Online business is constantly growing and developing. As an entrepreneur, you can choose to build an online business from scratch or you may prefer the slightly easier option of purchasing an existing business with an established customer database. If you’re planning on buying an online business, you’ll need to know how to find a profitable website that will provide a lucrative income.
Reasons to purchase an existing online business
When purchasing an online business, you’re not just acquiring a website – you’re buying a customer database, successful marketing strategies that generate leads, and products. You may also be purchasing successful social media accounts, email lists, and current advertising campaigns, as well as members of staff, such as virtual assistants or freelance copywriters.
Once you have purchased an online business, you can decide to manage it as before, or you may opt to make some alterations to improve your profits.
Before you buy an existing online business, it’s highly important to do your research. Research is key – it’s the difference between buying a profitable business or an online business that is failing. Naturally, you want to purchase an online business with lots of potential and room for growth. The first thing you need to decide is what niche you plan on investing in. This may be a niche where your personal interests lie or a niche that is highly profitable. For example, if you already own a successful online business in the health sector, you may be looking to acquire another business in this area.
Once you’ve determined your niche, you need to review the financial accounts of potential online businesses you’re looking to buy. All existing online businesses should have a record of sales and profits. Don’t just take the seller’s word for granted. It’s essential that you view these documents as proof.
Remember, there is more to contemplate than just sales and profits. A few other factors to consider when purchasing an online business include;
● Obtains consistently good traffic from a variety of sources.
● Has more than one product for a range of income streams.
● Has great marketing strategies in place.
● Obtains consistent revenue from month to month.
● Has a good social media presence.
● Has an email list.
● Has a good domain and page authority.
● Is a growing business.
If any of the above is lacking, make sure you have the skills or resources to improve them after you purchase. It’s important to also know if the seller is including business training with the sale. Often, buying an online business doesn’t differ too much from purchasing an offline enterprise – you’ll need to be aware of the best places to source products (if you’re selling tangible goods), how marketing strategies work for the business, and how transactions take place. Furthermore, you’ll need to consider what eCommerce platform the website uses, how to load products to the platform, how to run the social media accounts and more.
Buying an existing profitable online business is likely to cost more than creating and building a business from scratch. However, purchasing a recognizable company with a customer base saves a lot of time and money in the long run.
Where to buy an existing online business
There are varying options for buying an existing online business. Which option you choose will depend on the website you wish to buy and your personal preference.
A direct approach is always an effective option for finding out if an online business is for sale. It’s entirely possible that the owner has been considering selling their website but hasn’t yet made any official decision – this is when asking the owner directly can work in your favor. Before you approach an owner, you’ll need to do your research.
Do a Google search for businesses in the niche you’ve selected and then start researching the businesses from page 4 or 5 onward until you find one you want to buy. The businesses on the first few pages are likely not for sale and will be the most expensive to buy if they are for sale. Ensure you check Alexa for website traffic and backlinks to each site you are interested in. This will give you a good idea as to whether the website is worth purchasing. You can then send the business owner a pitch with your intention to buy. Your pitch needs to be effective so avoid sending a cold type of email. You can find the owners details by searching Google or Whois.
Buying an online business with a website broker is a straightforward option as they have the knowledge and experience with website valuations and have listings of businesses that are profitable. This ensures the buying process is much easier as you can rely on their guidance. They will help you to avoid getting scammed or cheated and can advise you on the entire due diligence process. Brokers will also use an escrow service that will ensure the proper transfer of the payment and the website between both parties, thus giving you more financial safety.
Online marketplaces selling businesses can be a good place to look. You can search through listings in your industry to find a range of websites for sale, and you can discover more information about the business by contacting the owner. While marketplaces are generally easy to use, you’ll still need to do your research on any businesses you’re interested in.
Marketplaces can have some bargains, but they can also have their share of scammers. To protect yourself, you’ll want to do a video call with the seller of the site. Ask them to share their screen and log into their Google Analytics or other traffic tracking software and show you the latest results. Ask them to do that with their sales tracking as well. Always have them refresh the screen while you are on the call. Never accept just a screenshot of these as proof. Verify everything.
If you’re looking to invest online, buying an existing business may be the perfect solution. Research your options and spend time examining website statistics before you make your final decision. This could be the start of a highly rewarding venture.