Running an online business seems like an ideal way to quench an entrepreneurial spirit, regardless of experience and with less budget.
It can reach almost every corner of the planet at any time. The operating cost is significantly lower than that of brick-and-mortar offices. Also, you can enjoy a more flexible schedule.
If you want to hit the ground running, study how to buy online business.
With an established online business, you can start implementing your vision because it already has customers, workflow, social media presence, etc.
There are 25 types of online businesses
and millions of websites under every category. Here are the things to check before making an investment:
1. Business performance and growth potential
Evaluate the business from the inside out. Being active for years might be a good sign but you might also consider start-ups. Newer businesses offer team culture, flexibility, and personalization.
But as the businessman that you are, you will want to see positive trends in monthly revenue and customer loyalty. Ask the seller for documents that detail these.
2. Website traffic and activity
It is imperative for any online business to keep track of traffic metrics using website analytics tools. Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and Semrush are just some of the most popular tools today.
An analysis report may contain:
There are several online tools you can use to see where a business ranks for its target keywords. If the website is not ranking well, it's possible that they've deviated from Google's SEO best practices
. Sometimes it's unintentional so it's better to ask the seller if they're doing anything to reverse the situation.
A website analytics report can give you an idea if they've been engaged in black hat techniques. Google cannot index a website that has no site map or has a no index directive. If this is the case, the seller should have an explanation of why a for-profit website didn't comply with crawler requisites.
Does the website earn by selling, advertising, or providing space for transactions?
Different business models have different demands. For example, in C2C (consumer-to-consumer) model, such as Ebay and Etsy, you're only providing the space and technology. The registered sellers will handle inventory, marketing, and other business aspects.
You can learn the practical steps on how to buy online business, but choosing a business model should depend on your comfort level.
5. Inclusions in the purchase of the business
Request for a complete list of everything included in the package. What are the intangible and tangible assets
that will be transferred to your ownership?
The intangible assets may include branding, trademarks, patents, copyrights, licenses, and client lists. If there are existing contracts, verify if the other party is willing to continue under your ownership.
Also, don't forget to review your web hosting company. It's possible that the website is on a shared hosting account handled by a third party.
Go through the customer reviews and see if there's a pattern. Are there consistent complaints regarding product quality or delayed shipping? Maybe it's something that can still be fixed.
Remember that not everything goes as planned in any business. Try to discern if the more impressive aspects of the business can outweigh its errors.
You should also ask the seller if there's a standard procedure in place for handling negative feedback.
While it's encouraged to follow your passion when choosing a business, it's crucial to maintain a realistic outlook.
Many industries are threatened by technological disruptions. Make sure that the business you're buying can be restructured, can offer new products/services, or can rebuild its market position. Look for an upward trajectory.
Buying an online business might sound like a shortcut. However, every business is unique, which means you still have to patiently learn the ropes on how to buy online business. Furthermore, scrutinizing an online business you want to buy can also be painstaking.
Connect with Aspiring Entrepreneurs: