I’m the living example of this fact that any business can be flipped not just Amazon accounts or listings.
In 2010, after coming out of the trauma of losing my Elance (now Upwork) account which was doing about $80k a month in sales, I started working on a web-based application built on core PHP. The app was about listing and selling tickets. The idea was simply copied from my previous Elance projects. However, I rebuilt it with some additional features. This event ticketing app was set up online to sell as a licensed download of the app and anyone could install it and set up his own ticketing business or just sell one event tickets… I was selling hardly 2-3 licenses of this app per month as I was not great with SEO and Google was hardly driving any traffic.
In 2011 while preparing to move to Malaysia, I needed more cash for initial expenses in Malaysia. I didn’t invest anything on this app except my time on development and putting it live. I posted it on Flippa for sale with all the real numbers and stats. In a few days, I found the buyer from Japan, we discussed the details and the business was sold for US $7500. It wasn’t a too big amount at that time either but still was a great help. He was good at SEO and driving traffic, he made more traffic to it, enhanced further, and resold for a higher amount. I know it because he is still in contact with me via Facebook.
By the end of 2014, my wife and I decided to move back to Pakistan since we had some education concerns for our kids. Unlike many other people who just wind up their business, sell their stuff on Olx or craigslist, I decided to do it differently. My business was pretty much physical as it was a software house I had 4 staff members and several projects.
I finished the jobs which could be done on time and collected the receivables. There were 2-3 projects with very low receivables pending. I posted on Mudah.my (local classified in Malaysia) that I’m willing to sell my business. Went through several inquiries and meetings and found the right buyer in about 3 weeks. Without any physical object, the business was sold for about MYR 38000… equivalent to approx $14k USD at that time. And for this money what did I sell?– just my business name (I still have that legal entity for me in Malaysia)– Those 2-3 pending projects with minor receivables. What exactly I sold was the business which had a very good presence in Malaysia and high potential to get more business using its name. It was just goodwill of the name…
After I returned to Karachi from Los Angeles in late 2016, I was already in debt of 33 thousand dollars due to some unexpected events happened in the US, I was almost broke. (I had my Amz seller account ready while I was in the US). I had only 2k USD available to me to do something in Karachi.
Remember? I sold my business in Malaysia so couldn’t continue that either. Almost 2 months I spent just thinking about what should I do next.
Finally, I decided to get into Mug and Tshirt Printing business. I rented a local shop in a market in N. Nazimabad Karachi. The beginning was good, but alter realized the business wasn’t profitable enough for me to satisfy myself. I mean it was fulfilling the survival needs, but not something I would like to continue doing.
Initially, I invested about $2k equivalent and later may have added about $1k equivalent more into it. After 6 months in that business, I decided to move to something else. Posted the business for sale on OLX… Met many potential people who were interested.
Finally, a gentleman closed the deal with me. Took over the business including the physical shop, the equipment, and the available inventory. I sold the whole business for about $7k equivalent. What was included? the equipment, the inventory and both of these were worth less than $3k. There was a Facebook page of Pakistani audiences with several thousand followers. That is where I built the Brand Goodwill. Included that and the deal was closed for $7k equivalent.
This last business was the perfect example of a Brick and Mortar business which is considered one of the hardest businesses to sell or get rid of! Especially in Pakistan. However, by playing smart, anyone can flip any business.
All the selling amounts are small and nothing big. However, it at least doesn’t put me in a loss. It comes out of nothing. Usually, I see many people open shops, fail and just close, eat the losses and move on. I would think twice in those cases.
Thank you all for reading. All this information was written to give the idea that any business can be flipped. Just play smart!