3 Things You Need to Know if Selling Your Online Business is Your Exit Strategy
Starting an online business with the intention of eventually selling it or realizing you just no longer want to keep up with a current site and feel like offloading it means you have one goal: Make as much on the sale as possible.
While there are quite a few nuances that go into how much you can get for your site, there are certain factors that could potentially take you from earning $5-10,000 to $50,000 or more. However, more goes into the selling of your site than just how much you will earn from it, so the three points we cover aren’t necessarily all about increasing website’s sell price, but they’re still important things you need to consider.
1. Traffic, Revenue and Design are Worth a Premium
Most people selling a site for the first time usually think one of three factors is going to make them a huge amount of cash. Either they have steady traffic for online marketing efforts, earned money from the site or a truly eye-catching design in place. And since they spent so much time focusing on that one trait, they believe that effort alone has made their domain something to be sought after. Without fail, these people end up disappointed with whatever offers they end up with.
The real trick to increasing your website’s value is having all three of these traits in place. What’s not a trick is making all three shine at the same time. Traffic and revenue almost go hand in hand, and adding nonintrusive banners or affiliate links throughout the site can turn an active community into a proverbial cash cow. When it comes to the website design, making an older site look good can be a pain and might be worth switching to a content management system like Joomla, Drupal or WordPress just to modernize the look and have a backend in place that potential buyers might be comfortable with.
2. The Buyer Will Most Likely Rebrand Your Work
This is more for those who’ve put years of work into their site and have developed some sort of emotional attachment to it or the community attached to it. That being said, selling your site is like breaking up from a relationship. Sure, that might sound like a weird analogy, but the new person your site ends up under is going to make changes that you might not like to see. First-time website sellers often don’t realize rebranding or a new voice will take hold and end up feeling grief, regret, sadness or downright depression over seeing a lot of their hard work seemingly flushed away.
When you decided to list your site for sale, accept that this is going to happen. Try to let go as completely as possible once the sale takes place. Remove admin access from your Facebook account, give up the Twitter, don’t lurk Instagram, etc. and so on. The only reason you should stick around is is if buyer requests consultation regarding messaging and the community.
Otherwise, seeing your site move on to bigger and better things (like way more traffic or revenue) is going to drive you crazy. This is an important lesson many brokers like Website Properties LLC teach their clients to be prepared for.
3. Website Brokers Will Net You Far More Cash
When you hear about sites in your community selling for prices like $50,000 or $100,000 and up, chances are that the seller had a website broker on his or her side. You can certainly go through the selling process yourself and make what seems like a good amount of cash, but on average, a website broker is going to pull in two to three times more than you would on your own.
What this means is that if someone is personally offering you $40,000, a website broker will very likely be able to bring in $80,000 to $120,000. And considering the highest rate most brokers go is 15-20 percent of the sale, you’re still walking away with tens of thousands more than without the assist.
To put all this a little more succinctly, drive traffic to your well-designed site and monetize your visitors, but don’t have an overly emotional attachment to them after contacting a website broker and you’ll be well on your way to selling your site like a pro.