When you’re selling an online business, you want to get the best possible price for the company that you’ve worked hard to build. While there are many ways that you can help to boost the likelihood of a profitable sale, there are an equally large number of blunders that you can make that could undermine your efforts. Read on to discover seven of the most common mistakes that Internet business owners make when it comes time to sell and find out how to avoid repeating them yourself.
1. Waiting too long to sell. Many online business owners think to themselves, “We’re having a great year. I’ll wait until next year to think about selling.” It’s understandable why you might be tempted to hold onto a good thing and continue to bring in profits, however putting off the sale could be a fatal mistake. You’ll get the best selling price for your business when it’s doing extremely well. Unless you are certain that the good times are sustainable, it’s better to act quickly when profits are high.
2. Becoming aggressive or stubborn during negotiations. Many sales of online businesses include a transition period where the previous owner works alongside the new owner to ensure that the exchange of ownership goes smoothly. If you’ve allowed negotiations to turn hostile and fought over minutia that does not matter to the big picture, the transition period can be a miserable and unsuccessful one. Always consider how much something truly matters before ferociously negotiating during the sales process. Make sure you get the things that matter most, but be willing to compromise on other matters. Flexibility will keep things amiable and allow you to avoid resentment from either party.
3. Being closed minded. If the first prospective buyers that you meet with are all raising the same objections to purchasing your business, don’t block out the feedback. Embrace criticism as a gift and evaluate it for yourself. Adjusting your offer or taking a second look at your business and making changes may be necessary to ensure a successful sale.
4. Going it alone. Internet business owners who try to sell their businesses alone often fail completely or do not get a fair asking price for their businesses. Hiring a business broker who specializes in the sale of online businesses can help to ensure a fair selling price and a successful, hassle-free sales process. The broker has a vested interest in selling your business; he or she won’t be paid unless you’re successful, so you can be certain that everything will be done to make sure that your business sells for the best possible price.
5. Not giving an adequate picture. Would you purchase a business without getting the full story about its past and present? Even though most online business owners say they would not buy a business if they were not given full financial information or if they believed the financial information was not correct, many owners trying to sell their businesses don’t put enough focus on providing accurate, adequate financial information. Not only will accurate numbers and the full story help to keep you from losing buyers, but it will also make a better impression and enhance your credibility, making a profitable sale far more likely.
6. Going in blind. How does the business sale process work? What are the responsibilities of the owner? What role does the business broker play? What are the expected responsibilities of the buyer? If you don’t understand the fundamentals of what is involved in the sale of an online business, you’re bound to struggle along the way. Before plunging in, make sure that you do your research and fully understand what lies ahead. While this may mean postponing listing your business for a short period of time, the preparation will pay off in the end.
7. Setting the wrong price. No matter how hard you’ve worked, no matter how much you’ve invested, your business will not sell if the price is too high. While you deserve to get a fair asking price, over inflating your price, bucking market trends and ignoring the advice of valuation experts could leave you with a business that you’re just not able to move. Be reasonable and objective when it comes to determining a selling price and base your decision on facts rather than emotion.
A business broker can help you prepare for sale, ensure that your financial information is fully and accurately prepared and help you determine a fair asking price. Truly, there is no bigger mistake that you can make when trying to sell your online business than going it alone. Give us a call today to learn more about our services and how we can help you avoid making deadly selling mistakes.