should you want to guarantee confidentiality regarding the sale of your Shopify store, Synergy Business Brokers is one of the best options we found during our research. Reach out to Synergy Business Brokers for free, and you also can receive an accurate valuation of your Shopify business.
More Top Tools to Sell Your Shopify Store
Selling a business – and receiving the value you should from the sale – is not as easy as it may seem. Business brokers have the right level of experience to help you have success in the sale of your Shopify store. Check out our list of the best business brokers for detailed reviews of each option to help you make the right choice.
Step 1 – Get Started With First Choice Business Brokers
It is free to start if you want to use First Choice Business Brokers when trying to sell your Shopify store. You can call the company at the number listed on the FCBB home page, or you can click on the Get Started button.
When contacting FCBB through the Get Started button, you’ll enter your name, email address, phone number, and mailing address. Then choose the Sell button. Enter any comments about the services you are seeking before clicking the Send to FCBB button.
After submitting your contact information, an agent with First Choice Business Brokers will reach out to you. The broker likely will ask you to have multiple documents available for the initial meeting. These may include sales records, tax records, any licenses you hold, and a description of the business.
You can then explain what you are hoping to achieve through the Shopify store sale during this meeting. The broker can explain more about the services that FCBB offers.
Step 2 – Finding the Right Broker Vs. Selling It Yourself
Although we are using FCBB as an example to discuss the steps required to sell your Shopify business, we also acknowledge that you may need a different option. For example, some other business brokerages may have a niche area of expertise that better fits your particular Shopify store.
You may want to take some time to investigate and speak with different brokers, learning about how their strengths line up with your needs. You may speak to a certain agent with whom you feel extremely comfortable. Or you may find a certain brokerage that has the perfect financial terms for representing your business.
You also have the option of trying to sell your Shopify store on your own. This can be a challenging process, especially if you don’t have much experience with the process. However, if you simply don’t believe any of the brokers you speak with can represent your business to potential buyers as well as you can, this is an option.
Shopify gives you the ability to sell your Shopify business on the Shopify Exchange Marketplace. As long as you meet the requirements for selling on Shopify Exchange, you can list your business here. You must manage the sales process on your own, including setting the price and dealing with buyer questions, but you may prefer this option.
If you scan through Shopify Exchange on a regular basis, you probably noticed that quite a few listings on the exchange look like scams. This may turn off potential buyers for your Shopify store, even though you can make your listing look pristine. You don’t have to worry about this problem when you go through a business broker, as buyers know all of these sales listings are legitimate.
Step 3 – Receive a Valuation of Your Business
One of the first services you may want to use with First Choice Business Brokers is obtaining a valuation of your Shopify business. This can be one of the trickiest aspects of selling your Shopify store. You may believe the business is worth a certain amount. However, the brokerage agent may come up with a completely different number than you were expecting.
Sometimes, your Shopify store may carry a significant amount of inventory or may have some hidden value that makes it more valuable than you were expecting. In addition, FCBB may take certain items into account when valuing your business that you did not think were relevant.
It’s also possible that the brokerage agent may give you disappointing news by creating an estimated valuation that is well below what you were expecting. No one wants to hear that the Shopify store may be worth less than expected, but it is important to have a realistic valuation. Brokers deal with businesses like this on a regular basis. They have tools and valuation methodologies they use to generate accurate results based on real-world market conditions.
If you try to list your Shopify store for a far greater sales price versus its value, your chances of achieving a successful sale decrease. On the other hand, you don’t want to sell your store for far less than its actual valuation, leaving money on the table because you didn’t understand its true value. A business broker can help you find the sweet spot with a realistic valuation amount.
Step 4 – Understanding the Items That Affect Value
Multiple items can affect the valuation of your Shopify store. Primarily, though, brokers are looking at the sales you have over the most recent 12-month period. Brokers use this number to create an average sales figure per month.
The broker then multiplies this average by a number called the multiple. Some of the factors that affect the multiple for your Shopify business include:
- Age of business: A business that can show a track record over several years typically receives a greater multiple than one that only has several months’ worth of sales.
- Growth potential: If you can show through financial records that your business is steadily growing from year to year, your business’ multiple should be greater than a new business where the growth potential is uncertain.
- Reviews: A Shopify store that has dozens of highly satisfied customers and highly rated reviews should have a greater multiple than a business with average or poor reviews.
- Revenue sources: If you only generate revenue around the holidays or if your customers only consist of 12-year-olds, this harms your business’ multiple. Businesses that have more diversified sources of revenue have greater multiples.
- Customers coming back: Does your Shopify store make one-time sales to customers who never need to buy anything else from you? Or do you primarily have return customers? Businesses with return customers have greater multiples.
Think of the value of your Shopify store as a mixture of the current actual sales performance of the business and the estimated future potential for the business, which the multiple represents.
Step 5 – Make Improvements to Your Business
You may find that your broker created a valuation that is lower than you wanted to see. Often, the broker may suggest some steps you can take to try to improve your store’s performance.
Maybe you want to put off selling your Shopify store until you take several months to try to make some of the improvements. You then can reach back out to the agent to seek a new valuation estimation. Some of the changes an agent may suggest include:
- Respond to reviews: If you previously ignored your negative reviews, the broker may suggest a different approach. Instead, reach out to those customers to see if you can fix the problem for them. Then ask them to post an updated review.
- Improve your organizational skills: Your broker may suggest that you improve the way you keep records. Sloppy or incomplete recordkeeping could turn off potential buyers.
- Diversify your store: If you only have one primary source of products or revenue, this is a red flag for many buyers. Your broker may suggest that you try to find more sources of products so you aren’t in trouble if a supply chain snafu occurs. You also may want to seek related lines of products that appeal to your current customers, so you can diversify your revenue coming into the store.
Although this doesn’t occur frequently, you may want to go ahead and list the Shopify store for sale while you make the improvements. Some buyers may be willing to agree to a higher sales price when they see progress occurring. However, if you want a better chance of receiving the full value of your improvements, it’s probably better to wait several months for the changes to take effect before listing the site for sale.
Step 6 – Complete the Paperwork
After the meeting and after receiving your estimated market valuation, you can then decide whether you want to use First Choice Business Brokers to sell your Shopify store. If so, the next step is signing a contract, which is the listing agreement that gives FCBB the ability to begin marketing the business to potential buyers.
As part of this contract, you need to agree to the financial terms of having the broker represent you in the sales process. Depending on the type of business involved, this may represent a flat fee, an hourly fee, or (most commonly) a percentage of the final sales price.
Step 7 – Prepare the Listing
As the seller, you must approve the agent’s marketing and advertising plans for listing your business, including the information in the listing. You and the agent need to put together a list of terms for the sale as well, identifying exactly what the buyer receives. The agent wants certain items as part of the listing, but if you have a few non-traditional items you want to include, just discuss them with the agent.
As part of the basic listing, you should include information such as:
- Listed sale price for the Shopify store
- Gross revenue
- Total adjusted net income
- Year the business started
- General location of the business
- Any inventory included
- Any other assets included
- Whether you will help the buyer with training after the sale
- Whether the business requires licenses
- A written description of the business
- Your reason for selling the business
Your business description can include some of the general terms of the selling process, too. For example, if you need the seller to show proof of funding before negotiations can begin, this can be part of the description.
Generally, your phone number, website, name, business name, and email address shouldn’t appear as part of this listing. Most people selling businesses through business brokers like First Choice Business Brokers only list the agent’s contact information as part of the listing. This ensures a confidential process for you. Any potential buyers who have an interest in your Shopify store can reach out to the broker.
Step 8 – Complete the Sale
When you hire First Choice Business Brokers to sell your Shopify business, the broker manages all interactions with potential buyers. You do not have to speak with these buyers yourself until it’s time for the official negotiations. If the buyer has general questions that the agent cannot answer, the agent will reach out to you for the answers.
The FCBB agent fields any offers from potential buyers. The agent can ensure that the buyer goes through a pre-qualification process, proving that the buyer has the capital required to purchase your business. The buyer likely signs a non-disclosure agreement at this point, where the buyer promises to protect the confidentiality of your personal details.
Once the selling process moves to this point, you may have a meeting among your agent, you, the potential buyer, and any representatives the buyer is using. This allows for discussions over terms, and it gives the buyer a chance to ask specific questions to you.
If the buyer makes an official offer, the broker brings this offer to you. You may do some negotiating the final terms back and forth with the buyer through your agent. If the two of you can come to acceptable terms, the broker manages the timeline for the transfer of your Shopify store’s assets to the buyer and the transfer of the purchase money to you.