If you take a step back and realize that statistics show more than 90% of people who want to purchase an online business never actually follow through with the purchase, you may find yourself asking the question — “why”?
Why do so many people not go through with the process when owning an online business has been a dream of theirs for so long?
As a broker, I can tell you that one of the biggest reasons I see people failing to move forward in the process is because they feel like they do not have the necessary information to make informed decisions about the business they want to buy.
It is not enough to just dream of owning an online business. You also need to make sure you are not going to end up wasting time or money by purchasing a business that isn’t right for you.
Hopefully, I can help you overcome that barrier by giving you the information you need, and help you decide which type of business is right for you to buy.
How to Purchase Your Perfect Online Business/Company
Don’t Give Up Hope
Many of the entrepreneurs that I have helped purchase an online business did not necessarily know in the beginning the type of business they wanted to own.
There are countless, different online business types being bought and sold every day. There’s always a business out there that is perfect for someone who is willing to capitalize on an opportunity.
Before you dive headfirst into buying a business, here are a few points you will want to consider. They can help you make a decision and bring you closer to finally purchasing your perfect online business.
Set Clear Expectations
When you first start thinking about the different types of businesses that you may want to purchase, you will need to think about setting expectations that you can stick to.
To give you an example, one entrepreneur may want to purchase a business that doesn’t require them to play an active role in growing and maintaining it — instead, relying on the help of experts.
A different entrepreneur may want to purchase a business that they enjoy doing on a daily basis, working with customers and clients that they love, growing the business year after year.
When you take the time to write down your expectations of the business and keep them handy while you are looking at different businesses currently being sold, you will have an easier time coming to a final decision.
Then if you find a business that you believe is perfect for you, check if it happens to violate one of the expectations you have set for yourself. If it does, you can skip it, making sure you are sticking to the path you have laid out.
Enjoying what you do is incredibly important. For some, it may be more important than anything else. If you jump into a business that goes against your expectations, you run the risk of losing money and regretting the decision.
Stick to The Basics
Before you purchase a business, you will need to think about your skills.
Are you going to be happier in marketing and sales roles? Alternatively, will you be happier finding a new technology that’s going to change life as we know it?
If you are more interested in uncovering new technologies, you will need to be able to identify problems that people are having efficiently, and then be able to solve those problems. You will also need to ensure the solution you are offering is significantly different than what your competition is offering.
If it is not completely different, you are going to be going toe-to-toe with competition that probably arrived in the market sometime before you.
The same thing can be said for businesses that you are not necessarily interested in, especially if you do not love the sales and marketing side of owning an online business.
You will also need to think about your profit margins.
By running the business yourself, you are going to have higher profit margins. However, if you hire experts to help you with the business, your profit margins are going to be significantly reduced.
This goes back to your expectations.
You will need to think about what your role in the business is going to be and make sure that you are buying a business that places you in that role.
Focus on Your Strengths
Think about what you are good at right now, or what you are passionate about learning in the future. You want to make sure you are not buying a business that you have zero interest in, just because you want to make money.
The perfect situation you can create for yourself is one where you are buying a successful business in a field or industry that you already love. Then, you are never going to feel like you are working.
Which brings me to my next point. You also want to make sure you are not relying too heavily on a single person, even if you are that person. You may have off days, or you could lose a key employee, or have an expert back out on you.
If the business you have purchased is something you love to do, getting yourself motivated and back in the thick of it will be far easier than trying to motivate yourself to work on a business that you are not interested in.
If you purchase a business that capitalizes on your strengths, you can outsource your weaknesses and make the business more enjoyable to own.
Don’t Lose Sight
Purchasing an online business is not easy to do, it requires a ton of research.
Many entrepreneurs find themselves getting discouraged, especially when they do not have outside help to guide them through the process. You want to make sure you are not letting yourself become overwhelmed.
Take each of the businesses that you are thinking about buying, and immediately remove any that may be a bad fit. Then, look through the remaining businesses while placing yourself in the role of the business owner to determine if they are good for you, or not.
If you find yourself having questions, write them down. Then, take those questions to a reputable broker to continue working through the process.
Brokers can help you find the perfect business for you based on a list of businesses they have sold in the past, or businesses that are currently being sold. They have the experience needed to help guide you through the process from beginning to end.
Guest post Author
Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service. Jock has been featured in Forbes and contributed to numerous websites and podcasts. He specializes in appraising and buying/selling online businesses and enjoys helping other entrepreneurs do business online.
You can reach him via email: cassie[at]digitalexits.com