Selling an online business can be a great way to extract value from it and move on to better or bigger things.
It can also be a strategic move if you believe your business has peaked or you don't want to be involved in that industry anymore. You can't just go out and list your site on some random website marketplace, however. You need to look at a few things first to know if it's a good idea and find ways to maximize your site's value before you sell it. Here are a few things to consider before selling an online business.
Is My Site Even Sellable?
You could sell virtually any online business but having an online business doesn't automatically make it valuable. You should know, however, that value is not only measured by revenue and that many other factors could end up affecting how much you can sell the site for.
Simply having an old site could infer value to it, believe it or not. If you have a great domain and the site is in a great niche but you didn’t monetize it, some people will be ready to pay for that longevity and might see ways that they could turn your site into a profitable business. This is why it’s usually recommended that people wait a little bit before selling their site.
With that being said, profits are usually what will determine a site’s value. So, if your site isn’t making money from sales or advertising, then it needs to at least have a lot of intellectual property. If nothing about your site is unique and it has no sales, then there’s no point in even trying to sell it.
Choosing the Right Outlet
Next, you will need to decide through which outlet you will sell your business. You have multiple choices here. You can decide to sell the site independently, use a website marketplace like Flippa, or work with a broker. Selling the site independently is the toughest way to go and is not recommended. This is only an approach you should use if you know prospective buyers already or have access to buyers through your network. You could go with a marketplace, but you might not get as much as if you went with a broker. The process will also take more time.
Brokers understand how to value a business properly and will have no issue defining important metrics that need to be considered. They also have access to a large network of buyers and might know someone interested in your type of business.
There's also a lot of work that goes into creating a listing on a website marketplace. If you don't create a professional-looking or enticing listing, your site's value will be directly impacted, and you'll have to wait longer to make a sale. So, go with a broker if you want to sell as fast as possible and save yourself some headaches.
Another thing you should look at before selling an online business is your timing. If you have highs and dips during the year, then selling during the high season would be a better idea. You should also see if there are simple things that you could do before selling, like improving your SEO or adding a few new products to your lineup. These would be pretty simple things to do, but they could instantly boost your site's value, so consider waiting a bit so you can make your site as attractive as possible to prospective buyers.
These are all things you’ll need to look at before you put your online business up for sale. Take your time and consider working with an expert if you want to sell independently.