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Why is it hard to sell an established business?

Olga Grineva. Photo provided by the heroine

When companies leave the market, others see it as an opportunity to carve out a niche by buying a ready-made business. Thinks so owner three businesses Olga Grineva. She told Pro Business why she has not yet been able to sell her projects, how she sees the situation on the market now, and why she created a Facebook group with ads for the sale and purchase of a business.

From founding a PR studio to developing startups

– Until 2014, I was an ordinary employee. Worked in various organizations. But at a certain moment I realized that I had grown to the level of working for myself.

From the first working day, all my professional activities have been related to communication and PR. Therefore, I decided to try my hand at this direction. Together with my future husband, we launched our own PR studio and successfully developed it.

This is a fairly successful business, the experience of which I was very inspired by. When I realized that our studio has proven itself and the business is firmly on its feet, I wanted to try something new.

Unfortunately, the next business experience for me was not entirely successful. I opened an Israeli cosmetics store (Olga talked about this in detail here – approx. “About business”). But of all my projects, this one taught me the most. Stuffed bumps due to an unsuccessful business in the future made it possible to avoid mistakes.

Photo courtesy of Olga Grineva
Photo courtesy of Olga Grineva

And since significant funds were invested in the Israeli cosmetics store, I set a goal for myself in the next project – I will launch it with a zero budget.

And so it happened. In 2018, a service selling food from restaurants with big discounts appeared in Minsk. The project took off — in a week almost 15,000 people subscribed to our Telegram channel.

“The manager aggressively offered to push the ad until she said, ‘Don’t call me again!’”

— is a great startup. But now I’m selling it. Due to the fact that the project turned out to be successful and I really liked it, the idea came up to create startups for further sale. Another startup I invented and put up for sale is a Telegram bot that replaces a trip to the pharmacy.

So far, I have not sold any of my businesses, but I have already developed experience in finding buyers and promoting ads. And it can not be called positive.

For the first time, I plunged into the world of selling ready-made businesses when I decided to sell my Israeli cosmetics store. This world is represented by several popular sites-platforms where ads are placed. I posted an ad on one of these platforms.

Already at the stage of filling out the ad form, I encountered limitations – these forms are very unified and do not take into account some business features. This is fundamentally wrong, because each business has its own specifics and audience.


For example, the site required photos to be attached to the ad. It’s one thing when you sell a beauty salon, cafe or gym. But what if business does not mean something physical and material? The project is online, and the sites do not make it possible to take into account some of the features of such a business when filling out ads. There are also technical inconveniences that do not take into account modern realities.

And in general, these sites focus on the sale of physical businesses.

After placing the ad, the manager of this site began to call me with a proposal to raise my ad in the list, take a percentage of the sale of this business, if he contributes to this. In general aggressively offered his services. I called almost every day, but I did not need additional promotion. As a result, I had to say rudely: “Don’t call me again!”.

“A ready-made business in a crisis is in demand more than ever”

— They say that in a crisis, new opportunities appear, and I would probably agree with that. A ready-made business in a crisis is more in demand than ever. Some companies are exiting the market, while others see it as an opportunity to carve out a niche and try a new direction. Moreover, now sellers are easier to bargain and can seriously move up in the price of a business.

Selling a ready-made business is now much easier due to the fact that both parties – both the seller and the buyer – have an interest in doing it faster.

An unstable situation has formed in Belarus. People are leaving. Including businessmen who cannot or do not want to transport their business to another country. In my Facebook feed, there were a lot of ads for renting out apartments and selling / buying a business.

I myself posted ads for the sale of my businesses on Facebook, but the algorithms did not work. Then I thought: why not create such a community yourself, a group that will facilitate the search for buyers of ready-made businesses?

And immediately discovered the advantages of such an idea. First, there are no unified forms. The seller can freely place an ad. Secondly, there will be no intermediaries. The seller and the buyer can communicate directly in the comments or personal correspondence. Plus, in the group you can place an ad about buying a business. There is no such possibility on the sites-platforms.

I have nothing from this project. This is just an attempt to help business buyers and sellers find each other.

At the moment, I don’t see the need to develop my own classifieds site. Moreover, I think that sites with ads for the sale of a ready-made business are becoming irrelevant.

People every day simplify their communication. When I launched, the site was needed only because Telegram at that time did not allow making payments. Today, many businesses have switched to social networks and instant messengers.

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My profession is a journalist, but my hobby for 8 years has been studying Forex investing and trading. During this time, I managed to gain extensive experience in investing and trading cryptocurrencies and double my capital in the Forex market. To be the author of this magazine, the site owners invited me to participate in one of the 2020 trading webinars, and I will try to reveal the most relevant crypto market news for you.

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