- What Does ChatGPT Have to Say About Selling Your Business?
- Strengths and Weaknesses of ChatGPT for Selling Your Business
- An Alternative to ChatGPT-3 for Selling Your Startup
One year in tech feels like a decade anywhere else, resulting in frequent changes to how we do things online. In fields with steep learning curves, for example, AI assistants are lowering the barrier to entry. People now use text-based AI tools like ChatGPT to do everything from coding user interfaces from pictures to systematically wooing dates on Tinder.
Today, you may be tempted to use AI tools like ChatGPT for advice and help when selling your business. But can you trust AI to help you achieve a life-changing acquisition?
Closing an acquisition at a price and terms involves many tasks, including:
- Evaluating the market value of your business
- Vetting buyers and negotiating with them
- Navigating complex legal documents
- Marketing your business
We researched how to use ChatGPT-3 to help sell your business and even asked what it recommends. Here’s what we found.
What Does ChatGPT Have to Say About Selling Your Business?
I asked ChatGPT-3 how I could use it to sell my business. The following sections are what it told me (with some edits to make it more exciting to read).
In its answer, ChatGPT focused purely on creating messaging based on the information you’ve put into it. It can’t do things like:
- Reach out to potential buyers for you
- Learn everything there is to know about your industry
- Give you a 100 percent accurate market valuation
- Work as reliable legal counsel
Here is how to best use ChatGPT-3 to sell your business, in the words of ChatGPT-3.
Gather Information About Your Business
Before consulting ChatGPT-3, it suggests you compile information about your business to use in your prompt, including:
- Financial data (MRR, growth, profits, etcetera)
- Products, services, and other assets
- Competition, market share, and potential opportunities
- Strengths and weaknesses
Define Your Target Audience
The next step is to identify the types of buyers you want to attract, such as strategic buyers, financial buyers, or private equity firms.
Different buyers will be interested in different aspects of your business, and ChatGPT can tailor its messages to those you want to target. If you have specific information about the buyers you want to target, add it to your prompt too.
Craft Your Message With ChatGPT
Using your audience and business details, ChatGPT can generate persuasive messages to use in your acquisition marketing materials.
Remember to be as specific as possible when prompting ChatGPT. It draws from many different sources and a slightly misworded phrase can produce unintended results.
I’ve created a sample prompt below for a fictional business called Bigtalker. Let’s see what ChatGPT did with the information I gave it.
Create a 500-word executive summary for my business, Bigtalker. Bigtalker is a marketplace for people to find new people to meet and talk to around their city for conversations. Subscriptions for Bigtalker cost $10 per month.
Right now we’ve been operating for two years and make $4,000 in MRR. We have between 300 and 500 active monthly users primarily in New York City and Chicago.
Our major competitors are Quickconvos and SpeakEZ. Quickconvos is active in New York City and San Francisco. They do about the same MRR as us but charge $30 per month instead of $10. SpeakEZ Costs $20 for an entire year of membership and owns small markets throughout the United States.
We believe we are well positioned as we recently received coverage from large publications like The Wall Street Journal. We also recently launched an integration with Reddit where “Bigtalkers” can search for other talkers in their area by searching for keywords in Reddit forums like “I want to talk with [blank] type of person in New York City”.
Our website runs on Bubble with our backend in Notion. Operating costs are typically $1,000 per month.
We want to sell our business to a financial buyer who could improve our service and flip it later for a profit.
ChatGPT-3 Created This Executive Summary
Executive Summary: Bigtalker
Bigtalker is a thriving two-year-old marketplace that connects individuals seeking conversations with new people in their cities. With a focus on fostering meaningful interactions, Bigtalker has gained significant traction in the markets of New York City and Chicago. This executive summary provides an overview of Bigtalker’s business model, current performance, competitive landscape, recent developments, operational details, and the opportunity for potential acquisition.
Bigtalker operates as a subscription-based platform, offering users access to a diverse pool of individuals to engage in conversations and meet offline. Priced at $10 per month, the service provides an affordable and convenient option for users seeking social connections. The subscription model generates a consistent monthly recurring revenue (MRR) stream, contributing to the financial stability and growth of the platform.
As of the most recent financial data, Bigtalker generates $4,000 in MRR. The platform boasts an active user base ranging from 300 to 500 monthly users, primarily concentrated in New York City and Chicago. This user engagement demonstrates the appeal of the service and its potential for expansion into other metropolitan areas.
Bigtalker operates in a competitive market alongside two main competitors: Quickconvos and SpeakEZ. Quickconvos, active in New York City and San Francisco, commands a similar MRR but charges users $30 per month, making Bigtalker’s $10 subscription more attractive to cost-conscious customers. SpeakEZ, with its $20 annual membership fee, targets smaller markets across the United States, presenting a distinct approach to regional engagement. Bigtalker’s strong presence in two major cities and its competitive pricing give it a notable advantage.
Bigtalker has recently garnered attention from renowned publications such as The Wall Street Journal, which has provided valuable exposure and increased brand recognition. Additionally, the integration of Bigtalker with Reddit allows users to search for potential conversation partners using specific keywords, enhancing the platform’s functionality and expanding its reach to a broader user base.
Bigtalker’s website operates on Bubble, providing a user-friendly and intuitive interface for seamless interactions. The backend of the platform is built on Notion, ensuring efficient management and scalability. The company incurs operational costs of approximately $1,000 per month, contributing to a healthy profit margin.
Opportunity for Acquisition:
Bigtalker presents an attractive investment opportunity for a financial buyer seeking to enhance the service and capitalize on potential future profitability. With a solid foundation in two prominent cities, a competitive pricing structure, and recent media coverage, the platform is well-positioned for growth and expansion into new markets. The buyer can leverage the existing user base, optimize the platform’s features, explore marketing opportunities, and consider potential synergies with other businesses to maximize returns on investment.
Bigtalker has established itself as a successful marketplace for connecting individuals seeking engaging conversations in their cities. With a cost-effective subscription model, a growing user base, and favorable market positioning, Bigtalker presents an exciting opportunity for acquisition. The recent integration with Reddit and coverage from reputable publications further strengthen the platform’s potential for future growth. By acquiring Bigtalker, a financial buyer can enhance the service and leverage its strengths to generate substantial returns on investment in the long term.
Optimize Your Message on ChatGPT
Once you have generated your messages, refine them to ensure they are clear, concise, and compelling. Again, ChatGPT has limitations. Its answers are not always worded well or accurate but act as guidelines you can adjust.
As a copywriter, I might go back and add two rules immediately:
- “Make sure no sentences are longer than two lines.”
- “Make sure no paragraphs are longer than three sentences.”
How I Would Tweak the Prompt It Generated
You have to admit, GPT-3 managed to spice up much of the information I fed it in the prompt. However, there are some places I’d edit for clarity.
For example, in the operational details section, it’s obvious GPT-3 doesn’t know much about Bubble or Notion as it uses vague terms like “user-friendly” and “intuitive” to describe how it interacts with customers. Most founders using these tools understand they benefit the company running them more than the customers.
Here are some immediate edits I could make:
Bigtalker’s website operates on Bubble, [an industry-leading no-code tool that allows the team to update our platform quickly without relying on an expensive development team].
providing a user-friendly and intuitive interface for seamless interactions. The backend of the platform is built on Notion, [a simple-to-edit online database tool that ensures] efficient management and scalability. The company incurs operational costs of approximately $1,000 per month, contributing to a healthy profit margin.
I would also tweak the Opportunity for Acquisition and Conclusion sections to make them a bit more specific (and add some paragraph breaks). ChatGPT can’t quite define the exit opportunity a financial buyer might be looking for either – so I’d add that in.
Opportunity for Acquisition:
Bigtalker presents an attractive investment opportunity for a financial buyer seeking to enhance the service and capitalize on potential future profitability. With a solid foundation in two prominent cities, a competitive pricing structure, and recent media coverage, the platform is well-positioned for growth and expansion into new markets.
The buyer can leverage the existing user base, optimize the platform’s features [like (example)], explore marketing opportunities [like (example)], and consider potential synergies with other businesses [like (example)] to maximize returns on investment. [Furthermore, a larger corporation might be interested in buying Bigtalker later as a potential marketing tool due to its active community in a unique niche.]
Bigtalker has established itself as a successful marketplace for connecting individuals seeking engaging conversations in their cities. With a cost-effective subscription model, a growing user base, favorable market positioning, [and an easy-to-learn backend], Bigtalker presents an exciting opportunity for acquisition. The recent integration with Reddit and coverage from reputable publications further strengthen the platform’s potential for future growth. By acquiring Bigtalker, a financial buyer can enhance the service and leverage its strengths to generate substantial returns on investment in the long term.
Use Your Message to Market Your Business
Now you’ve identified information gaps in your original prompt, input the missing details. For example, I’ll add clarifications about Notion and Bubble into my description of how I built my platform:
Our website runs on Bubble, [an industry-leading no-code tool that allows the team to update our platform quickly without relying on an expensive development team].
with oOur backend is in Notion, [a simple-to-edit online database tool that ensures efficient management and scalability]. Operating costs are typically $1,000 per month.
Ultimately, you’ll create a block of information that is easy for GPT-3 to pull from for any of your marketing messaging. You could then prompt Chat-GPT things like:
- “Use the following information to write a one-paragraph summary of my business.”
- “Use the following information to write a SWOT analysis for my business.”
- “Write an email subject line for selling my business based on the following information.”
- “Based on the following information, write down the three key selling points of my business.”
While you may still find some holes in the response generated from each prompt, you can always update your text repository to generate better messages later. With trial and error, you’ll create detailed answers to almost any inquiry about your business in seconds.
Strengths and Weaknesses of ChatGPT for Selling Your Business
Despite the power of AI, no machine can sell your startup for you end-to-end. Most businesses and people acquire companies for vastly different purposes. There is an emotional side to selling as well – AI still isn’t great at emotions yet.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of using ChatGPT when selling your business.
Pros of ChatGPT for Selling Your Business
- It can generate new marketing messaging and information about your business quickly.
- It can help you craft concise messaging about your business for buyers.
- It can help you think up new angles for selling your business and exciting ways to describe your service.
Cons of Using ChatGPT for Selling Your Business
- Like a student forced to write a report on a book they never read, ChatGPT sometimes generates vague responses if it doesn’t have enough information about a subject.
- ChatGPT cannot tailor messaging to every possible buyer. You’ll need to edit its messaging if you know a particular buyer will or won’t want to hear about a certain part of your business.
- ChatGPT may misrepresent you and your company if not given enough information in the prompt.
- Unless you’re willing to pay for newer versions, GPT-3 only has access to information on the internet prior to 2021.
An Alternative to ChatGPT-3 for Selling Your Startup
Don’t want to rely on an AI’s best guesses at M&A etiquette to help sell your business? You don’t have to! When you list your business on Acquire.com, our customer service managers (CSMs) will help you craft the perfect listing with messaging we know will help it sell quickly.
To sell your business, sign up for a free seller account, tell us the same basic information you’d give ChatGPT, and we’ll help you generate the perfect listing for your company.
Once live, your business will be visible to over 200,000 qualified buyers who can reach out to you instantly to pursue an acquisition. In return, you pay a 4 percent closing fee if you sell your business and nothing if not.
Can I Use ChatGPT to Help Find Buyers for My Business (M&A)?
ChatGPT can’t call up buyers for you, but it can tell you places where you might find them like forums, local M&A brokers, or online marketplaces. Just remember that ChatGPT-3 only sees information generated before 2021 and may not be on the pulse of the rapidly changing online M&A industry.
Can I Use ChatGPT to Chat With Buyers for My Business (M&A)?
You can use ChatGPT to generate all types of messages, and you could theoretically use it as an aid when answering hard questions from buyers. That said, GPT-3 is not a legal expert or M&A professional. There are many different views on the best approach to negotiating a sale, and you have no guarantee GPT will choose the right one.
Can ChatGPT Help Me Evaluate My Business?
As an AI, ChatGPT excels in concrete equations like valuations. However, to get an accurate valuation, you’ll need to be as specific as possible regarding how much different aspects of your business are worth. An AI may not accurately predict the value of intangible assets like:
- Your expertise
- How easy your business is to run by another owner
- Your growth potential
Can I Use ChatGPT to Draft Legal Documents for Me?
We would not recommend using ChatGPT to draft legal documents for your business. While it could likely draft decent template agreements, it has many biases that may or may not be apparent while gathering information. It also lacks contextual cues and might not understand all of the legal ramifications of certain phrasings.
We give you easy-to-edit builders for legal documents like LOIs, APAs, and more on Acquire.com – and we consulted real legal experts to make them. If you use our tools to draft your acquisition documents, you can rest easy knowing you are following standard M&A procedures in the United States.
Can ChatGPT Tell Me If My Asking Price Is Too Low/High?
Likely no. ChatGPT only makes judgments based on what it can find on the internet. As most M&A deals are done under nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), very little information on purchase prices makes it to the open web. You’d be better off relying on traditional valuation methods, our multiples report, or speaking with your CSM.
The content on this site is not intended to provide legal, financial or M&A advice. It is for information purposes only, and any links provided are for your convenience. Please seek the services of an M&A professional before entering into any M&A transaction. It is not Acquire’s intention to solicit or interfere with any established relationship you may have with any M&A professional.