If you are the owner of a successful online business, there will come a time when you will consider selling it. While the process of selling your website or online business is relatively straightforward, there are a number of pitfalls you want to avoid.
Most of these issues involve the choices you make and the methods you use, rather than the legalities of selling a business online.
There are dozens of online business ideas that get up and running every day. In addition to those being started, much more are being sold as well. There are several types of online business. These businesses include e-commerce stores, popular blogs, and digital download stores. For instance, you may be the owner a successful eBay business or a niche market retail store.
If you are in need of help, this guide will be of service to you. Be it an online eCommerce store or another kind of business; these seven steps will cover all the basics.
1. Do Some Soul Searching
Your business has always been your baby, so are you ready to part ways? Before doing anything else, take the time to properly evaluate whether or not selling your business is the right decision. Be sure to consider your present and future.
2. Evaluate your business’s value
Now that you have decided to sell your online business, the next step is to assess its value. If you sell the business without knowing its worth, there’s a high chance you will be cheated out of what’s rightfully yours. There are many factors that you must consider to determine the value of your business.
There are plenty of ways to evaluate a business. You can start by assessing the assets a company owns. Take a look at the sales, profits, growth trends and your market position. Another indicator can be the balance sheet of the business. A steady cash flow would also make for an effective evaluator.
3. Know Where to Sell It
Marketplaces like Flippa or, if you are running a Shopify Store, Shopify Exchange are good places to start. Just post your business along with the necessary details. Soon enough, you’ll start to get offers from buyers. You’re also likely to get a lot of questions, so be prepared and have your analytics, income, profit and loss, and reconciliation in order.
Whatever avenue you choose to advertise the sale of your business, you want to make sure that it has sufficient security and a track record of looking after its buyers and sellers properly.
4. Additional Components to Consider
You might want to hand over your business’s social media accounts too. This is something that’s entirely on you. If you think it’ll be profitable to you, go for it. Many businesses will require that you sell on all social media and external accounts that are directly related to business marketing and branding.
Buyers will be more interested in a business that has maintained social media accounts. You can add that to the price when evaluating the value of your business.
5. Prepare the Documents
You will need help from a qualified accountant to handle financial statements and tax returns. Buyers must be provided with these documents after the sale is finalized. All documents related to business equipment, sales and supplies have to be included as well.
Contact a lawyer for advice on how to ensure your legal bases are covered. A qualified attorney will help you settle issues such as branding, ownership of logos, social media accounts, newsletter subscriptions.
As mentioned above, you will want to have Google Analytics, Google webmaster tools and any other site statistical information such as Alexa ranking on hand in order to demonstrate the true value of the website.
6. Hire a Broker
Some people like to go for the haul themselves. This is not always recommended, as quite a few of them end up getting too tangled up with the sale to focus on other things. Hiring a broker helps to free up your hands and saves you the hassle of going over the intricate details.
7. Be Honest
There’s no use hiding anything during the sale process. Every tiny detail is bound to surface sooner or later. It’s better to be honest in all your dealings from the start. Be transparent about every aspect of your business and paint a clear picture.
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