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How To Sell A Website - Part 3
Published: Sunday, October 03, 2004


Preparing the business information for the Sale

After you have decided to sell your business for whatever reason and chosen an asking price that you can support (hopefully with some advice from research or, even better, through a professional appraisal service), you are now ready to talk to some potential buyers. Or are you?

Much like the asking price, the art of preparing your business for sale is not that easy. So, what do you need to successfully prepare the business and information? The list and needs vary greatly over business types, revenue sizes, verticals, and so on. For any business, the basic requirements for what you will need are quite similar. At the very least, you should have the following items:
  1. Business Summary -- what it is and why you are selling

  2. Business Plan/Marketing Plan -- if you have them

  3. Asset List -- both tangible and intangible

  4. Search Engine Rankings

  5. Website Traffic Reports

  6. Any Technical details

  7. Financials (previous years and Current YTD financials)

  8. Most recent completed year's Profit & Loss or Income Statement report and Balance Sheet -- if you have it

  9. Sales Forecasts

  10. Supporting documents for the Financials -- Tax, Bank, and/or Merchant Statements

The previous items will give all potential buyers a good idea what is for sale and probably a good idea if they are interested in pursuing the sale or not. However, that is usually just the beginning, so be prepared for many, many, many more questions.

Also, please keep in mind that your materials, presentation, and responses will be graded as part of the business in a way. Why? Because, how can your business be successful if you are unorganized, not well presented, and not able to respond quickly and concisely? This is what the buyer will be thinking. And in my experience, this is pretty accurate.

Market Your Website & Domain Name

There are various methods of putting your domain name up for sale. Decide whether you would like to sell your domain by owner or simplify the process and significantly increase your chances of receiving the best offer in the shortest amount of time by listing your domain name with a third party, such as http://www.ukwebsiteforsale.co.uk.

Marketing The Site On Your Own

There are 101 different ways to promote your domain name. One way we don't recommend is blanketing companies with unsolicited email. Writing mail to 200 banks asking if they want to buy FasterInternetBanking.com is not likely to win you many friends, nor make you any deals. Your time would be better employed using the methods listed below:
  1. Update the domain name registration information

    Many potential buyers will look at the information in the WHOIS database as a first step when investigating a name that they are considering buying. So make it perfectly clear that the name is for sale. Update the owner's name to include (This name is for sale) after your own name. Make sure all your contact information is current and accurate. Contact your domain name registrar to update your WHOIS listing.


  2. Put a promotional website up

    The other obvious way for a potential buyer to find out if a domain name is for sale is to visit the website. Don't disappoint them. If you donít have an existing website, get some web space from a decent host provider and put a simple, one-page site up, showing that the name is for sale. Include a form or at least an email address so that interested parties can submit offers.


  3. Get the Word Out

    There are two different types of e-marketing strategies that may help increase your sales.

    Direct Marketing: Identify and Address Your Audience.
    What types of businesses or individuals would be interested in your name? When you have identified your specific audience, you can take the next steps:

    1. Visit newsgroups related to domain names and the nature of your name for sale. Post messages and begin discussions.

    2. Subscribe to ezines related to the topic and find out where these people are on the web, and how you can contact them.

    3. Once you have contacts, you can send out emails to potential customers.


    Mass Marketing: Address Many.

    As opposed to direct marketing, mass marketing targets a large amount of people, hoping for a small response. Some ways to do this are:
    1. Participate in domain forums, ask questions and seek out domain resellers or people who may be able to offer you more tips.

    2. Use search engines. Although search engines differ in their methods of operation and website submission, you can often submit your site for no cost. To find out more information about different search engines and how they work, visit http://searchenginewatch.com.

Previous Article How To Sell A Website - Part 2 How To Sell A Website - Part 4 Next Article
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