How Does One Sell A Business?

Business By karateka Updated 14 Aug 2010 , 2:42pm by MariaK38

karateka Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 5:41pm
post #1 of 18

I am thinking about selling my business, such as it is.

I'm not sure whether my client list is anything to really buy. If I was successful, I doubt I'd be selling.

However, it seems like a huge PITA to sell everything individually on ebay....

How would you go about this? Just group everything I own and sell it as a lot? Or do the individual thing?

And where to advertise it?

17 replies
jillmakescakes Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 7:33pm
post #2 of 18

well, you can talk to a few realtors, some of them have names of people who sell businesses as a whole.

You could also advertise a "garage sale" of sorts. You will open your business for offers, make an offer for the whole business one day, if that doesn't sell, the piece-meal the next day. Have them offer a price to you for equipt, if you like it, they take the item, if not, you wait for the next person.
A local bakery/deli did this when the went to wholesale only. I made an offer a several things (got some, not others). I remember he had a used 10qt mixer. He didn't take my offer. When I came back the next day to pick up some of my bigger items, I asked him what he got for the mixer... $1500!! I joked with him that they don't cost that much brand new-- he said "I know that, but HE didn't!"

best of luck to you!

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:10pm
post #3 of 18


Loucinda Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:15pm
post #4 of 18

You could put an ad in the Ohio ICES newsletter. Target the audience you are looking for that way.

karateka Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 10:04pm
post #5 of 18

Thank you for the ideas. I hadn't even thought of the ICES newsletter....

If I decide to go ahead and sell, I'll keep these in mind.

My DH is thinking I'm an idiot for considering it. Sigh...I need a fairy godmother to tell me what to do.

cylstrial Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 10:21pm
post #6 of 18

You don't want to at least keep your cake stuff for your own personal cakes and family and such?

Just stop making cakes for a bit and relax and you'll figure it out! I hope you stick with it!

karateka Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 10:37pm
post #7 of 18

I was wondering if I should keep my stuff and just compete. But I recently got a logo designed and am paid up for a full year of web hosting for my new custom designed website, so I was wondering how I could sell that, too. Business insurance on my DH's truck, liability insurance on the much cash spent on this business and I'm not covering my bills anymore.

They could just change the location on the website, you know? Say "Under New Management" or something similar.

But I don't know. My DH says I should just do the cakes that come in and not worry since we don't need the income. However, we are having some family drama since I am apparently not cut out to parent teenagers. Plus I am working 3rd shift at the hospital and when I finish a rotation I spend 3 or 4 days feeling like roadkill and that is precisely when my kids start to pick at the open wounds. (so to speak)

I also teach karate and take karate myself. I am due to test for my 3rd degree black belt this December, a goal I have spent the last 8 years on. But I feel like something in my life has to go. Like maybe it is my fault that the kids and I aren't getting along. My DS has told me many times that he wishes I had never started this "stupid" business. (He's 14 1/2). Asking him to wash a cake pan is equivalent to making him help me with my dreams at the expense of his dreams....which as far as I can tell is to spend 24/7/365 in front of an XBOX 360.

That fall down 7 times get up 8 thing is starting to sound stupid to me. I mean, really....keep getting hit and the smart person stays down to MAKE IT STOP. I am SO TIRED. (yeah....I am wallowing a bit right now)

Now that I've imparted waaaaay too much information, I have to go get ready for class.

Cylstrial....thank you for the support. It means a great deal.

jason_kraft Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 11:00pm
post #8 of 18

If you already have licensed space, you could rent it out to others.

jadak Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 12:15am
post #9 of 18

I am truly sorry times are so trying right now. Maybe you could just put the business on the back burner for a while. You mentioned times are slow anyway. Maybe "close" for awhile and refer people to someone else... (I'm in Milford, but can't compare to you and your level of talent...I'm sure someone can.)

Please keep your things if you have the space for them. You never know when you'll feel differently about all of this and you'd hate to have to start accummulating supplies all over again. Besides, I'm sure you'll have occassions for family and friends where you can create a cake AND your competition cakes that I've seen have been amazing and I hope you will continue to do those.

I know you have spent LOTS of time and money on your business and it shows in the cakes you produce. However, if it's too much then it's too much, but maybe in 6 months or so it won't be too much, know what I mean?

Sorry about the kids too. My oldest is 9 an apparently I'm not cut out for that!!!!!!! What'll life be like when she's in her teens? icon_cry.gif Good luck with all of this and please keep us posted. I hope things smooth out for you soon.

cakemom42 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 1:38am
post #10 of 18

It's ok to put your business on the back burner for a bit.
Life can be overwhelming at times & that's when we need to rest & center ourselves. Cakes will come, they always do. Don't do something you will regret later.
We have 2 teens (15 & 16) & it's a challenge I won't lie... No matter what great kids they are they get on your nerves because your are exhuasted and have nothng left to give... not even to yourself..
Take time to rest, be good to yourself, put your family 1st, focus on what makes you centered, and then decide what you want to do about the business. You'll be happier with the decision :0)

minicuppie Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 11:48am
post #11 of 18

kara, read your post. You are spread so thin, no wonder you want out.
IMO, pack up your kitchen and store it.
Write off all the $$$ you can on your taxes.
Raise your kids.
Children don't come with do-overs.

Karen421 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 12:17pm
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by minicuppie

kara, read your post. You are spread so thin, no wonder you want out.
IMO, pack up your kitchen and store it.
Write off all the $$$ you can on your taxes.
Raise your kids.
Children don't come with do-overs.

AMEN!! and seriously - when you blink - they are grown!!! I agree store, your tools, life will settle down eventually, and then you can begin to get back into.

sweetooth94 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 12:33pm
post #13 of 18

Take a break! icon_razz.gif It won't hurt a thing and with your talent the cake orders will be there when you decide to pick up your spatula and pastry bag and start again. Put a disclosure on the homepage of your new website that you will honor any orders already on your calendar, but you are not accepting any new orders until ...??... whenever you feel like returning. Reconsider after your karate testing is over and see if you enjoyed the break or if you miss the cake business.

If you miss the cake business, go back! You said you didn't need it for income - you like doing it. If you go back, make a plan and STICK TO IT!! (ie: make a pact with yourself that you would only do one (or two) cakes every other week. That way you know you only have one week of caking and one week/weekend for family time.) It would be a shame to sell now and you decide in 6 months that you miss it and have to buy all your equipment again.

The stress isn't worth it. And as minnicuppie wrote: "Children don't come with do-overs." ~ thumbs_up.gif

Cakenator Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 12:57pm
post #14 of 18

You can hire an auction company.

bakingpw Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 1:08pm
post #15 of 18

My heart goes out to you. I've been exactly in your position and totally understand. I agree with the others above, take a break, do an occasional, no stress, cake for your family, otherwise tell your customers you are taking a break, putting your family first. You will not regret taking this break and focusing on your teens (though they might not act like they appreciate it). We all have "seasons" in our lives - yours is just changing now, embrace it. Think how much better you'll feel with just a little less stress

dahir Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 1:27pm
post #16 of 18

OMG! I hear ya on the teenagers. I have 3 teenage boy's (19, 19 and 20)that have been home from college for the summer. We now call our home the house that never sleeps. I have never felt so down on myself as I have since they turned 16. I'm not sure what happens but they go from being glad to see you after school to your just an idiot mom and dad. Hang in there I'm told it passes and gets better. Can't confirm that theory yet but that's what I hear. Gotta love em'
Good luck in what ever you decide.

karateka Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 9:13pm
post #17 of 18

I hadn't thought of the auction company, either.

The stress isn't coming so much from all my orders I need to do. I'm not really doing that many. But I should be, what with the business car insurance, business liability insurance, etc. I feel it is a bit expensive to keep up if I'm not bringing in money. So there's the stress.

I realize kids don't come with do-overs. If I didn't care about them, I doubt they'd be able to stress me so badly. I'm just frustrated and tired.

I'll figure it out somehow. It helps to be able to come here, thanks everyone.....

MariaK38 Posted 14 Aug 2010 , 2:42pm
post #18 of 18

it sounds like your mind is divided. it's hard to keep up with all that physically for sure, but there's alot of mental energy being expended there as well.
that being said, if there's anything you'd like to sell and not put away for a later date, please pm me a list/prices. I'm up in Dayton and trying to get started on business here at home. I don't do cakes, but I do cookies, cupcakes, cake truffles, and buckeyes. So if there's anything you think I could use, let me know and I'll get back with you.

Take care! Maria

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