When your app goes live on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for the first time, there’s a palpable excitement. While some apps are lucky to enjoy massive popularity just weeks after launch, most follow a more modest growth trajectory. Either way, after months or years, you may come to the decision to sell the app and move on to something else.
The good news? There are plenty of people out there looking for apps to buy. The bad news is there are thousands of apps up for sale on platforms such as Fliptopia and Flippa. That’s not counting the many others that are being offered to medium-sized and large businesses directly via sales proposals and sales quotes. For a broader understanding of sales quotes and making proposals, Salesforce has some pointers that will show you how to best approach this aspect of the business.
Whereas your goal is to sell the app, you certainly want to get the best price for it. Here are some valuable tips on how you can do that.
Your app’s viability comes down to the hard numbers. No potential buyer will look your way if there’s no clarity on what exactly they stand to gain after the purchase. Analytics will provide insights on downloads, sales volume, sales revenue, conversion rate, profit margin, number of active users, growth, the average session times, return customers and more.
If your app is successful, you likely already depend on these metrics to define your sales strategy. So it’s just a matter of relaying this information to a prospective buyer. Success doesn’t necessarily mean profitability even though that’s a big deal, especially for small- to medium-sized apps. The growth rate, for instance, could work in your favor as buyers bet on future value.
Show Good Cash Flow
Buyer decisions will often depend as much on your app’s cash flow as its profitability. Consistent or fast-rising cash flow is attractive, as it means your product does have a tangible market.
Not just any size of the cash flow will do, though. Unless you are willing to accept any offer, don’t have your hopes up if your business is raking in less than a thousand dollars annually. There’s no magical cutoff for good cash flow. Nevertheless, your app will really start to draw the right buyer’s attention if it exceeds a thousand dollars each month.
Tout Strategic Partnerships
No business operates in a vacuum. Every successful enterprise benefits from strong partnerships with multiple non-competing partners. If your app is already part of a network or if you have deals or partnerships with successful apps, let potential buyers know.
These partnerships and cross-promotions give you access to large audiences that you’d otherwise have difficulty quickly reaching on your own. It effectively extends your user base to become much larger than it is. For this to work in tipping a prospective buyer’s decision, you must demonstrate with actual verifiable statistics how it benefits your business.
Fully Transition Your Team as Much as Possible
When a brick and mortar business is acquired, all or most staff of the acquired business automatically become employees of the new. It doesn’t necessarily work that way when it comes to apps. Save for the founders and perhaps a tiny core team of full-time workers, small- to medium-sized apps largely depend on independent contractors.
One of the major concerns a prospective buyer will have is whether there’ll be a smooth transition from the old owner to the new. It’s about knowing the various experts behind the app will still provide their services after the sale to prevent operational disruption. You can sweeten the deal by not only offering your permanent staff but also negotiating with your contractors to continue providing their services after the acquisition.
Selling an app is difficult, given there are numerous apps chasing a limited number of buyers. These tips can increase your chances of getting the best buy offer for your app.