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Timing Things Just Right To Maximize Value When Selling Your Website
By Quiet Light
Timing may not be everything, but when it comes to selling your website, it is a critical part of effecting a quick—and more importantly, profitable—sale. You may not be able to control the market, or the availability of a qualified buyer, but you can keep your eyes open for opportunities and make the most of them.
Just how important is it to get the timing right? Consider two scenarios:
- Scenario A: A business owner receives an offer of $25,000 for their business, early in their ownership. They decide to wait for 14 months—growing the business and adding value—and eventually sell their website for $165,000.
- Scenario B: A business owner, worn out and thinking about selling their business—currently valued at $120,000—ultimately decides to hang on for a while longer. Neglect and burnout take their toll, causing the value of the business to diminish. They finally decide to sell, but after six months of hard work to sell the business, they receive only a single, nearly negligible offer.
These are extreme examples, but they do underscore just how important timing is to a successful sale. Every seller is different, and every business has its own unique challenges and rewards. But knowing when to sell can mean the difference between a rewarding transaction and a mediocre one.
Signs It’s Time To Sell Your Website
How will you know when it’s time to sell? No hard and fast rules apply, but certain key signs might indicate it’s time for you to make your move.
Fatigue: Watch out for this one. Entrepreneurs are a complex and driven people, and while we might be loath to admit it, we are incredibly susceptible to burnout.
This is especially true if your business is experiencing slowed growth or going into decline. By the time you realize you’re burned out, it’s likely too late to capture the maximum value of your business.
Lack Of Desire To Keep Up: Is your industry advancing faster than you care to keep up? Tasks such as social media marketing and content marketing can be full-time jobs in themselves. Or maybe changing market conditions have made your industry less exciting, which has reduced the passion you once felt?
If this is how you feel, you may want to consider executing your exit strategy sooner rather than later. This will not only help you avoid the pitfalls of burnout, but also prevent the business from appearing to be behind the times, which can affect the attractiveness of your site, and thereby diminish its value.
Meeting Your Personal Goals: Why did you start your business, anyway? Have you achieved (or mostly achieved) the goals you set for your business when you started it? If so, then ask yourself what’s next, and make some new goals.
Allowing aimless drifting to set in can hurt your business. If you aren’t actively innovating and improving it, your business will eventually stagnate and lose the value you’ve worked so hard to build.
Time Management Challenges: How much time do you invest in your business in an average day? In a week? A month? Perhaps not as much as you used to? A prospective buyer can spot a neglected site quite easily.
You may not realize it because it’s been a gradual process for you. But if you’re spending an increasing amount of time on other projects, your business could be suffering.
Before it gets to the point of no return, give it a good home with a new owner who has time to invest in it—and put some cash in your pocket at the same time.
Criteria & Conditions For a Strong Sale
Figuring out whether you’re ready to sell is the first step. The second is establishing whether your business is ready to be transferred to a new owner. Some questions to consider:
- Will a new owner be able to step in and hit the ground running on day one? If not, what needs to be done? Create a checklist and start working your way through it.
- Can you verify your financials? Perhaps it might be better to ask, “Do you have financials to share and verify?” Make sure you know and document your revenue and expenses for the past 36 months. Don’t just prepare the cumulative amounts. Break these values out, month by month, and be prepared to back up your data with third-party documentation.
- Will your vendors work with a new owner? It’s a good idea to clarify what sort of arrangement the new owner can expect before getting too far into the sales process.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Several more steps and considerations go into preparing to sell your website. But if you can at least answer these questions satisfactorily, you’re on your way to structuring a sale that will make everyone happy—or at least one that’s fair to all parties involved.
The Wisdom Of Solomon (& Some British Pop Stars)
As both King Solomon and The Byrds were fond of saying, to everything there is a season. Whether you’ve worked for years to build a solid business or you’re just starting a new entrepreneurial venture, by maintaining an active and attentive role in your business, you’ll be better able to identify and seize the opportunity for a profitable and successful sale that’s right on time.