These days, it is all about who you know. Zach Kupperman and his childhood friend entered a business neither of them knew much about and planned for a business sale. They didn’t know too much about that either. Thanks to their networking skills they were able to sell their social polling app and platform, Pollbob. Plan for the Sale, a multimedia educational tool for entrepreneurs, uses Kupperman’s story as an example of expert networking and using your hidden talents to have a successful business deal.
At first, Kupperman didn’t know his polling business’ full potential. He created a tool where users made their own polls or surveys, and they could easily view the results and share them online.
“With so many people constantly polling, it’s sort of like kicking the living pulse of the nation,” says Kupperman. “So, you can ask a question of the masses, and gather opinions and feedback in real time and determine how people felt.”
With all of the opinions people were sharing, the site had valuable market research possibilities. He integrated a social media aspect to the polls and created a geo location function so data was available for specific segments of a population. He never sold the information gathered by Pollbob, but he knew someone out there would be interested in it. He and his partner wanted to find people attracted to funding their business and learned more about market research.
“We probably talked to 25 companies, 30 companies, in various capacities. Some were immediate ‘nos.’ Some were ‘let’s talk more.’But, at that point, we felt it was just a numbers game,” says Kupperman. “The more people you get in front of, they see some value, and we needed to find somebody that this was a fit for and they had some sort of existing venture arm or something like that.”
Networking was their opportunity to gauge the industry’s climate and gain connections. They attended conferences, used social media, sent blind e-mails, sought industry insiders and even participated in an online competition to market their brand.
This networking carried some good and bad news. The bad news was that most of the companies they were interested in doing business with were more interested in building their own services. Some were in a situation like his, needing funds, or just not interested in helping the site grow.
The good news was that one organization, a leading enterprise level market research firm called QuestionPro, wanted to outright buy Pollbob — not just invest in it.
“The value to them was two fold, really. One was our huge user base and two, the product itself was a top-notch product,” says Kupperman.
His buddy continued working on the site, their employee’s left and Kupperman sold all of his ownership. No broker was used, but Kupperman credits a lot of his sale’s success to his background as a lawyer. His lingo, seller confidence and negotiating knowledge helped for a sale in his particular industry.
Kupperman was able to build a network for his business and assemble already existing skills to help him sell Pollbob. It may not have been where he thought he would go, but his sales experience is a great example for Plan for the Sale. A true entrepreneur makes opportunities and Kupperman made his.
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