Have you recently decided it’s time to sell off your profitable internet business? Maybe you are ready for a new challenge or perhaps the business you built no longer excites you and you’re ready to move on.
If you have, you’ve probably been left wondering how much you’ll get for it and how exactly you go about getting someone to buy it from you.
You’ll be glad to know that it’s not only possible to sell your business but it’s also possible to make quite a bit of money from the sale, if you approach the process the right way.
There are quite a few different ways you can sell an internet business, but some tend to work better than others for making the sale happen painlessly. Some keep the sale quiet and confidential while others are more public. In general, the more public you make the sale, the more money you’re going to make from it.
With that being said, here are strategies you can use to sell your internet business and hopefully, cash out big.
1.Privately Selling Your Internet Business
Depending on your own personality, the structure of your business or if you want to protect any employees you have, you may choose to keep the sale of your business private.
Maintaining privacy is critical to some entrepreneurs, for whatever reason, so in cases like those there are certain strategies that will help you maintain your privacy while also making it possible for you to sell the business. Keep in mind, though, that going through a private sale, it may take you longer to get the business sold and you may miss out on some offers.
Reach Out To Your Competitors
While selling your business to your main competitors may not seem private, when you compare it to other strategies, you’ll start to see why.
First and foremost, it maintains your privacy because you will be reaching out to the other business owners in your industry, market, or niche. No adverts and no third parties involved.
If you prefer reaching out and finding a buyer yourself, your competition is going to be your best source because they already know how profitable the industry is and likely already understand your business. They will have a better understanding of the true value of your business, compared to buyers outside your industry.
To get started, make a list of your direct competition. Then start searching for other businesses that are similar to yours, in the same industry, but those that aren’t in direct competition.
The businesses that are your direct competition will want to buy your business so they can merge it with their own and push you out of the marketplace. Your indirect competition will want to purchase your business to scale their own sideways, and enter into a new segment of the market as quickly and profitably as possible.
Make sure you understand how to value your business before you start reaching out to them, though, to ensure you’re going to get the most from the deal when you do sell. A buyer in your industry that understands your business is likely to be a good source of solid offers. They know the value of your business and will assume you do too.
Work Out A Deal With Your Employees (if you have them)
Your employees are another source of potential buyers that you may not have considered, and are another great way to keep the sale of your business private.
Depending on how large your business is, you may want to reach out to your employees and let them know about your intentions to sell this business. Doing this can go one of two different ways. It can either excite them about the possibilities, or potentially scare them because they are worried about the future and whether your buyer is going to keep them on the payroll.
Both scenarios can work to your favor. Since your employees already know how the business is run, and understand your vision for it going into the future, they can keep your dream alive while you make an exit. Selling your business to your employees will require them to take on additional roles, but the potential upside for them is significantly increased.
2.Publicly Selling Your Internet Business
If you prefer getting some help with the process, and don’t mind your business being listed publicly for sale, the chances of quickly finding a buyer and one that’s willing to submit higher offers is dramatically increased.
Here are two different ways you can have buyers lining up to make offers, and ensure you’re going to get a higher asking price with less back-and-forth negotiating.
List The Business On An Open Marketplace
Open marketplaces, like Flippa, are great for getting your business in front of multiple investors at the same time, but does sacrifice your privacy.
When you list your business for sale on Flippa or other marketplaces, the information about your business is made completely public and the history of the sale sticks around for years. Your buyer’s privacy is also being traded for you to make a quick sale. Anytime someone searches for your business in the future, they will be able to see the listing that you made on the marketplace.
However, sites like Flippa have thousands of buyers visiting them on a daily basis. This means selling your internet business happens far more quickly than it would by trying to sell it privately on your own.
You’ll also want to know that the buyers who use marketplaces like Flippa are generally looking for a deal. That means they may not always be willing to offer the maximum price for your business. In many cases, you’re going to need to list it for sale as an auction. Rather like eBay, potential buyers compete until the auction reaches a point they believe is too expensive for them.
Work With A Broker To Sell Your Business
Finally, working with a business broker is an option. Reputable business brokers have a built-in network of buyers that they can put your internet business in front of.
Brokers also understand the process completely, from beginning to end, and will know how to make it move forward as smoothly as possible. They’ll know what’s missing from your business so you can address those areas before you get ready to sell, and ultimately increase the value of the sale.
A good broker also knows the documents that you’ll need to have, and know how to keep you protected, legally, during the sale. They do however charge a fee which you need to factor in although that might be worth it, if they secure a higher price for the sale.
Thinking of selling?
Selling isn’t always an easy decision. There are lots reasons you might want to sell, many positive and some less so.
What is important is that you go into the sale knowing what to expect and knowing the value of your business. This ensures you can secure a fair price and hopefully earn yourself a big pay day.
About the author: Jock Purtle is an internet entrepreneur and the owner of Digitalexits.com. He has bought and sold numerous internet businesses and knows how to get the biggest pay day possible from the sale.
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