The world of online businesses is flourishing, providing a vast array of opportunities for entrepreneurs to venture into this booming market. If you’re considering buying an internet business, you may feel overwhelmed by the numerous options and the complexity of the process. Engaging with professionals can make the experience more manageable, especially if you’re navigating this realm for the first time or exploring high-value e-commerce businesses.
Luckily, there is an extensive selection of online marketplaces and brokerages that facilitate the buying and selling of online businesses. From specialized platforms to social media groups, you have the possibility to browse through a diverse array of lucrative internet ventures and find the perfect fit for you.
- Online businesses offer a growing market with various opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest.
- Multiple online platforms and brokerages provide resources for buying and selling businesses effectively.
- Evaluating essential metrics and factors of the potential business is crucial for making an informed decision.
Types of Online Businesses You Can Purchase
When searching for an online business to buy, it’s essential to be aware of the various types that may be available. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most common and profitable types of internet businesses.
Affiliate websites: These businesses cater to a specific niche and generate income by linking relevant products within their content. When a visitor makes a purchase through one of these links, the site owner earns a commission.
E-commerce stores: This category includes a wide range of businesses from Amazon FBA to Shopify stores. E-commerce websites sell products and take care of order fulfillment, allowing you to profit from online sales.
Software as a Service (SaaS): A SaaS business provides software solutions through a subscription model. Customers pay a regular fee for access to digital tools or software services.
Mobile apps: With countless apps available on Apple and Google app stores, some of them are up for sale, spanning across various topics and revenue generation capabilities.
Advertising-supported businesses: Niche websites and other online properties often rely on advertising as a revenue source. These sites may also incorporate affiliate or e-commerce monetization strategies.
Lead generation: These businesses specialize in helping other companies obtain qualified leads, allowing them to expand their customer base and grow sales.
Subscription-based services: Aside from SaaS products, other subscription options include online courses and newsletters, providing members with valuable information and resources.
By understanding the various types of online businesses available, you can better assess which might suit your interests and goals when considering a purchase. Remember to research each business model thoroughly to ensure a well-informed decision.
Where to Buy Online Businesses for Sale
Motion Invest is a highly recommended platform for buying and selling online businesses quickly. They offer two types of listings: marketplace listings, where anyone can list their site for sale (fully vetted), and portfolio listings, where sites are purchased or built by Motion Invest then listed for sale. They offer different purchasing options such as “Buy now,” “Submit an offer,” or “Dutch auction.”
Empire Flippers is a well-known online business marketplace offering easy navigation and a variety of listings, filter options, and reliable information about each business. With a vetting process for all listings, you can be sure the details are legitimate, but you should still conduct your own due diligence.
Despite the outdated website design, FE International is serious about assisting with buying and selling online businesses. Known for their rigorous vetting process, they sell a variety of online businesses from niche content sites to SaaS companies, catering to all price ranges. They also charge a buyer’s fee.
Flippa is a popular platform for buying and selling online businesses, providing a marketplace for buyers and sellers to meet. With a wide price range for sites, you’ll need to perform your own due diligence and handle the transfer of funds and assets yourself. Optional “Due Diligence Reports” are available for an additional fee.
Digital Exits is a website broker for online businesses primarily valued at $250K and above. They provide fully vetted listings and financial details. They can also help facilitate financing to help you buy a business.
Latona’s is another reputable online business broker, only selling businesses with annual profits of at least $20,000 and a positive trading history. They offer a wide range of online businesses for sale, from e-commerce to membership sites.
The Exchange Marketplace is Shopify’s platform for buying and selling e-commerce businesses. Be aware that this is a marketplace solely for Shopify-based e-commerce sites, and Shopify will not intervene in deals unless fraudulent activity is detected.
Quiet Light specializes in helping sellers exit with large profits by providing a curated selection of high-quality online businesses for sale, usually with a minimum price of $250K.
Website Properties is another online business broker offering a diverse selection of online businesses for sale, from affiliate sites to e-commerce businesses.
Offering exclusive access to private deals, Investors Club is a community-based platform in which individuals can buy or sell profitable online businesses.
Flipping Websites Facebook Group
The Flipping Websites Facebook Group is a more informal platform compared to the others mentioned – it provides a space for sellers to promote and sell their online businesses. This option may require more due diligence on your part.
How to Determine the Price of an Online Business for Sale
Select the Right Business Model
First, find a business model that aligns with your short-term and long-term goals. There are various business models to consider, such as product-based, lead-generating, full-service turnkey solutions, done-for-you advertising, subscription-based, and more.
Assess Crucial Metrics
Analyze essential metrics to gauge the business’s health. Examine the balance sheets and Profit and Loss statements, as well as annual revenue, gross, and net profits. These metrics will help you understand the sustainability of the business.
Apply an Appropriate Valuation Method
Valuing a business can be complex, as each business is unique. However, there are general practices that you can follow. For instance, eCommerce business valuations are commonly done by multiplying the annual revenue by a factor of three. In the case of content sites or blogs, the value is often determined by multiplying by a factor of six.
Luckily, many online business marketplaces offer valuation tools for your convenience.
What to Consider When Looking for an Online Business for Sale
Evaluating Monthly Traffic
When searching for an online business, it’s crucial to examine the traffic sources. This includes organic, paid, direct, social media, and referral traffic. Utilize Google Analytics to confirm these traffic sources and make sure the business has high-quality backlinks by checking with tools such as Ahrefs.
Assessing Revenue Potential
Focus on online businesses that are already profitable or have significant revenue growth potential. By analyzing monthly financial statements, you will get a clear idea of the business’s direction.
Ensure that the annual expenses of the business do not exceed its income. Look into whether the current owner has reasonable spending habits and if essential expenses such as website hosting, domain referrals, digital marketing, and SEO are covered. Also, search for any “missing” expenses like content creation, payment processor fees, integrations, and plugins.
Estimating Growth Potential
Steer clear of businesses that have already reached their peak and show no signs of future growth. To scale a stagnant business, you might consider enhancing the conversion process, launching a robust social media marketing campaign, or broadening the product or service offerings.
Investigating the Reason for Sale
It’s crucial to understand why the business is up for sale, as the reasons might raise some concerns. You may also realize that you possess the capabilities and resources to overcome any potential challenges in the business.
Analyzing Customer Reviews
Gather customer feedback to learn their perceptions of the business. Identify any areas of dissatisfaction and evaluate if you can address these issues effectively.
Conclusion: Online Business For Sale
When seeking out a legitimate online business for sale, it’s essential to get the right guidance from legal, accounting, and business professionals. Take advantage of the resources available to you, such as the Investing.io community, which provides support and advice for buying and selling online assets.
When purchasing an online business, remember to consider factors like escrow fees, support for transferring the website to your care, and ongoing training after the sale. To learn from the experiences of others, you can listen to stories about successful sales on the Niche Pursuits Podcast. These episodes feature entrepreneurs who bought online businesses and grew them significantly within a short period.
Joining groups like the Niche Pursuits Facebook Group connects you with a supportive online business community, where you can learn more and interact with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs.
During the sales process, ensure you’re well-prepared and remain focused on finding a legitimate business that aligns with your goals and expertise. With the right strategy and support, you can successfully navigate the journey of buying and growing an online business.