It’s summer and time to dial up the road trips, Airpods in the kitchen, and stories that inspire us. On the Simple Pin Podcast we do something fun during the summer months – the Summer Story Series!
This is where we interview entrepreneurs and business owners to give us a break from the tips and action items. This just allows us to listen to a good story.
- Episode 1 – Monetizing for Entrepreneurs with Molly Keyser
- Episode 2 – Navigating Changes in Business with Brenda Crow.
This week we’re diving in with Alexis Grant from They Got Acquired.
We’re talking about her journey to sell her own business, and what it’s like to tell the stories of people who have sold theirs. She has a special passion for helping women getting into the space that’s predominately male, and helping them to see what’s possible.
how to know you’re an entrepreneur
Alexis went to college for journalism, and worked as a reporter at several publications before starting her own business. She mentions that she resisted even taking business classes at college, because she found it so boring.
When she started her first business, she realized it was more satisfying to be able to make money on her own terms. She loved not having to wait for somebody else to issue her a paycheck.
She also loves figuring out how to provide value to people in different ways. And in turn, make money from that. It feels like a game to Alexis, and she finds that it really jives with her personality.
an accidental entrepreneur
As many newer business owners do, Alexis stumbled into being a freelancer. She was hiking with a friend and mentioned to him that the business he worked for should be on social media, and he suggested that she do it for them.
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This ended up turning into growing a small team of contractors, which helped her learn how to build a team. What processes did she need to set up? How could she get the business to run without her if needed?
This small agency turned into her first opportunity to sell a business she owned. One of the larger clients that her agency worked for ended up bringing Alexis and all her employees in-house (called an “acquhire”).
what came next?
Alexis says that she never would have thought about selling her business. It just never occurred to her, and she never had plans to become an employee again. When the opportunity came up, she realized that there were a lot of pros to selling – especially in the stage of life she was in.
After working for the company for awhile, Alexis and her family moved to West Virginia. And then the pandemic hit, and she was sitting at home with two very young kids. She had time to think about what she wanted to do, and where she wanted to go in business.
She didn’t want to shift too far from media-based businesses, because that’s what she knew. But she also wanted something to challenge her a bit. She ended up founding and launching a business called They Got Acquired, which helps other founders sell their business.
Alexis talked a lot about what it was like to have two really small children, while juggling her career. It can be tough while your life is shifting and changing, your marriage is changing after having kids, you’re trying to sort through what your career looks like and how much time you can spend in it.
teaching others how to sell their business
After selling her first business, and quickly selling a second, she realized that there’s a huge learning curve for folks who have never waded into those waters. They Got Acquired helps business owners learn what they need in place to sell, and are developing some different products to help with this as well.
She found that nobody was really covering this niche in a way that was helpful to business owners wanting to sell, and felt approachable. It can feel so refreshing to hear people talk about selling their business for $200k to $500k, versus millions and millions of dollars.
Alexis wanted to make sure that smaller business owners and creators knew that selling their business was an option for them, not just for the “big” businesses. For many content creators who kind of fell into business, they tended to think they would just shut down their business instead of selling.
They Got Acquired helps them realize that they can get something out of all their hard work in the end.
Alexis and her team publish content, put out a newsletter a few times per week, and are working on different product lines.
They also just launched a short course on how to sell a business, that’s really high level and digestible. With the course, they found that they were answering the same questions over and over, so this really helped jumpstart knowledge for business owners looking to sell. This puts all the information into one place, so people can see it all at once.
who should sell their business?
Alexis and her business focus specifically on online businesses, instead of an in-person or brick and mortar business. They want to get this information into the hands of people who are looking to sell in a few years, because it’s important to set your business up now in a certain way.
The more they can help people get ahead of it, the better they’ll do with a potential sale.
Alexis says that the tweaks and changes you need to make will not only optimize for the sale, but will also be healthy changes for your business now. The time to sell isn’t when you’re burnt out and overwhelmed. Nor is it the time when something in the business is broken or failing. You want to have a plan, and make the changes that will help you in the short-term as well.
She mentions that having a roadmap for selling can help you make hard choices you’ve been shying away from for awhile.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS COVERED
- False narratives and messages about selling businesses that are shared across the industry
- Why selling a business (or more than one) can be a great addition to a family legacy
- Why females in this niche are under-served and under-represented
- If you could have dinner with any entrepreneur, who would it be?
- What does this industry look like three years from now?
One final thought – If you feel intimidated by the idea of creating a plan for selling your business, subscribe to the They Got Acquired newsletter. Just start reading stories from other business owners. You’re not committing to anything, just hearing some inspiring stories.
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