October 6, 2022

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How I Sold My Shopify Store for $1 Million 8 Months After Starting It

  • Miguel Facussé founded menswear brand Jack Archer in 2021 and sold it to OpenStore for $938,600.
  • He built the brand through persuasive copywriting, running ads on social media, and collecting data.
  • His advice for building and selling an e-commerce brand is to prioritize marketing in your strategy.

I’ve sold snacks in the streets of Costa Rica, built houses in Honduras, and run a sushi restaurant in Miami, but it wasn’t until I got into e-commerce that I found my first opportunity for life-changing wealth.

I started my menswear brand Jack Archer in April 2021 out of a personal need for a better alternative to the big luxury brands, combined with a lot of research and experimentation. I not only tested materials and designs but copy and messaging as well.

I discovered that persuasive copywriting can dramatically increase conversion

I didn’t have any formal experience in copywriting beyond my own trial and error from various business endeavors. Problem-solution statements got the most attention — in our case, the slogan, “Pants shouldn’t be a pain in the butt,” was a clear winner.

Without a marketing team, I spent my personal time researching the biggest pain points customers had with existing products to determine the copy that would resonate. I didn’t have a full-time job outside of building the business, but I did a little consulting work and was primarily an entrepreneur who was experimenting with ideas.

Scouring through hundreds of reviews on brand and department-store websites reinforced my hypothesis that existing options fell short — consumers wanted a higher-quality, well-fitting product at a fair price point, but I wanted data to back it up.

The beautiful thing about online selling is that it’s incredibly easy to test a hypothesis. Without ever dropping a dime on inventory, I ran ads on Facebook and Instagram so I could test my cost per acquisition before the product even existed. The tests were primarily to see how different copy and phrases performed. After spending about $10,000 of my savings on these ads, it was clear the company’s CPA was low enough to be profitable. Jack Archer passed the test. 

When I poured $500,000 of my savings into my first large inventory order, it was a risk, but the data provided reassurance. Once inventory was on the way, I ramped up my campaigns and presold $500,000 of goods within a month. The risk paid off.

After 8 months of success with Jack Archer, I knew that building a business from scratch was my passion and strength 

As I was scrolling Instagram in December 2021, I saw an ad suggesting I submit my store for an acquisition offer. The possibility of selling my store was news to me. I was under the impression that only larger, household-name direct-to-consumer brands were acquisition targets.

My acquirer, OpenStore, is a Miami-based startup founded by the venture capitalist Keith Rabois last year. It evaluated my company based on business fundamentals: returning-customer rate, average cart value, and marketing efficiency, among other factors. Its goal was to project the long-term sustainability of my business based on past customer behavior.

The entire process for determining the value of my business was data driven. I connected my Shopify account to their portal and uploaded a recent profit-and-loss financial statement to its system in just a few minutes.

Within a few days, I got an email with an offer: $938,600 for Jack Archer.

I’d also done my own calculations around what my business should be worth, and their price was in line with the number I had in mind. I felt confident in their algorithm and ready to move forward. The process after I accepted the offer was a breeze.

Through a portal, I provided OpenStore with all the verification materials they’d need to ensure that the initial information I provided was accurate, as well as all of the existing documentation they’d need to successfully take over the business. Right off the bat, they asked all the right questions and requested all relevant materials, so there wasn’t much back and forth. About a week later, OpenStore completely took over my business and continues to run it today.

If you want to build and sell an e-commerce business the way I did, do these 2 things first:

  1. Put marketing at the forefront of your strategy. Running a direct-to-consumer business means you’ll spend a lot on marketing, usually through paid social media. My initial test campaigns and dedication to persuasive copywriting were key to my early success. As we grew, it was all about optimizing and identifying new channels, and we eventually expanded to Facebook. In all, I spent about $400,000 on paid social before selling my business. If not done properly, this kind of spend can eat away at your margins quickly, so keep a close eye on your CPA, always consider new ways to optimize, and don’t let this important aspect of the business fall by the wayside as you scale. 
  2. Stay organized and efficient. If your goal is to sell your business someday, the buyer will want to know that you have your act together. Prioritize bookkeeping, tracking, and reporting. Set up a strong foundation early with the right tools, so you never have to go back to fix things later. It’s not worth the headaches, and you’ll thank yourself later.

After selling Jack Archer, I’m grateful to have the means to start my next endeavor, Growth Mechanics. The best part about selling any business is it grants you the opportunity to consider what you want to do next.

Have you built and sold an ecommerce business and want to share your story? Email Lauryn Haas at [email protected]

https://www.businessinsider.com/sold-shopify-store-1-million-8-months-after-starting-it-2022-5