Update: Soochi was shutdown in May 2018. You can still see whatever left of the site here. This was a fun side-project.

One fine day while browsing HN, I stumbled upon Indie Hackers, a site that features internet businesses started by people from all sorts of backgrounds, and it changed my life.**

Soochi: Find and list internet businesses

🎉 Introducing, Soochi

Soochi is the best place to find and list internet businesses that can be run either by solopreneurs or small (remote) teams.

The communities I mentioned above features several thousand products made by some brilliant makers, and during my research I found a trait common among almost all makers. They only stop building new things (or slow down a bit) when maintaining one*** of their products takes most of their time. All makers want to see their product/business do well, but sometimes they don’t really know how to take it to next level, or maybe just want to do something new. This is the time when most makers (should) consider selling their business.

Up until now, makers in this situation were expected to either start talking to a brokerage firm or list their business for sale on marketplaces, and as I have found in my research, both of these options are not maker/founder-friendly. Let’s take a closer look at both of these options:

  • You approach a broker, tell them you are looking to sell your business. They connect you with someone who’s willing to pay your asking price, you sell the business to them. The brokerage charges you a ton. The new owner sells it for a profit to your sworn enemy within the next six months, and you wallow in misery on your yacht!
  • You list your business for sale on one of those marketplace, hated by almost all serious buyers. You get low-balled. You get low-balled some more. You decide not to sell your business. You get banned by the marketplace for unethical behavior!?

So, I set out to build a maker-friendly site to list their internet businesses that might be available for sale to the right buyer.

I don’t want people to think of Soochi as a marketplace. It’s really not. We don’t have verified stats about the poster’s income, we don’t ask makers to provide proof of their traffic, and we definitely don’t provide any escrow service. I wanted to keep things simple, and so I made Soochi in such a way that it follows a job-board approach to listing businesses. I understand that a lot of people might not agree with my approach, but here’s how I see it working for business owners/buyers:

  1. Maker list their businesses on Soochi. Listings contain general information about the business, the maker’s story, and their contact details. The story is the most important part here. You are expected to share how you started the business, how you scaled it, and why you’re listed on Soochi — it could be that you want to sell your business, but it’s completely okay if you’re just looking what’s out there. Mention what you expect from a potential buyer, and let them know how to reach you if they think they might be a perfect enough fit. Listings are active for a period of 30 days after they first appear on the site, and cost $19.
  2. Potential buyers read these stories. After a listing goes live on Soochi, I reach out to my contacts (on Twitter, Reddit, Private Telegram groups etc.) that I feel might make a good fit for your business, and direct them to your story. You should definitely share your listing on social-media especially if your goal is to sell to someone in your network.
  3. If it’s a good fit, they close the deal. If the buyer is interested in the business, the reach out to the maker. Both the maker, and the buyer are expected to get to know each other. The buyer is supposed to perform due diligence to see if the numbers match with the claims, and the maker is supposed to set forth any terms they have. If all goes well, the business gets a new owner.

I know a lot of people are not fond of the idea of upfront fees but I believe it will play a huge part to ensure quality submissions on the site. Speaking of QA, I decided not to automate the payment process for the time being. Every ad submission is first reviewed by me, before the maker can complete their purchase to activate their listing. This, at least for now, should act as a good way for me to ensure that makers are open to considering serious offers, and buyers aren’t just wasting their time. However, I’m open to experimenting and see what’s working, and what’s not, and change things accordingly. Considering selling your business? List it on Soochi!

** Courtland, you should know that IH succeeds at its job — to motivate people to start their own businesses.

*** Some makers might have more than one big product.

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