Selling a Website – Tips & Tricks

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Perhaps you’ve made a website and it is a bit of a hobby, but maybe over time it has become something more. Let’s start by assuming that you’ve taken serious time and effort in to your website and you’re ready to sell it, so what do you do now? Just like with all things, let’s start from the beginning. Whether you’ve spent months, days, years or a bit of all the above, you want to determine what your site is worth. This breaks down to simply asking yourself, what am I willing to accept for my hard work, effort and time? Anyone can create a site and just site a number they believe will make them happy or comfortable. The real truth is there has to be some real calculations and thought that goes in to this process.

Do the Math

One way to go about this process is to consider how much revenue that your site generates annually. Once you’ve determined that you want to go on to calculate what your costs are to run your site. These costs would include things such as labor, domain costs, staff, marketing and so forth. Another thing you want to keep in mind is you’re competition. Does somebody sell something similar to your product and if so, how much are they charging in comparison to what they’re generating in revenue.

A good standard that some choose is to take that information and subtract to the number that’s you get (your revenue from costs.) With the sum multiply it by two and a half and that should be you’re answer, or similar to what you should roughly ask. Just like with a physical location, an online business and website is like an actual business. You put in hard work, a lot of time and money. In turn you are earning money for your services that people are wanting (Supply and demand.) For those who still may not be sure how much to sell their website for, here is another tip to keep in mind. Many sites suggest you sell for anywhere from between three to six times what you make. This number is before taxes or interest mind you, and usually that’s a great place to start.

Choose a Buyer

Anybody can come up with a figure amount and decide to sell to anybody who shows interest and some money. Just how in demand is your product or service? If it’s just something that will typically generate the same cash revenue then you’re not likely to produce a large output. However, if with different marketing skills it can be pushed forward and grow, you want to ask for a larger price. It’s important that you don’t sell to just the first person who comes along waving dollars. You want to get to know a potential client, learn of their interest in your website and build from there. While you are signing away rights and you’re business as a whole, many people want to see their business fall in to good hands and continue to grow as you would intend for it to do when it was still yours.

Gather Information

Know your website and be able to provide that information to potential buyers. Anyone who has a genuine interest in buying you’re website are going to want to know everything and anything they can about it. Before you meet with them its best you have that information collected and gathered in an eye-catching manner. It’s easy to throw out number and statistics, but if you charts or some sort of graphs, anything that shows how you’re business is operating and in an appealing manner then you’re going to catch the interest and eye of someone who genuinely wants to take over. Provide information such as how much traffic is generated, if you are more local within the United States or your website provides globally. The biggest key lies in just how easily accessible your website is to others, how often does it show in website (Google) searches, how easily it can be retrieved by keywords in a search engine, where does your site rank among other sites, and how has it grown over time?

These are all extremely important statistics to provide to a buyer who is willing to pay a large sum of money. It shows that you are serious about the website as well as a professional who has put considerable thought and time in to not just the growth of the site, but in selling it too. These types of skills and know how will enable a potential buyer to take you more seriously and to pay you more realistically to what your business and website is worth. Book keeping plays a vast role in being able to sell your website and make a large profit from it. Somewhere you should have some sort of accounting page or book-keeping method that details what exactly you are making, how often and what losses you have experienced. Emphasis isn’t going to be placed largely on the loss as every business does experience a margin of loss at some point anyway. As long as your business continues to flourish and grow then the loss is just a minor scuffmark in the whole presentation and shouldn’t affect the sale.

Put it Out There

When it comes to putting your website on the market don’t be so quick to throw a price out there right away, a little mystery goes a long way. Create an email that markets your website for what it is. Without being too length and risking boring your potential clients you want to explain who you are. This is your chance to really stand out and wow the socks off of your clients. In an informal and eye catching manner you want to tell a little about yourself, your business as well as how it came to be. Remember to include your gains and losses and what plans are for the future of the website—what did you imagine happening too it five or ten years down the road? Now that you’ve come this far, spread your wings and search for your buyers. You have you’re presentation ready and a number in your mind for what you deserve, so let’s go find someone to buy and turn profit.

You’re market should not just be limited locally as you can benefit from selling globally. Find someone who shares your love and interest and target them. The easiest way to sell is find people who are in the same market as yourself and contact them. They’ll be easier to sell to and more interested in what you have to offer. There are many sites out there if you struggle to find a business who would be interested in buying your business that you can try. In fact, E-Bay has its own market listed for such things and you can list your business there to find clients easier. By doing a simple search you can turn up other sites that operate in the same manner for those who want a website to run and build off of, but don’t have the interest in building their own and starting from scratch. For this reason you are able to achieve a larger profit and possibly even get more than what you initially planned to ask for.

Close the Deal

Let’s say you’ve found your buyer, let the negotiations to begin! It’s not entirely likely they are just going to accept your website for what you are asking, and that’s okay. This is the time when you can go back and forth deciding a number that you are comfortable with and that is acceptable in comparison to your hard work. Once you have sealed a number in and are ready to turn profit, there are just a few small steps left to do. Decide how you will receive your money (cash, check, wire money transfer and so forth), and then receive your payment. Most people ask for at least half the money up front and then once the website has been secured to its new owner, transfer the rest in whatever method you’ve agreed upon. Sit down and have a contract drawn up and make sure it not only has important dates such as when it was sold and what amount was agreed upon, but both parties need to sign it.

After the Deal

Since you’ve agreed upon a vast amount of money, it’s a great idea to have a lawyer in your corner to help make sure all terms are legal and binding and that nothing will come back to bite you in the butt later on. Some new owners may require or ask that you continue to help ease them in to being the new owner of your site. At this point you need to discuss how long you plan to be a support system for them until they can fully take over and be comfortable with daily operations. With any website comes various tools that you used to help create it to the success it is today, make sure you transfer those to the new owner including any and all emails that may have been used. Now that you have successfully made a large profit off the site you nursed from its baby stages, it’s time to move on with bigger and greater things whether that be a new site or just enjoying your earnings. Congratulations and good luck in whatever endeavors follow you afterwards.