If you’re thinking about selling your eCommerce business, there are some steps you’ll want to follow to not only properly value your business in order to get the best asking price possible, but also to reach qualified buyers. Selling any business requires some research and effort on your part, and you may find that you need help during the lengthy and tedious process. This is the ultimate guide to selling an eCommerce business, so keep reading for the best tips we can offer on this exciting event!
Value the Business
Obviously, before you sell the business, you need to figure out how much it’s worth. If you don’t put together a detailed report on the value of the business, you’re going to have trouble closing sales, and you won’t know what to ask for in terms of price. Valuation isn’t overly complex, but it is rather tedious and time-consuming; albeit a necessary component of the selling process.
Start with your assets, expenses, debts, and profits. Subtract and outstanding debt and all of your expenses from your profits for the most accurate picture of your business’s worth. Your buyer will want to know if you owe significant amounts of money to borrowers, or if your expenses are surpassing your income. A profitable business will obviously have a much easier time of selling, but a business that isn’t making a profit yet that show potential for growth can also be attractive to buyers.
The key here is to be as transparent as possible. Don’t hide expenses or debts, or be dishonest with yourself about how much the business is making. For one thing, the buyer will find out at some point, and you could be held legally responsible for falsified information in an official contract, which only opens up further issues for you in the future.
Additionally, if you’re dishonest about your expenses or debts/profits, you’re only going to get offers based on that lie, which aren’t good offers. Stay as open and transparent as possible during the buying process for a smooth transaction.
Create a Compelling Listing
Creating a good listing is just as important as finding the right place to list your business. Your listing should be as accurate as possible and include details about the business, your asking price, and the correct contact information. Remember, your listing acts as a bridge between your potential buyers and you. If you’re not sure where to list or how to create a compelling listing, you can use sites like Business Exits help you sell your business. Sites like these offer great tools to help you sell your business quickly and efficiently so as to save you countless hours.
Use a Broker
Business brokers are a good option for anyone new to the buying and selling market. A broker will offer industry-specific insight to selling your business, as well as direct you on the best course of action when you’re stuck. Brokers have resources that help you locate potential buyers and connect with them without the hassle of endless web searches and listings.
Brokers will charge a fee for their services, but this cost is well worth it when you consider everything that it takes to sell a business. The average business sits on the market for around 6-9 months (this isn’t the case for every industry), so having someone to help expedite the process can be incredibly beneficial. After all, you want to sell as soon as possible in most cases for the greatest profit.
It’s probably going to be a challenge to wait for the right buyer to come along, and while that’s certainly understandable, being patient is the best thing to be when selling a business. The right buyer will come eventually, and you don’t want to settle for the wrong person simply to sell ASAP. Don’t settle for low-ball offers because your business has been on the market for a few months; wait for the right offer, and you’ll be much happier in the end.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
A buyer or investor will likely approach you with a lower offer than your asking price, and that’s to be expected. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate the price, as you want to ensure each of you is getting the most out of the transaction. Don’t forget the needs of your buyer, as they’re equally as important to the future success of the business and the current transaction.
Selling an eCommerce business is a big step in any business owner’s career, but with the right guidance, a broker service, and a good idea of how to value your business, you can ensure that you’re reaching qualified buyers and streamlining the process. Use these tips to make the most out of your listings and to get as close to your asking price as possible. Good luck!