Business owners and entrepreneurs can face a difficult situation when their startups fail to gain traction or make a profit. Knowing how to sell a failing startup is an important skill for any business owner. In this article, we’ll look at the best strategies for selling a failed startup.

How to Sell a Failing Startup?

Assuming you are unable to sell the company as a whole to a competitor, customer or supplier, think about selling certain assets instead. For instance, you could consider selling intellectual property such as patents or trademarks, or customer lists. You may also be able to find a buyer for the physical assets of the company, such as computers or office furniture.

You should also consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) first and testing it on random people on the street. Ask them if they would pay for the product. If the MVP receives positive feedback, you may be able to attract potential buyers.

It’s also important to be graceful about the differences between the startup and its competitors. Learn from the experience and find something that you can only learn or accomplish as part of this bigger venture. Some of the key factors in startup success include market conditions, a compelling product vision, a sustainable competitive advantage and a workable business model.

4 Important Lessons I Learned Trying to Sell My Startup

When selling your startup, it’s important to keep in mind the following four lessons:

  • Get the ownership mix correct – Make sure you have the right ownership structure in place before you start selling your startup.
  • Align expectations and priorities – Align the expectations of the buyers and sellers when negotiating the sale.
  • Make the decision for the right reasons – Don’t sell your startup just for the money. Make the decision based on what’s best for the business.
  • Determine the value of your company – Get an accurate value of your company before you start the sales process.

In addition, you should also consider cleaning up your small business financials, preparing your exit strategy in advance, boosting your sales, and finding a business broker. An experienced business broker can help you navigate the complex process of selling a startup.


Selling a failed startup can be a daunting process, but with the right strategy, it is possible. Make sure to prepare in advance, get the ownership structure correct, align expectations and prioritize, and determine the value of your company. Finally, it’s important to find an experienced business broker to guide you through the process. For more help and advice on selling a business, check out, a great resource for answers to all your questions about selling a business and about business brokers.

What strategies do you use when a startup fails?

Entrepreneurs should take the time to cope with their emotions about the failed startup before beginning a new one. If it is helpful, they can hire outside help to take care of the official end of their venture.

What level of difficulty is associated with selling a startup?

Selling a business is an entirely distinct challenge, which involves a steep learning curve. To get the maximum return when you’re ready to let go of your company, you’ll need to educate yourself on how to find potential buyers and how to complete the acquisition successfully. Depending on the particulars of your startup, the entire process can take several months.

What do founders do after their startup fails?

In conclusion, it can be disheartening to watch a startup fail, yet it is not unusual for entrepreneurs who have been involved with failed startups to later find success with other companies or take high-ranking positions at successful firms.

What becomes of the money if a startup does not succeed?

When startups don’t succeed, investors can expect to be out of pocket, whether they put money into the company at an early or later stage. The financial damage caused by failed early-stage investments is usually much higher than that of failed later-stage investments.