If you are interested in running and owning an online business but aren’t overly keen on the idea of starting your own from scratch, then one option to consider is to invest in existing businesses for sale. People start, grow, and then sell businesses all the time. If you have some money to invest, then this could be a good way to eventually see good returns on your investment as long as you know what you are looking for. The truth is that not all online businesses are worth investing in, and there are lots of different factors to keep in mind and consider before you determine whether or not one is worth buying.
Get a Professional Valuation
First things first; it’s a good idea to arrange a professional valuation for any business that you are interested in investing in. Even if you have looked at all the factors we’ll discuss below, and have come to good conclusions of your own, it’s always a wise idea to have a professional business valuer look over the company. Understanding the concept of multiples and other factors to consider when buying a business is not always easy, so even if you have a good feeling about an online business you want to buy and everything appears to be looking up, a professional opinion can help with making your final decision.
Check the Website Design
One of the first things to do when weighing up an online business to buy is check out the website. This gives you a chance to look at the business through the eyes of a customer, along with spotting any issues that you will need to fix. Ideally you should look for mobile friendliness, a modern and responsive design, fast loading time and a good navigation system. These are all signs that the site is well-designed with potential, and there is a lower risk of you being hit with huge bills to fix it later down the line.
Check Traffic Sources
Along with how the website looks and feels, check out the traffic and where it is coming from. Not only should a good online business have multiple sources of traffic that have come from search engines, social media, and other sources, but it should also be quite consistent. However, simply having a lot of traffic to the site is not always an indication that the business is worth buying. Analyze the traffic to see how much time users are spending on the site – if the majority are bouncing off, then there’s a problem.
Get to Know the Customer Base
Do some research into the online businesses customer base before you determine whether or not it’s the right one for you to invest in. Ideally, you should be looking for an established base of loyal customers. Even better, if the customers are ambassadors for the brand, but customers that return multiple times to make a purchase is still a good sign. If there are very little to no repeat customers, then find out why.
Find Out About Operations
Finally, running an online business can sometimes be a lot of hard work. If you are interested in buying an online company such as an e-Commerce store or an online agency, then one of the main things to find out is how much work is involved in the day-to-day running. Speak to the current owner about how much work they do personally, and how many employees they have hired to help with the workload.
Starting an online business from scratch is not for everybody. If you’re more interested in buying an established online business, then these are some of the main things to consider before you finalize the purchase and ownership transfer.