Business

Finally, I Bought a Business!

Earlier, in another blog post, I wrote that FlagandBanner.com (FAB) had some exciting news that I could not wait to share it with everyone. Also, if you remember, last year I asked my readers for suggestions on possible new products to sell. Products that would complement FAB’s already existing product line and had a peak sales season opposite FAB’s summer flag sales. Thank you for all the good product suggestions and even the recommendation to check out the website bizbuysell.com.

Along with asking my blog readers for suggestions I asked my bankers, accountants, and other business associates to keep their eyes and ears open for owners who might be interested in selling their small business. In one such conversation, with my Google AdWords consultant, I was introduced to OurCornerMarket.com (OCM).

Meant to Be

The consultant said she had been managing OCM’s AdWords for years and that the woman who founded the website in 1996 was ready to retire. Within minutes of pulling up the homepage, I knew it was a good fit. OurCornerMarket.com has a wide selection of address plaques, memorials, and garden décor that I could see would pair nicely with FAB’s garden banners, military grave markers, and US flag home kits.

Upon my request, our AdWords’ manager introduced us to each other, via email. We had an immediate connection. Like me, her business was personal, and she was an early internet adopter, having built her web business from scratch 20 years ago.

Over the next two months, the seller and I became friends as we negotiated the terms of the agreement. Since I have never bought a business before, I called lots of people and asked for advice. On one such call, I was advised to hire a lawyer to write the contract. Thus, a lawyer friend and neighbor was enlisted. I explained that reading legalese was not my forte and asked him for the smallest, simplest contract he could draw up that would still be binding.

After two months of talking with the owner of OCM and promising to take good care of her website, customers, and vendors, we closed the deal on August 19th.

Things I Learned

During this process, I learned about this easy-to-use website, Escrow.com. The buyer puts the money in an online escrow bank account. In good faith, the seller sends the login, passwords, and other sensitive materials to the buyer for verification. Once the buyer has confirmed all things are as they should be, the buyer releases the funds to the seller. 

This transfer of ownership was fast and easy, but the credit card processing and other minutia took a little longer. During this weeklong transition period, we paused our newly acquired website and posted a “closed for upgrades” screen shot.

I am happy to announce the website is now up and selling, as usual. It is exciting! My team and I are “chomping at the bit” to make improvements, but we have been advised to move slowly. In the world of e-tail business, OurCornerMarket.com is an old website with high authority ranking and we do not want to accidentally lose that position by being overzealous in our changes.

But CHANGES ARE A-COME’N. Stay tuned as we introduce more products to Our Corner Market, a broad name with a broad future.

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