Never Miss a Beat - Get Updates Direct to Your Inbox
What are you waiting for? How to buy your first online business and live the dream.
By Mark Daoust
Mark Daoust, founder of QuietLight Brokerage, catches up with Jaryd Krause who proves that dreams come true in this golden age of the internet.
Jaryd, a self-made entrepreneur from Australia, took his virtual ventures to the next level and bought a prosperous online business for sale.
Now, he is a mentor and coaches his success to anyone who has access to a computer and wi-fi.
That’s the short story.
To be self-made you can guarantee there is a story of grinding hustle before the storm clears and sunny skies appear.
If you are searching for opportunities that will help you leave the 9 to 5 office life, Jaryd and Mark have both lived to share their failures and triumphs of the online business world.
Where do I even begin?
You want an online business but starting from scratch is time consuming and costly.
First you have to create a product and brand, hire expensive graphic designers and coders to build a website, then pursue a long battle with marketing and advertising.
And you still might fail. The first words that come to mind, no thanks.
Maybe you are like Jaryd, who was willing to try anything to pursue a life working remotely and live virtually anywhere.
The options are endless. Travel blogging sounds fun but what about the insane competition between you and anyone else with an iPhone these days?
Ask this pro-blogger who said the blogging market is saturated even back five years ago.
Then you have the drop shipping type of business which he also tried. Listen to your new friend, it’s a lot harder than everyone is telling you.
The quiet light went off in both Jaryd and Mark’s head, pun intended.
What if you can buy an existing website that has proven success and start running it yourself? Yes, please.
Skip past the failure rate
When Jaryd found out that 90% of start-ups fail in the first 12 months, that is exactly what he did.
He bought an existing, successful online business that was for sale.
Then he bought another one, and another one.
This is where all the questions start flying around and the possibilities of buying an existing business start flooding in.
How do you skip past that ninety percent failure rate if you are just beginning your online ventures?
He bought success. Well, he bought a successful online business which set him up for success.
Once again, you know it’s not that simple.
There is no single straight line when you decide to purchase an online business, but there is definitely a plan you can follow that helped Jaryd reach his goals and work remotely.
Building your inner circle
Like anything else, you gotta shift through the shit to get to the gold.
There are people you need to put in your circle who have gone down this road before. People like Jaryd, the coach, and people like Mark, the broker.
- Finding the right online broker can tremendously help you along your journey.
An online business broker is the friendly middle man.
Just like any other business, reputation can make or break you. The online world is no different.
Let’s say someone bought an online business through a brokerage website and the financials ended up being wrong and misleading. The buyer would be upset with the seller, and the broker.
It can definitely go both ways.
A seller might not want to sell their sweat and tears of a website only to watch it crash and burn.
A broker wants both the buyer and the seller to succeed. It’s their reputation on the line too.
Sorry to tell you now, but this idea of buying a successful online business is not really that new.
There are thousands of listings to buy online business. A lot of crappy ones too.
If you aren’t working with a broker, spend a good amount of time searching through listings on different marketplaces.
- Connections, connections, connections.
Just like the real world, the online world can prove that it’s who you know that matters.
Building relationships with the right people can open more doors of opportunities that you didn’t even know existed.
But at the end of the day, it’s your choices and decisions that will make or break your online ventures.
Avoid at all costs
Is it really that easy to find an online broker, buy an online business for sale, and boom you’re done?
Yes and absolutely not.
There are plenty of common mistakes you want to avoid when buying your first online business.
Take it from the horse’s mouth or learn the hard way.
- Looking only at the dollar signs.
Anyone looking at the listing can do the math and immediately see the profit. Don’t stop there. Dig a little deeper.
- Rushing the process.
The listing looks absolutely perfect on paper, but is it perfect for you?
Take some time to make the right decision.
This is not a moment to see a quote like “fear is only a state of mind” and let it guide your decision.
This is a time to use more of your brain than your heart.
Selling yourself into the business.
Your eyes are wide and bright, the potential is screaming, but try to give yourself as many reasons why you shouldn’t buy the specific listing you are viewing.
If you can’t sell yourself out of the business, then move forward with your due diligence.
Focusing on all positive or all negative aspects of the business.
There needs to be a balance of the two.
Start your list of pros and cons, and everything in between.
- Not asking for advice.
You think you found the perfect deal and website to buy, so why not ask someone you trust to take a look at the contract?
They don’t have all the itty bitty details of research bouncing around in their head like you do, so having a different perspective can open your eyes just a little bit more.
- Asking your family for advice.
Family want to protect anything that may harm their little Henry or Betty Sue. More than likely they will only see risk while you see the reward.
Once the hours upon hours, make that weeks upon weeks of research have been completed, you’re ready to meet the business owners.
How to talk the talk
The next step to buying an online business for sale, once you found the gem listing, is reaching out to the seller.
This can make or break you as a buyer.
Do not pick up the phone and dial the number, just yet.
There is an art to a phone call, and you want to be fine art, not some crappy graffiti.
- Create a good impression.
Sometimes, it comes down to a professional popularity contest.
If the business is worthwhile, then more than likely there will be a few different prospective buyers.
Guess who the seller wants to work with at the end of the day?
The buyer who has given the best impression.
It will take time to grow your network, but it could come in handy during a close bidding war.
- Build a strategy.
Jumping on the phone without a strategy can also kill the deal.
It’s completely fine if it’s your first online business that you want to purchase, but you don’t want to seem like it is.
You will want to buy a website that already has proven successful, so why would they want to sell it to someone who knows diddly squat?
- You got it, they don’t.
Ask the right questions.
Jumping around the conversation can cause major red flags to a seller.
If you have the typical phone anxiety like many other people these days, focus on your pre-planned strategic questions so you don’t ramble.
On paper, write out all your financial questions, then all your product sourcing questions or content guideline questions, whatever it is regarding the core of the online business you want to buy.
This will help you flow through the conversation with more direction instead of looking like a chicken with its head cut off.
Become the best buyer
There are sellers who want to get out of the game and retire, but most sellers want to see their blood, sweat, and tears get taken to the next level.
The fear is high for both the buyer and seller, and the seller is looking for the best person for the job.
You should understand that the sale is just as emotional as it is financial.
- Respect the seller’s work.
It would be incredibly rude if someone started hounding a seller with all the negative aspects surrounding their business.
This isn’t hard ball.
You should be creating a conversation that shows you are excited to take on their hard work, and not just questioning them why it’s a good deal.
- Learn the lingo.
Another deal breaker.
Understanding the business you want to buy means speaking the language of the seller.
If you can’t have a conversation without cue cards of what SEO, ROI, or basic business acronyms and their meanings, then it might not be the right opportunity for you, just yet.
Here is a cheat sheet to start learning the lingo. Skip the basic text acronyms and go straight to business.
- Build trust.
It’s one thing to learn as you go and fake it till you make it, and it’s another thing to completely lie your way through the sale.
The process of buying an online business for sale should be honest. The seller wants the buyer to be honest, just as the buyer wants the seller to be honest. End of story.
Finding success without experience
Everyone who has ever purchased an online business for sale, has started with zero experience, in buying an online business.
Please read that again.
If this is your first time buying a website, it does not mean that you have nothing to bring to the table.
Everyone has experience. It might be a stretch to say you’re ready to buy a business that focuses on fashion and your background is in accounting, but people are dynamic, diverse, and dedicated to success.
Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t be a know it all either.
- Invest in your education.
Click on those free webinar posts, sign up for educational classes, find an awesome YouTube channel or an amazing online coach, like Jaryd himself. Maybe do all the above and more.
The library though, dated and behind the times. Sorry, print.
- Focus on your strengths.
You’ve been told before and you’ll hear it again right now, stop focusing on what you are not good at.
No one is good at everything. No one.
Build and grow your skills with something you are good at and actually enjoy doing.
- Plan your attack.
What are you going to do once you own the business?
Have a game plan. A realistic game plan at that.
Set yourself up for success.
Reading the business forecasts
The web is constantly changing and growing.
Although he isn’t a proclaimed fortune teller, Jaryd has been buying and selling online businesses since 2013, which is decades in computer years.
Not all trends are good either.
The changes and the numbers alone show a high increase of businesses using Amazon FBA as a fulfillment center.
The tech giant has found a few ways to make it easier and financially cheaper than before.
- Facebook Ads.
They are only getting more expensive with less results.
Once a pot of gold, Facebook Ads have turned into an over-saturated advertising market.
- Content. Content. Content.
Gary Vanynerchuck would agree, quality content is having a huge resurrection.
Audio and video, shameless podcast plug, is the future.
SEO is a huge part of that, including paid SEO, but the websites with the best quality content will be at the top of everyone Google search, leaving everyone else in the dust.
- Consumer searches.
Good ol Siri and Alexa has become friends with almost everyone.
Kinda like the “phone a friend” on the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, most people have a specific question and are looking for an answer.
Searches are becoming more in-depth, like asking “How do I buy an online business for sale?” and people are looking for the best content they can find.
The websites with the most relevant topics will end up on the front page of Google hands down.
Follow these 7 basic steps
Are you one of those people who scrolls down to the very bottom, barely skimming the points Jaryd and Mark have tried to teach you?
You’re forgiven. One step ahead of you.
To break it down, there is a basic process you can follow if you want to buy an online business for sale.
It’s proven successful and you’re ready to take over the reigns.
Follow the advice of these proven businessmen and you may find yourself on the cover of Digital Entrepreneur in no time.
- Find an online business broker.
- Start looking at listings and running the numbers.
- Meet with sellers and build relationships.
- Grow your knowledge.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed.
- Buy an online business.
- Run an amazing and successful business.