Is there a ‘right time’ time to sell your online business? If you’ve done your research, you may find quite a few examples of owners that probably should have sold their business and didn’t. Unfortunately, there are just as many stories of owners that should have held on a little longer but sold too soon.
So, when is the right time to sell your business online?
The answer may differ from online business owner to owner. However, there are a few signs that you can watch for and exit a business on a positive note. Keep reading to find out what to look for and how to do it correctly when it is time.
When Is the Right Time to Sell Your Business and the 4 Signs to Watch For
Watching for signs to sell your online business isn’t like reading tea leaves or peering into a crystal ball. They are definitive signs that many business owners overlook or don’t notice at all.
Here are a few signs that it’s time to move on:
Too Big for Its Britches
Your business is growing and has a significant market value. It’s doing better than you expected; maybe too well. If your business has grown to the point where you need to expand your team, but you’re not ready for the added responsibilities, it may be time to move on.
You could take on this newest challenge and enjoy more employees to take care of things like marketing, content, and social media, but do you want to? Remember, there are also the added responsibilities of payroll and benefits for those employees.
Fortunately, many investors love thriving startups. There’s always a strategic buyer out there looking for the right opportunity. They’re fascinated with watching businesses bloom. Even better? They have the money to make it happen.
If you get the right deal, it may be time to put your business into someone else’s more capable hands.
It’s Getting Risky
Of course, the opposite may also happen.
Rather than growing faster than you can keep up, your online business may be entering murky waters. Maybe there’s an industry shift that could make your product or service obsolete? Or perhaps customer trends are shifting in a different direction. Changes in the economy can hold your business’ health in its fickle hands.
But you can do something about it.
You could shift with the changes and maintain your business. Many online businesses do precisely that and shift their focus in a different direction. However, if you have market value now, it may be in your best interest to make a deal and use that money towards a new endeavor.
It’s All About the Money
Many founders have maximized their profits through exits from, not entrances into, an industry. That’s not to say that your idea wasn’t a good one. On the contrary, it may be inspired and revolutionary, and that’s precisely why a buyer may want it.
If you get a juicy offer, don’t sit on it for too long. It may be the seed money to pursue another venture or retire in style.
Embarking on a New Journey
You may have pursued your passion when you first started your online business, but if you have another idea brewing, it may be time to move on. Closing this chapter of your current business isn’t ‘giving up.’ Instead, it’s being smart and making sure that your business is in capable hands before moving onto the next one.
The last thing you want to do is kid yourself into thinking that you can do it all. You can’t. Dividing your attention between your current business and a new one will only ensure that both will suffer. Instead of putting that type of stress on yourself, do yourself a favor and bow out before you burn out.
Preparing your business for sale is critical to a successful result. Preparing it from day one is even better! Check our my article on FE International's website for How to Prepare your Business for Sale from Day OneBlair
Recommended Platforms for Selling Your Business
Flippa has made a name for itself as ‘the place’ to be to buy and sell digital real estate.’
The website’s free-for-all e-commerce site brings in all types of buyers and sellers, from serious investors to tire-kickers. Its the biggest buy/sell platform in the world for website sales, so if you want to expose your business to a lot of potential buyers, then Flippa is our recommendation.
What we like:
- Caters to small- to medium-sized businesses
- Easy to use
- Options to sell at fixed price or auction
- Low listing fee
Flippa is like eBay for ‘digital real estate.’ You can buy and, more importantly, sell virtually any digital asset you own, from an e-commerce site to a web application. Even better is the influx of buyers that flood the site looking for great business-ready opportunities.
If you’re looking for a premium broker to sell your business, one of the names you’ll come across is Empire Flippers. They’re a leader in the industry with a strict vetting process that attracts serious buyers and sellers and filters out all the scammers.
Empire Flippers have a streamlined process that takes you from start to finish with open communication at each step.
- A thorough pre-sale vetting process
- Accurate valuation
- Flawless migration
- A high selling success rate
- A higher commission rate for sales under $2M
- $297 vetting fee (refundable if a listing is rejected)
- Two months exclusivity rights for the listing
What We Like
With their strict vetting process, Empire Flippers only attracts serious buyers and sellers. This is indeed where empires are made – or at the very least, purchased and sold. Their commission rate is in the double digits if you sell under a certain amount, but they have a good track record, so it may be a worthwhile compromise.
What draws online business owners and sellers alike to FE International? It’s all in the name. They represent 32 countries with a 94.1% sales success rate. They’ve been around a while, too. Since 2010, they’ve helped broker over 1,000 business sales.
FE International is primarily focused on mid-market operations with a valuation of $25,000 to $1M, but they’ve helped companies of different sizes consolidate.
- Targets mid-market operations
- No fees upfront
- Free valuations
- Range of asset quality
- Fees aren’t listed on the website
What We Like
FE International is a global website brokerage that helps you sell your mid-market business online, unlike some competitors that only cater to large enterprises. As a result, they have a wider pool of buyers and sellers looking for great opportunities in the business-ready market. The downfall is that you only know how much you’ll have to pay after they do a valuation, but it may be better this way for some sellers.
Win Big and Let Go
Sometimes, the best way to win big is to know when to fold your cards. Or in this case, it’s to know ‘when is the right time to sell your online business.’ The prospect doesn’t have one specific answer. Instead, look for a host of signs that point towards selling a business, whether it’s exponential growth or better opportunities on the horizon. The decision is ultimately yours, though.
Who knows? If you time it just right, you may walk away with a hefty profit and be perfectly positioned to start a new venture.
Thinking of selling up? Start 12 months out with my tips on setting up a roadmap to selling your business featured on Flippa.comBlair