Practical Steps to Buying a Profitable Online Business

Practical Steps to Buying a Profitable Online Business

As an online entrepreneur, you can start from scratch and build an online business from the startup. Find out your niche Create a website. Create an email list and market it for it. Write blog posts and other content. Create a product or promote an affiliate product - or use a drop shipping model.

But it takes some time before your new online business will actually start making money and become profitable. The alternative is to buy an existing online business that already exists for sale.

What to Look For When Buying an Online Business

To be clear, you are not just buying a website. You buy a business complete with products and customers, a proven marketing method generates leads and makes sales, social media presence, ongoing advertising campaigns, email lists, even employees and/or virtual assistants.

This is the turnkey opportunity you take over. Once you buy it you can let it run as before or try to increase profits by making changes - maybe you recognize something that the current owner does not do that can increase sales. Once you buy, that's your business.

An online business should have a track record of sales and profits that you can see before buying a business - always check its finances. Do not just rely on what the seller says. One thing to keep in mind is that you should not buy an online business for sale solely because this is a big moneymaker. That is of course important. But you should also be interested in that niche.

The great thing is you do not have to think about the business itself after you buy - you may be worried about it. Often, the seller will include training for you to make sure you know how things are going.

Buying an online business is like buying an offline business; like a popular pet store in a community, complete with a full shelf of products, vendor relationships, on-site rentals, and more. Setting up your own pet store means finding a storefront to rent and negotiate rent, researching the best locations, renovating the interior as needed, putting up billboards, advertising in local publications, getting products ... you get the idea.

By buying a business, whether it's an online business for sale or a brick and mortar store, you'll get through the many time-consuming and sometimes costly tasks needed to build a thriving business.

Of course, you have to pay to buy this site. So you have to gauge whether paying a price is worth not having to build a complete e-commerce business yourself. Keep in mind also that the site is really successful will be quite expensive, with the price of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you can find a full online business for a few hundred or several thousand dollars as well.

A good rule of thumb is to double the business's annual profit by 2 or 3 times to get a fair price. Factors such as assets, a good domain name, a recognizable brand, a large amount of quality website traffic, good social media presence, and a large email list of responsive names can also affect the purchase price.

Here are some other things to keep in mind that should influence your decision. You want to make sure the business you want to buy:

� Is growing
� It has many streams of revenue and is not really just on one product
� Getting traffic from multiple sources
� Have consistent income from month to month
� Have a system in place for marketing

Where to Find Online Businesses for Sale?

There are many e-commerce sites for sale out there. And there are plenty of places to buy it too. Here are four good choices. Something you should always think about no matter where you buy this business is doing your due diligence. Just because a site listed for sale on a platform that has a good reputation does not mean it's really legit. The seller may have increased the amount as far as traffic or sales. Just because something is on the list does not mean it's true.

� Do your research

The online marketplace displays a list of online businesses for sale, usually organized by niche market with statistics such as revenue and profits, web traffic, including email subscribers. You can quickly scan dozens if not hundreds of sites to sell. If you see one or more of your likes, first check online, then send a message to the owner via the market messaging system. When you correspond with the owner, ask questions you like about their business model, their marketing method, where they get their product ... if they want to sell, they will do their best to answer your questions.

" For example, popular e-commerce platform Shopify has a market where you can find the ideal online business to sell for you. And the cool thing that Shopify gives its own valuation for how much they believe the web business is worth doing and see its earnings easy to read in graphics."

Sometimes you will find a broker who runs the sale on behalf of the owner. As you get in touch with the seller, you can also start bidding. Submit a lower price offer - often sellers are flexible, especially if the website has been on sale for a while.

� How to Buy an Online Business on an Auction Site

You can get a bid on an online business by going to the auction site. Like the regular online marketplace, you'll find a long list of e-commerce sites for sale. But instead of paying the list price or contacting the seller and negotiating, you bid using the auction process.

Just like an auction site for consumer goods or collectibles, you put what you would pay for an online business. Other potential buyers may bid higher ... and you decide whether to raise your offer. The auction is run for a limited time and whoever wins the top - and will buy this site.

There is a learning curve by bidding in the auction is a skill in itself. In particular, look for "shill" bidders who act on behalf of websites for sale that try to raise prices.

� Buying Online Business Through Brokers

Website brokers facilitate the purchase and sale of e-commerce businesses. Perhaps the seller has no time or desire to face potential buyers. So he hired a broker to put the site in place of online marketing or auction sites and handle any questions. There is little security here because, more often than not, the broker has checked the site before agreeing to try and sell it. He does not want his reputation destroyed if his client deceives someone. At the same time, they will have many questions to make sure you are a serious buyer - with money to buy this site.

Another advantage of using a broker is that they are experienced. They know how to do this transaction and exchange money. And they can solve the problems that arise. Brokers are only paid after the sale is complete, so it's in the best interest of ensuring that everything goes smoothly from start to finish.

� Buying Online Business Directly From Website Owners

This last technique is rather bold. But basically, you create a list of e-commerce businesses in your niche that interest you. You may only know them because you are a customer or you have seen their ads online. Or you can even view Facebook pages and forums related to your niche to see what sites appear in the comments.

By using the tools available like, you will know the traffic of this website. Sign up to his email list and follow his Facebook page, so you can see his marketing in action. Simple Google search may generate all sorts of information - including some hints on how it's done financially.

You now contact the website owner, who may be listed on the site itself or give up through viewing them on Then you contact them and say that you are interested in buying their website. Be polite and show you serious. But there is no need to bid at this time. They may get back in touch with you or maybe not.

Next Steps to Buying Your Perfect Online Business

Now you are ready to find your new online business. Why not try all of the above methods to see which one works best for you. Start scanning for available sites. See what price is requested. Just do it will teach you many things that will help you make your own deal.

And remember that before you enter an offer and of course before buying something, make sure you do your due diligence and run the numbers to ensure that financial, traffic and other important features of the business are accurate.

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