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Home eBiz Seller Appraisal Primer
Appraisal Primer

I am interested in obtaining a free appraisal of my online Business

The decision to sell, or not to sell your internet business is a difficult one. There are many questions that need to be answered before an informed decision can be made. Is selling your best alternative? Will one of the kids want to take over the business? Not if your kid is a 5-12 year old as is the case for most internet entrepreneurs. Timing is everything. Is now the right time? You do not have to sell or decide right now. You are quite busy so maybe you will look into it after. . .

Facing the issue of succession or continuation of one’s business is very much akin to addressing the need for life insurance. Neither subject is addressed with much enthusiasm by the average person. The prudent address the inevitable and prepare. Although only one eventuality exists for us as individuals, three exist for our business: Transfer to family, sell to outsider, or close down.

As with the purchase of life insurance, the decision to sell or plan a viable business’ succession can be continually postponed. Unfortunately, when a business must be sold it usually is too late. Few people are willing to buy a business that has to be sold. Of the many business transfers we have facilitated, less than a handful could be classified as sales for “desperate sellers.”

Obtain Necessary Information


“I am considering the sale of my website or web business” is the initial phrase we hear most often from business owners. Very few will tell us they have decided to sell. This is understandable as some key information is required before an informed decision can be made. Some sellers, who come to us for our help after waiting too long, have nothing left to sell. This is especially true with internet businesses since ensuring a consistent growth of an internet business is a challenge because of ever changing technology (not to mention Big G changing his mind on inner workings of SEO), new competition, and shrinking margins. As Life insurance agents are not enthusiastic when someone calls out of the blue to buy life insurance. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred that person has just left his doctor’s office with the bad news. You cannot buy insurance on a burning building. You cannot sell a business for an optimum price when you are compelled to sell. You can, of course, always liquidate or give the enterprise away. Is that what you would choose to do?

Most Profitable Internet Businesses can be Sold

Our experience, gained in assisting many business owners with succession decisions and business transfers, indicates that most of the profitable ( and some not so profitable ) internet businesses can be sold if:

1. Ownership fully understands the unique environment in which businesses are sold, and therefore avoids the costly mistakes of employing traditional sales methods to sell their business.
2. Ownership recognizes the natural cycle of business ownership (a time to grow and a time to go) and makes a timely decision to sell.
3. Those involved in the decision understand that personal and not purely financial factors are involved.
4. The company is properly prepared for sale before marketing efforts begin.
5. The “right buyer” and the optimum price are identified before going to market.

A timely decision to sell, coupled with proper preparation and a comprehensive understanding of the unique rules and selling environment, is required for a business to transfer successfully. If you are among those who enjoyed profitability in past , went into break-even (or worse) in recent past and you have a convincing story why sales went down and a clear strategy on how it can be brought back to profitability, please continue to read-on as we may be able to help.


Information Needed

 

The following are the questions most commonly asked when selling is considered:

  • What is my business really worth?
  • How can I find the right buyer and still maintain confidentiality?
  • Is the timing right, is now a good time to sell?
  • How long does it take to sell a business?
  • Are there buyers out there with the money I want?
  • Will I have to finance part of the sale?
  • If I do, how can I be assured that I receive my money?
  • What would I do after I sold?
  • How much money would I have after the sale?
  • What would I do if I could not get my price?
  • Would I have to stay on for long? Would they keep my employees?
  • What expenses are involved in selling?
  • What kind of investigation will a buyer want to perform?


We address all of these questions and will give you an insight and an overview of the marketplace for internet businesses, and what you can reasonably expect—should you decide to sell.


What is important to remember is that the timely decision “to do something” with your internet business is the single most important factor impacting your ability to cash in on your investment in your business. You cannot wait until you are compelled to sell. Waiting for an offer you cannot refuse to come out of the blue usually happens only on TV.


Timing and Common Reasons for Sale

The reasons most often given for wanting to move on revolve around “lifestyle” issues such as:

• Retirement
• Health considerations
• Relief from the “burden of ownership”
• Boredom with the business
• No time for the rest of my life
• Burned out, tired, need a rest
• Business demanding what I can’t or don’t want to provide
• It’s not enjoyable anymore.

Things and people are constantly changing. The one constant of life and business is that things will change. There is no such thing in business as status quo—it’s either up or down, grow or go —no status quo. Best to consider getting out when things are on the upswing rather than the down. If you are considering doing something, you have to approach the decision in the appropriate manner. It does not matter what the decision. The decision must be approached in the right sequence. Ready, Aim, Fire. Not Fire, Ready, Aim. In our instance the sequence must be Decide, Choose, Act.

When it comes to deciding what to do about your life and your business the most important thing you can do is to resolve to do something. Reading this article is perhaps an excellent first step. Congratulations.
Organize your questions. Get the answers. Weigh your options. Choose the alternative that suits you and your situation best, then act. The quiz found in the next section is for business owners only. It may help you decide if preparing your business for sale is a timely thing for you to do.

If you knew you can demand significantly higher asking price when your business is growing month to month and year to year, you would remain vigilant on your monthly revenue trend and continuously ask yourself a question “How do I see my business growing in next 2 years?” If you are concerned about continual growth of your business, you probably want to ask yourself another question. “How much would I get today v/s two years from now?” This is where our Valuation Questionnaire will help you.


A One Minute Quiz for Business Owners Only


Circle your answers to the following questions, then see below to see how you scored.

1. Is your business less enjoyable now than before? Y N
2. Does your business challenge and excite you less than before? Y N
3. Do you think of selling your business more often now than you did before? Y N
4. Do you find yourself complaining more lately? Y N
5. Has the business come between you and your loved ones? Y N
6. Has your business begun to level off or decline? Y N
7. Are you concerned you no longer have the stamina your business requires? Y N
8. Do you ask yourself “What would I do if I sold?” Y N
9. Do you often wonder “What is my business worth?” Y N
10. Would you be hesitant to personally guarantee a sizable loan in order to grow your business? Y N

The question: Is now the time to consider selling my business? To determine your answer, count your yes answers.
0-3 Yes Congratulations! You are happy and probably quite prosperous in your business. Keep it up.
4-6 Yes Pay attention to your “early warning signals”! It’s best not to make the mistake of staying too long! Sell while you are still having fun. It is best to start the preparation process early. The actual sale of a business can take a long time.
7-10 Yes Do not let time spoil the fruits of your labor. Most great men and women in history have had more than one career. It’s time for you to decide that you want a change. Choose what you want to do next, then act.


" When you have a choice and don’t make it, you have made a choice "


" It’s either Grow or Go – There’s no Status Quo"


Where Do I Start

Many factors affect selling internet businesses and it requires several interviews with owner as well as careful consideration of marketplace, industry, growth prospects, competition ,type of target audience and most importantly last 3 years of financial history. We have prepared a two page Valuation Questionnaire to help arrive at the range within which your business can be sold. Depending on unknowns and accuracy of data provided, upper and lower bounds of range can vary significantly from business to business. This initial valuation is provided free of cost and will help you get estimates for following important questions.

1. Can my business be sold?
2. Range of value it can be sold for.
3. Approximate time it would take for business to sell

There is no obligation for you to work with us. If however, you wanted to go forward, you have one of two choices. If you have decided that you want to use our services to help sell your business, we will work with you to gather all required information including your financial statements, shopping cart reports and traffic reports to arrive at accurate market price for your business, prepare marketing plan and proceed to put the business on sale. There is no upfront cost for this option. If you would like to know our exact recommendation on asking price and would like us to provide our valuation report before you decide to list your business for sale, we will work with you to determine a fair valuation fee.

 

I am interested in obtaining a free appraisal of my online Business

 
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