This post draws inspiration from the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook for 1 billion USD (wow!) and the ongoing trend of selling valuable business websites / blogs to high-end buyers.
Unlike the non-Internet age when people considered selling a business only if they were running into losses or becoming bankrupt, the Internet age has unleashed a new age of online business sellers who thrive by selling perfectly running and optimized money making business websites and blogs at a very high amount.
If you know the know-how of this industry, you can even sell a PRL blog with less than $1 AdSense earning daily for thousands of dollars! The following discussion focuses on selling an online business, with a list of useful tips to help a small business find targeted buyers.
- Be Creative
Finding buyers for online business is just like solving a puzzle; it brings value only when you have creativity to join the pieces of the puzzle together. There can be numerous buyers for the online business and the creativity lies in sifting through the buyers to zero in on the best buyer. Moreover, the seller has to use creative online advertisements to draw the buyer’s interest.
You can make use of the “Business Opportunities” column of newspapers and various online buy-sell portals like Flippa. These will definitely help you in getting a good list of potential buyers.
- Hiring a Broker
Brokers are those people who work for commissions against successful completion of deals. These people are hired on a short term basis and hiring such people will help you to gain a list of potential buyers and other investors suitable for your business. Moreover, if you want to save money on advertisement, it is sometimes best to hire a broker because they self-advertise the business on sale.
- Kind of Buyers
In case you hire any broker or any acquisition professional to find buyers for your online business, knowing the kind of buyer is important.
These people are third-party buyers to whom you are not related but the acquisition expert comes across them to negotiate the deal. These people may be your customers, your suppliers or your industry competitors.
These buyers are interested only in the sellers’ business cash flow. They can be both individual or a group looking to buy a business just for investment purposes. Hence, they will be interested in your business only if it provides a return on their investment.
People who firmly look towards owning businesses which can fit into their long-range business planning, fall under the strategic buyer’s category. This buyer can be a business competitor or belong to the same range of business looking to expand in local areas and hence, acquiring your business seems to be a profitable prospect.
Out of the three groups of potential buyers, finding financial buyers is good if you want impressive value against your business. Which kind of buyer will you choose?
- Plan Out Selling Memorandum
Planning out selling memorandums is the best practice to promote the saleable business. This memorandum is composed of your business product, services and market value. This is like a report you send to potential buyers so that they have an idea of what the business is all about. The tools needed to prepare business selling memorandums are:
- Information regarding your company’s structure and operations
- Asking prices and terms
- Your business product information
- Attached physical assets
- Projected financial statements
- Reason for selling your business
These six factors must be there in the business sale memorandum. Practicing data abstraction while preparing the selling memorandum is necessary to protect business information from being leaked. When you are selling a completely online-operated business, make sure to include details about payment gateways, associated online assets, real income proofs and peripheral details like web hosting, domain validity and others.
Once buyers begin to show interest, negotiate with them, and seal the deal with the best offer.