Customise your online business purchase with a bespoke business solution.
If you’re purchasing a business off the shelf, chances are that you will inherit some operational aspects that you don’t want. Perhaps the business is currently supplying products or services that are irrelevant to your long term business objectives. What if there are additional services or support obligations which take up more time and resources than you are prepared to spend?
In a one-size-fits-all scenario you’re stuck with finding the business that best matches your requirements and then making cuts or changes after the purchase. This can be a time-consuming and costly process if you are having to split off functions and roles that were previously performed by the business owner.
There’s another solution however, that benefits both the buyer and the seller of the business. What if you could select your online business inclusions from a checklist before buying the business?
What Are Your Objectives?
On the face of it, buying an online business that’s already making money is a great way to boost your income, however, it’s important to have a clear vision and realistic expectations of what you want to achieve. Some business owners are more hands-on than others and will want operational control of all aspects of the business, especially if it is their primary source of income. Others may split their time and resources across multiple business interests and prefer a business that they can ‘set and forget’.
Other factors that you need to consider:
- Is this a long term or short term investment?
Are you planning to grow or diversify the business for re-sale or retain it as an income stream?
- Speed to market. How quickly do you need to be up and running?
- Will the business be run as a stand alone operation or as a bolt-on to another business? Is the online business a lead capture tool for another business or division that offers complementary or premium professional services?
- What digital assets are included? For example, website, CRM and directory listings.
- Will you be considering affiliate marketing as an additional revenue stream?
- Mobility. Do you need to operate the business from anywhere in the world?
- Scalability. How easy is it to grow the business under the current model? Is the growth projectory cost effective?
Your long term and short term goals for the business will help you to narrow down your list of business ‘must haves’.
Now you need to work out how much time and money is required to operate the business on a day to day basis, and if further investment is required to meet your objectives.
What Are You Willing to Commit?
- How much can you afford to invest upfront?
- Will you require financing from the vendor or a lending institution?
- What are the anticipated ongoing costs of running the business?
- What are the operating hours of the business? Is there an expectation of service delivery turnaround and availability of customer support?
- Does the business require hands on attention or can it operate in the background?
- How much time do you have to commit to the business?
Do you have experience in the relevant industry, with marketing or in running an online business?
Although it’s not always necessary to have industry experience, if you have previously owned, managed or supported an online business then you are much more likely to hit the ground running and start earning income faster.
- Are you looking at doing this venture on your own, or do you want to have some experienced people to help you get started?
- Will you require ongoing support from the vendor?
Training and Recruitment
Do you or your team have the skills required to run the business?
If you don’t have the relevant experience then you may need to consider training for existing staff and/or recruiting new talent.
Before you start scrolling ads for online businesses, grab a coffee and take some time out to think about your business objectives.
- What are your top 3 business goals for the next 12 months?
- What do you need from a business in order to meet your long term goals? Write a wish list (see sample below).
- What resources do you have to commit to the business?
Sample Wish List
- Budget < $80K
- Annual Revenue $30k
- Product packaging options (bundled products or services)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system
- Ability to launch special offers
- Provision of first level support via phone, webchat and email
- Broadcasting of weekly and fortnightly updates via sms and email
- Make follow up phone calls to prospective customers
- Collection of sales leads for professional and premium services
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a business that checks every item on your wish list, but what if you could select only the inclusions that meet your business objectives?
Ask the business vendor if they are willing to tailor a bespoke business solution to your requirements and negotiate on price.
It may be possible to add or remove deliverables so that the business model is more closely aligned with your wish list. If the vendor is flexible they’ll have a much better chance of finding a suitable buyer, and as the purchaser, you won’t have to pay for inclusions that you don’t need.
How Much Will You Spend On An Online Business?
Regardless of where you start or how much you spend, it’s vital for all business buyers to understand the importance of digital marketing, managing a sales pipeline and providing excellent customer service. You will need to commit the time, energy and creativity to keep finding new clients and retaining existing ones.
Online Training Course business – 30% pa growth including customer base and training available for sale
This online training business is perfect for the upskilling and retraining needed by a massive number of Australian jobseekers. Good margins, training and support and growing at 30% p.a.