Perhaps the best part about an online venture is that you can get into one quickly and inexpensively whether you buy an existing one or start one from scratch. However, multiples for successful online ventures are far greater than most bricks-and-mortar businesses because of many of the factors you’ll read about here. Additionally, because an online business can be run from anywhere at anytime, it’s an ideal business to have if you’re not yet ready to take the full plunge into your own business or you like to travel, work remotely or casually (it’s 3:00 pm now and I’m in Australia with my family on vacation, looking out at the spectacular Sydney Harbor and famous Opera House… and, even better, people are buying our program right now. Gotta love it!).
Evaluate the pros and cons. The fact that your customers will have to visit the third party to buy from you has benefits and drawbacks. If you are interested in renting out your vacation property, using Airbnb’s platform means that it will probably be easier for anyone to find you when they search for lodging in your area because of Airbnb’s growing popularity.
Define your product or service. Starting an online business gives you the benefit of having access to millions of customers, but you also have a lot more competition. No matter what you're trying to sell, you can bet that hundreds more online retailers have a similar idea. What differentiates your product from other similar products? To help your product stand apart from the rest, you'll need to find a niche.
The understanding and successful execution of an effective strategy is key here. You want to instill confidence in yourself, and to do that, you often need a good deal of social proof. For that reason, if you do want to launch a successful business coaching business, first, grab some customers and help them succeed. Then, get their powerful testimonials, and only then can you actually position yourself to charge high-ticket rates.
It is a bad sign if you cannot find successful products that are similar to yours in the niche of your choice. You won’t have any competitors, but what if the market is dead because you are solving the problem no one cares about? It’s best to choose a niche where there are several other players with differentiated products, so you can compete and bring something new to the table.
Besides owning valuable digital property, there are other reasons why buying an online business for sale can be a good investment: Online businesses can generate passive income, meaning that for a low hourly input they can generate a high monetary output. They can also be run in addition to working a typical 9-5 job, meaning that the owner and operator of the business can earn additional income on top of their normal salary. Buying an online business for sale can be relatively easy (especially if you shop around on some of the marketplaces we list below) and exiting the online business at a later date can be just as routine as well.
If you want to buy an existing profitable venture, keep in mind that the multiples may be higher than traditional small business valuations since there are so many great benefits to them. You should also know that the financials of most pure Internet businesses are generally simpler to investigate because there are generally no cash sales, and almost all of the transactions are via credit card.
Buyers and sellers personally list their businesses for sale on marketplaces and the marketplaces exist to connect online business buyers and sellers. Some marketplaces just connect buyers and sellers and let them work out the payment terms on their own, while other marketplaces will help to facilitate the payment process and administrative switch over.
Be social. Whatever your business, whatever your venue, keeping your name in the air is key to internet success. Have a business account on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If your business is graphically oriented, have accounts on Flickr and Tumblr as well. Whenever there is news of any kind—a new contract, a new page, a new entry, a new photo—cross-post it to all your social media sites. Also make sure those sites link back to your main website, and that your website has links to all of them.
For most small businesses, it’s best to file formation documents in the state where you’re located. By doing this, you’ll avoid the added costs of registering to do business in your home state and hiring an out-of-state registered agent. However, if your business will have significant nationwide activity or you expect to attract venture capital, you might consider incorporating in Delaware.
Also, keep in mind that there isn’t really one platform that works for every type of business. Take the time to research the best one for you. If you’re selling art or crafts, look for a platform that is used by other artists. If you’re selling used comic books, look for a platform that attracts lots of shoppers looking to buy used comic books. And read the fine print. Almost every platform has its own list of prohibited items.
Get ecommerce software. You'll need this so your customers can view your products, enter their information and make a secure purchase. The software safely stores customer information. Don't skimp in this area, since the ecommerce software you choose will make a big difference in how easy it is for customers to feel secure buying something from your store.
The best way you can launch a webinar business is to find a product you can promote and get behind. Then, build an excellent webinar. The Perfect Webinar is a formula originally developed by Fladlien but later brought to the mass market by Russell Brunson. Brunson also created a software with Jim Edwards called Funnell Scripts, which is an incredible piece of software that helps you to build your entire webinar including copy for ads and swipes.
It’s possible to set up a website yourself, but unless you’re a designer or Web developer, you can expect a pretty steep learning curve. If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional to help you with some or all of the following: configuring the site to look the way you want and include the features you need; creating and inserting a logo; optimizing the site for search engines; and creating text and images. For more information, read this guide by Foundr with a detailed explanation of what it takes to setup website and develop it.
When you find a business that’s a good match, a true entrepreneur will be immediately itching to dive head-first into purchasing the business and moving it forward. Before you get too excited, slow down and do your homework. A business that looks great at first glance could have serious issues hiding underneath that would make it a poor choice for sale.