Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Hoping to Sell Your Company? Best Strategies Involve Your Web Site



Why work years building your business only to sell it without fully profiting from your efforts?

For maximum profit – whether you want to sell your company to raise funds for a new venture or to simply retire – plan well to create value. Negotiate with multiple buyers to get competing offers.

Yes, business owners should plan a profitable exit strategy. That includes strategic planning to sell the digital asset, too.

Here are exit strategies:

Understand buyer motives

You should anticipate the motivation of buyers with an attractive business model. That means taking steps for a high valuation of your business and online presentation to prospective buyers.

For starters in piquing the interest of prospects, candidly it’s best if your site has the appearance of a potential for long-term passive income.

Naturally, new owners desire four basics:

  1. Great content.
  2. Excellent traffic.
  3. A turn-key, low-operational involvement with the site.
  4. Reassurance that a new owner would not lose customers and that growth is likely.

Trust

Trust is paramount. A buyer wants to be able to trust you – it’s always an emotional decision. Outsource valuation of your company.

No matter what your business model is, your site must include a trustworthy ‘About Us Page’. Of course, the rest of your site should have attributes conveying trust.

However, trust is a two-way street. Require a breakup fee if the deal falls through.

NOTE: A confidentiality agreement is insufficient. You can discuss generic results — but until you have a qualified buyer and negotiate a written offer with the right terms — do not reveal proprietary information such as your processes, client list and trade secrets.

Search-engine rankings

Your site should have great traffic to inspire confidence in a buyer. That includes your use of search-engine optimization techniques.

A buyer will want top search-engine rankings and to be confident about growth – the potential in attracting new customers and how to sustain it.

So, stay on top of SEO Trends.

Marketing

A smart buyer wants a site with short-term and long-term sustainability. You must get a big bang for your buck in promotion and be aware of trends in digital marketing.

By the way, for successful promotion, your Google search ads should be cost-effective.

But again, you can discuss results but not how you accomplished it until the time is right.

Competition

Marketplace competition will be on the mind of any buyer:

  1. Whether the niche has long-term potential.
  2. The level of market penetration and whether there are obstacles to growth.
  3. The potential threats from competition.

Customers

Your customer base must be strong as possible, and you should launch the initiatives needed to retain customers for life-time value and to attract new customers.

Mobile site

It’s increasingly important to have an easy-to-use mobile site.

With the skyrocketing sales of smartphones and tablets, comes a warning from Google. If you don’t have a mobile site, you should.

Make sure it has what Google calls “mobile friendliness.” Implement Google’s seven precautions for a top Google ranking.

Advertising vis-à-vis affiliate marketing

Unless, you’re selling your own products or services, decide on a passive-income marketing site – such as an advertising or affiliate marketing model.

Certainly, the two models have similarities in promoting a third-party partner.

In the advertising model, the goal is to entice the maximum number of site visitors to click on the advertisements.

Unless you sell ads, your option is to sign up with a pay-for-click service such as Google AdSense. With a service, you’d have control over the types of advertisers.

The problem is that you have to generate a lot of traffic as you’ll only get a very small amount of money from each click. Also, be aware that countless other sites will publish the same ads.

In affiliate marketing, the approach is to garner a percentage of a sale or a fixed amount when a visitor clicks on an ad in a certain way.

For instance, affiliate marketers might want you to refer followers for their newsletters. When visitors subscribe to newsletters of affiliate marketers, you as the publisher would be  paid.

Affiliate marketing requires more due diligence than for advertising, for example:

You will lose potential income if there’s an affiliate hacking, which means you will not earn credit for referring visitors.

Unfortunately, many affiliate marketers have bad reputations in terms of credibility – either in not paying, poor products, customer service or in other business practices.

And there’s a lot of competition for you as countless other sites are likely to be using the same affiliate marketers.

E-Commerce

With e-commerce, you’ll have more control over finances by selling products and services to visitors who pay you online.

E-commerce has made it possible for entrepreneurs to run their online businesses for higher profit.

Saas (Software as a Service)

This is on-demand software, and is increasingly popular as a model because it provides cloud access for customers to software applications on a subscription basis.

Basically, such software applications are accessed through the user’s browser as they’re centrally hosted.

While SaaS helps to cut IT costs and responsibilities, it means giving up control of your site. There are often issues in identity and access-management, and staying in compliance with government regulations on storing customers’ data remotely.

Whether you need a site for lead generation or need to maintain ownership of content, keep in mind self-hosting gives you better control.

Operations

A buyer will want to know about how the site is operated:

  1. The minimum level required in technical expertise.
  2. The quality and documentation of standard operating procedures.
  3. Management of employees and contractors.

Cementing the deal

Whatever your site’s model, you must provide justification for your selling price. Valuation drivers play a role here, such as dominance in your industry and niche.

Ask questions. Get to know the person’s concerns and be prepared to give added value like providing post-sale consultation for a year to cinch the deal.

To get a top selling price and to put savvy buyers at-ease, it’s best have your representations verified by a recognized authority.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies:

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

21 Mistakes to Avoid in SEO (Infographic with Valuable Tips) — For online success it’s vital for your site to place high on the search engines. It’s possible if you use best practices in SEO. Here are 21 mistakes to avoid.

For More Sales, 8 Vital Mobile Marketing Tips — Put your brand where prospects and customers are likely to see it. That means leveraging mobile marketing.

Marketing Tips via Mobile Devices, Reviews, Coupons — Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores. Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions.

Selling Your Mid to Large-Size Business? Beware of the Obstacles — With plenty of angst and working long hours, you’ve spent a lifetime building your company. Now, you’re dreaming about an exit strategy – selling out before your retirement for easy living. Perhaps you’ve exhausted so much time and energy growing your company you haven’t given any thought to the business-selling process. Here are recommended strategies.

“The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.”

-Karen Salmansohn


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.