If your answer to the question is – shall I sell my business online? – If yes, then it is likely you’re evaluating the best and most rewarding medium to do so. You can sell your business online on your own or make use of a broker to aid you in the process. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons.
Ways to sell your business online
- Selling directly – If you wish for minimum external intervention, then you can choose to sell your business online on your own. This can be done by identifying a buyer within your own social or professional networks. You can also list your business for sale on online marketplaces or contact your competitor directly. Do note, since you will be conducting all the activities on your own, this method can be taxing on your emotional resources, but is beneficial financially as there are no overhead expenses involved.
- Selling via a broker – Therefore mentioned mode may work well for seasoned entrepreneurs who have gone through the different stages of selling a business in the past. But if this is your first time, then you will need all the help and guidance you can get. Employing the services of a professional broker can be quite useful here. Let us examine the role of a broker and the benefits you can expect by engaging one.
How can a broker help?
Typically, there are some key stages that are common to the selling process. A business broker can play a vital role in helping you navigate each one of them successfully. The prominent stages include:
- Business Valuation – One of the foremost activities involved in selling your business online is its valuation. While the end result of this stage is designating a price tag for your business, it is not a straightforward task. One needs to take into account the financial health of your business, including its earnings, profits, and future projection. Operational performance is assessed using indicators such as site visitors, click rate, cart-to-conversion ratio, rate of returns, etc. Finally, the broker will also consider other factors such as the recognition and reputation of your business, its age, nature, market demand, and competition.
- Business Listing and Marketing – The next step involves listing your business for sale. A good broker will develop a multi-channel marketing plan to generate buzz and attract potential buyers. Just like buyers evaluate target businesses from a variety of perspectives, a broker will help you shortlist the right buyer – someone who is willing the pay the most while also being accommodating enough to your terms and conditions.
- Sale Negotiations – Negotiating the deal can be a very tricky stage, especially for first-timers. It can be a battle of patience and wit, and the broker’s professional experience can come in very handy here, especially in the case of both parties reaching a stalemate. Usually, a broker will perform the role of a mediator, smoothening the negotiation process and ensuring that both the buyer and seller are agreeable to the terms of the sale.
- Deal Closure – With the negotiations successfully completed, it is time to close the deal to make it official. Here, too, the broker will ensure that all the legal, contractual, and compliance regulations are met and all required documentation is in place for a seamless transfer of ownership. The broker will also make sure that you’re paid on time and as per the conditions laid out in the contract.
Benefits of selling via a broker
As you can see, the broker’s role cuts across all the key stages involved in selling your business online. The advantages of availing of the services of a broker include:
- Experience – Having assisted other entrepreneurs to sell their business online, brokers bring to the table their knowledge and familiarity with the selling process and all the vital aspects it entails. Their sound understanding of the process translates to valuable insights and advice throughout the selling cycle.
- Network – A broker allows you to reach out to a far wider target audience than you would have managed on your own. Their network of potential buyers, investors, and other industry professionals help increase the visibility of your business and increase your chances of finding the right buyer for it.
- Better Returns – Your chances of getting a better price for your business are higher with a broker involved. Their expertise helps establish the fair market price of your business, thus ensuring you don’t undersell it. In fact, their marketing efforts are engineered with the intent of getting you the best return for your labor.
- Smooth and Seamless Process – When you sell a business online, the process can be quite complex and time-consuming. Plus there’s a ton of paperwork to be managed and intermediary agencies to be dealt with. Since the broker you employ will take care of all these aspects, you save time and effort and can focus on running your business and building future plans.
Here’s some more useful information regarding the online sale of business.