- Before You Start Listing
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating The Perfect Listing
- Step 1: Tell Us About Your Startup and Get Pre-Approved
- Step 2: Complete Your Seller Profile
- Step 3: Verify Your Identity as a Seller
- Step 4: Share General Startup Information
- Step 5: Add Your Company Overview
- Step 6: Add Acquisition Details
- Step 7: Connect your metrics
- Step 8: Add P&L Statement
- Step 9: Add Supporting Documents and Files
- Time to Create Your Perfect Listing
The first step in getting Acquire’d is creating the perfect listing. The better your listing, the easier it is to grab the right buyer’s attention. This article will walk you through each step of the listing process, with tips from our curation team and customer success managers.
Your first step is creating a seller account on Acquire.com. Just head to the seller homepage and click Join Now. Once you’ve created an account and verified your email address, start completing your company’s listing.
Follow the steps below, and you’ll be fielding buyer offers in no time.
Before You Start Listing
Here are a couple of things to remember before you jump in.
You Control Access to Your Private Information
Under My Listing, you’ll see two columns. Everything on the left is visible to buyers. The information on the right, however, is private. Buyers wanting to view your private details must sign a non-disclosure agreement when requesting access.
You decide who gets access to your private information. When completing your listing, click Set up to enable auto-signatures on mutual NDAs and to auto-approve buyer access requests. We recommend enabling both features to field more inquiries rather than manually approving every request (which takes time). But if you want to manually review requests, disable this setting.
Take Your Time Creating Your Listing
Now that you’re ready to list, don’t rush. I understand you want your startup to go live as soon as possible, but the more information you include (and the more accurate it is), the more buyer interest you’ll attract. It also helps you match with the right buyers, saving you time and effort when selling your business.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating The Perfect Listing
Step 1: Tell Us About Your Startup and Get Pre-Approved
How does pre-approval work? After entering your basic details and setting an asking price, our curation team reviews everything to ensure you’re a good fit for the marketplace. Pre-approved startups get listed quickly, fast-tracking your acquisition.
To begin your pre-approval process, click Awesome, let’s go.
Select your startup type and click Next.
Enter a valid website for your startup and click Next.
Wait while we validate your website and check for your SSL certificate. If you pass both checks, you’ll go to the next screen. Try again or contact our support team if you don’t pass.
Enter your startup’s trailing twelve-month (TTM) gross revenue and click Next.
Enter your startup’s TTM gross profit and click Next.
Enter your first and last name and click Next. The buyers won’t see your name unless you provide access.
Enter your phone number and click See my asking price.
Buyers don’t see your phone number unless you grant them access. We collect it to verify you’re a real person and not a bot, building trust and legitimacy in the marketplace. Plus, we might contact you with important updates about your acquisition or to help you attract more buyers.
Review your recommended asking price. We calculate this free valuation range based on 100s of closed acquisitions, updated quarterly.
If you approve of the recommendation, click Submit. If you want to adjust your asking price, click Edit.
Enter your asking price and click Submit.
Click Awesome, let’s finish my listing.
Our curation team will get back to you in 24 hours with a response to your pre-approval. In the meantime, review and accept our Code of Conduct to continue filling out your listing.
Step 2: Complete Your Seller Profile
Share a little bit about yourself, including your background and interests. Give buyers a glimpse of the person behind the company.
After you’ve added your personal information, connect your LinkedIn profile. While optional, sellers with LinkedIn profiles usually get more inquiries. Buyers must also add their LinkedIn profile, so the transparency goes both ways, adding another layer of identity verification (more on that below) to create more trust in the marketplace.
Connecting LinkedIn also pre-fills many listing fields, saving you time. Our platform pulls in your LinkedIn photo, for example, so you don’t have to upload one separately.
Step 3: Verify Your Identity as a Seller
We verify everyone’s identity so you can do business together safely. This also helps overcome the first hurdle in any acquisition: Verifying that the person and company are real.
Once you’ve completed your seller profile, you’ll Verify with Persona to add a government-issued ID that verifies your identity. This can be your passport, driver’s license, or any other government-issued identification. Persona will verify that the ID matches your name. When it’s verified from their end, our team does a final verification and you’re all set.
(Disclaimer: We don’t store your personal or sensitive data during this process. You can read more about Persona’s security certifications and privacy policies here.)
Once you’re verified, you’ll receive a badge on your profile which shows everyone in the marketplace you’re a legitimate and trusted founder.
To get verified quickly, take a photo of the government-issued ID instead of using a scanned image. Make sure you have enough lighting to take a clear photo.
Need more help? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to verify your identity.
Step 4: Share General Startup Information
This is a public introduction to your startup and its growth opportunities. Start by adding the startup location, followed by your listing headline and asking price reasoning.
This is the “quick and dirty” description of your business. Prioritize buzzwords that make it easy for buyers to understand what you’re selling. What does your business do? How is it useful? Who is it for? The less the buyer has to infer for themselves, the less likely they’ll pass over your listing for another. Our curation team will also edit this headline to make it as attractive as possible.
Asking Price Reasoning
You risk underselling your business by not paying enough attention to your reasoning. Include everything a buyer might need to justify the price – especially if your asking price is higher than usual. For example, maybe you have a high-value domain or your intellectual property is difficult to duplicate. This is about hard facts, not your emotional connection to your business.
Step 5: Add Your Company Overview
Describe what makes your startup special, including info like:
- A description of your startup
- The date you founded the startup
- The startup team size
- Your business and pricing model
- Your tech stack
- Your competitors
- Your growth opportunities
- Your key assets
- Keywords that describe your startup
The more detailed your headline and description, the likelier you’ll attract your ideal buyer. See our example below for reference.
While the headline (see above) is short and sweet, the description should be thorough. Explain your business and its opportunities in detail. If needed, our curation team will edit this description and optimize the rest of your listing too.
If you want to stand out as a seller, record a video where you share a little bit about yourself and your business to convey value, trust, and credibility. We don’t have the native ability to add a video to a listing yet, so you could use Loom to record and host your video or upload one to YouTube and insert the link in this section of your listing (or under Company Overview if that makes more sense).
Succinctly describe your company’s business and pricing model here. For example, “B2C SaaS charging a monthly recurring fee across three pricing tiers: free (basic), $50 per month (pro), and $100 per month (enterprise).”
Share what tech stack your product or service is built on. For example, React, Firebase, and AWS.
List your company’s main competitors.
Explain how potential buyers would earn a return on their acquisition of your business. Suggest products, strategies, or people who could scale the business’s revenue and profits. Articulate every possible growth opportunity so buyers know what they need to do to earn a return.
Choose what makes your business valuable. Maybe you’ve built a big Instagram following, a high-authority web domain, intellectual property, or established a strong customer base in a niche market. In short, add any assets that make your startup worth buying.
Add keywords that make it easy for buyers to find your company listing such as industry, technology, location, and so on. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and include anything you might search for in that position. Think of it as the SEO of Acquire.com.
Step 6: Add Acquisition Details
Share any acquisition details, including why you’re selling your company and whether your business has any financing.
Reason for Selling
Why are you selling? Tell your story, including where you’re from, why you started your business, and why you want to sell it now. Help our team understand your goals, and give buyers an insight into you as a founder.
Disclose any funding or debt. Do you have investors? Do partners need to be repaid? Were any outside funds used to get the startup going or are you fully bootstrapped?
We’re not asking if you’ll finance the acquisition for the buyer, but if your business has taken on financing in the past that’s still outstanding.
Step 7: Connect your metrics
Your metrics can answer many buyer questions. By connecting web, customer, and financial metrics, buyers can view your company’s performance in real-time. Connecting all three also adds a badge to your profile that can reassure buyers your numbers are accurate.
Connect your accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Sage, and we’ll automatically pull in the right data (including TTM, last month’s gross revenue, and last month’s net profit). If you can’t connect them, upload a P&L (buyers will want to see this) and enter the data manually.
Connect your payment portal such as Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, or App Store. This will allow us to pull data about your annual recurring revenue, customer subscriptions, churn, and so on.
If you can’t connect your customer metrics, enter your number of customers, annual recurring revenue, and annual growth rate manually.
Connect your Google Analytics account to share customer insights within your listing.
Even if you don’t currently use Google Analytics, we highly recommend you sign up for it (it’s free). Once you’ve set up Google Analytics, you can link it to your listing to share traffic data.
Step 8: Add P&L Statement
Buyers will want to see your profit and loss (P&L) statement even if you connect your metrics. Upload one manually to summarize your business’s revenues, costs, and business expenses. Our team will also use your P&L to verify revenue before approving your listing.
Step 9: Add Supporting Documents and Files
Upload any supplementary documentation that potential buyers might find useful under this section. For example, you can add:
- A pitch deck (we can also create one for you),
- Product demo deck
- Asset valuation estimates (like if you have a valuable domain or intellectual property)
- Customer testimonials
- More charts, diagrams, or analyses related to your business.
Essentially, include any documents that help convey the value of your company.
Time to Create Your Perfect Listing
Once you’ve completed your listing, our curation team will review it and respond with a decision to list or reject your startup in just one business day. If it’s a rejection, we’ll explain why and how to fix it. If it’s approved, your startup will go live right away.
Final Pro Tip
You’re welcome to edit your listing once it goes live, but any changes will go through our curation team first. Please take our one-day turnaround time into account when sprucing up your listing.