An online business, managed correctly, can be your ticket to complete freedom: financial freedom, freedom from the 9-5 grind, and freedom from the shackles of being an employee. It’s a desirable lifestyle that many of us dream of but few achieve.
What’s more, getting started with an online business can seem overwhelming. There are more than 1.7 billion websites registered today – the odds seem insurmountable.
When you dig deeper, however, you’ll discover that less than 75% of these are active. Of those, there are websites that are poorly managed, predominately for personal or family use or otherwise using unsuccessful techniques.
Slowly, you’ll see that there’s plenty of potential for everyday people (and people just like you) to make a very comfortable living online.
Working out how to make that money, and what skills you need, feels equally overwhelming.
That’s where business entrepreneur mentors come in.
Business entrepreneur mentors help you navigate the complex and ever-changing path towards successful online business ownership.
In our case, we’ve tried, tested and developed online businesses and coached their owners to success. Today, we’re able to turn your idea or dream into a lucrative business over a short period of time.
Your Guide to Buying Established Online Businesses
In this guide, we’ll first investigate what it takes to buy and run an online business. Business ownership isn’t for everyone, and owning an online business takes a certain mentality.
No one is born with the business aptitude, skills, and knowledge you need to succeed in the world of online business. These skills can be learned, practiced, and honed. We’ll outline what they are and how a business entrepreneur mentor can help you.
Then, we’ll dive into the details you need to go about finding and buying your own successful online business.
If you’re already set on your path of business ownership and just want details about the practicalities, scroll down until you hit the header “How to Buy an Established Online Business”.
What is an Online Business?
There are many ways to make money online. Some represent the moving of traditional brick-and-mortar business models to the world wide web. Others have emerged since the proliferation in access to the Internet began. More are cropping up each day.
The imagination of Internet-savvy entrepreneurs seems to be the only limit to their potential to make money online.
Common Types of Online Businesses
We’ll briefly outline the common types of online businesses you’ll see.
Provision of services
Freelancers, digital nomads, online consultants – whatever you want to call them, there are plenty of people making money online by selling services.
It’s not unusual for creatives, like writers, web developers, and graphic designers, to work as contractors to make money online. They’re not employed by the companies they work for, but they are contracted to them and need to work on their timelines and abide by their rules.
eCommerce websites are comparable to online stores. They use an online platform to sell products and services, while also engaging in marketing and raising brand awareness.
The lifestyle can seem glamourous – these online stores offer all the benefits of traditional brick-and-mortar stores without the hassle of working in a customer-facing retail role. You can sell to customers all around the world while sitting on a beach in California or between safari tours in Africa.
There are plenty of success stories from ecommerce. A top-ranking article on the earning potential for eCommerce websites asserts that “the average in total revenue for…ecommerce companies is just over $6.5 million after three years”. They also note that eCommerce is “the only trillion-dollar industry growing at a double-digit percentage each year”.
But, they’re a lot of work – unless you work with a business entrepreneur mentor, like us.
We offer turnkey eCommerce websites that have already proven their value. You can swoop in and purchase these ready-made ecommerce sites and grow the profit from day one.
You can find out more about this eCommerce business model here.
This is essentially selling physical goods to customers, much like you’d do in an eCommerce or online store scenario. However, you don’t physically stock the items yourself. Instead, you make the sale and then arrange for a third party to ship the item directly to the customer.
It’s labour intensive, takes time to get everything in place, and competition is high. It’s not typically a great place to start – unless you’ve discovered a niche that needs servicing. If so, guard that secret closely.
Affiliate marketing involves building a website that motivates visitors to buy specific products after clicking a link on your site. The company selling the product will give you a commission for the sale, meaning you earn money each and every time someone buys that product/service after visiting your site.
The aim of the game is, therefore, to create content that strongly motivates your site’s visitors to purchase that product. The content might be a video showing how well the product works or a detailed written review.
It’s a newer area of digital business that allows you to generate passive income over time.
Some people build large online followings. These allow them to seek commercial sponsorship from larger companies or sponsorship from their site visitors via sites like Patreon. Companies and individuals pay them to continue to create the content their known for.
It’s typically labour-intensive work and competition is fierce within the industry. Instagram influencers fall within this category, as do YouTube vloggers, and many others.
Digital Real Estate
We refer to the ownership of a website domain as owning “Digital Real Estate”.
Owning this digital real estate is the foundation on which you build content that drives ‘traffic’ – that is, visitors to your site. These visitors open the electronic doors for making money online.
You can read more about Digital Real Estate in our detailed article on the topic. It goes into more depth about what it is, its value, and the different types of digital real estate.
Why Buy an Online Business?
There are a number of draw cards that make owning and running an online business incredibly attractive, including:
Make Your Own Schedule
Being your own boss has plenty of perks. Being your own boss for a business run online has more.
Whether your priority is to travel more, spend more time with your family, or just have the freedom to choose, online business ownership makes it possible.
Create Passive Income Streams
Passive income is income that comes in on its own – without you needing to do additional work. There are plenty of ways to create passive income online, including generating revenue via ads on your website or affiliate links.
Higher Profit Margins
The overheads on online businesses are significantly lower. You don’t need to own a store, or inventory, or anything really – except a computer. Lower costs mean more money in your pocket from each sale.
Since the initial outlay and ongoing costs are lower, there’s reduced financial risk to you if the business fails. Decreased risk means there’s so much more to gain!
Should I Buy an Online Business?
With the perks above outlined, it might seem crazy that everyone isn’t investing in online businesses. There’s little doubt that buying an online business can be a great investment.
On top of that, there’s plenty of potential and room for growth in the world of online entrepreneurship. But not everyone has the skills and/or knowledge required to succeed – especially since competition can be fierce.
Successful entrepreneurs come from a wide range of backgrounds – in terms of their experience and education. They do tend to have a number of personal characteristics in common, however. These include:
As an online entrepreneur, your ability to persuade others to purchase your goods will be your biggest asset. How you do so is up to you. You can use reason, evidence, charisma, humour, or just build a reputation for honesty. What’s important is that you can do it!
They Demonstrate Flexibility in Thinking
Flexibility is crucial if you’re going to establish new routines and develop new (more effective, more efficient) methods to achieving what you need to achieve each day. The less time you spend stuck in a routine rut, the more time you’ll have to do the things you’d rather be doing. Flexibility in thinking is the key that will help you unlock this free time.
They’re Motivated Self-Starters
Working for yourself often means working by yourself. You won’t have an assistant or a boss hunting you down to make sure you’re going to meet your deadlines. In fact, you need to be your own assistant and boss. That takes discipline, passion and motivation.
Entrepreneurs tend to be less averse to risk than their employed counterparts. Starting and running a business is, in its very essence, much riskier than simply showing up to work each day.
That said, the risks they take are intelligent, calculated and carefully considered.
There’s no space for indecision in business. There’s less space for indecision in online business – where everything moves so quickly. Successful online entrepreneurs know what needs to be done and know what path they’ll take to get there. Anything else that crops up is dealt with quickly, quietly and effectively.
What You Need to Know (About Yourself) Before Buying an Online Business
With all the above information in mind, you need to consider whether you have all the traits, knowledge, skills, experience and expertise to succeed in the competitive online marketplace.
If you do, great!
If not, a business entrepreneur mentor, like us at Sirius Design, can help you learn everything you need to know to succeed. Get started with our entrepreneur mentorship programs here.
Now that we’ve looked at what it takes to run an online business, we’ll dive into the practical steps you need to walk through to buy your own online business.
How to Buy an Established Online Business:
This is your step-by-step guide to buying an online business. We will first outline the practical benefits of buying an established business, before detailing where these businesses can be bought. Finally, we’ll detail exactly what you need to consider before buying a business – including financing, risk, and due diligence.
Buying an Established Business:
Business owners have two options:
- Start their own business from scratch
- Buy an established business.
Each option has a lengthy set of pros and cons. Either way, you’ll need to invest money, time, and energy into building the business.
Why Buy an Established Business?
With an established business, someone else has already invested the time to build a solid business foundation. By buying an established online business, you can skip some of the frustrating initial steps and teething pains that come with building a business from scratch.
Typically, when purchasing an established online business, the following will already be established:
Proof of Concept
Proof of concept means proving that demand for the product or service being sold exists.
If you purchase a profitable online business, then proof of concept has already been established. That is, if the business is running profitably, then there is evidently demand for the product/service being sold via the site.
In the same vein, a profitable business already has a customer base. The purchases from these customers are what make the established business profitable – and they’re likely to continue to purchase from the business they know and trust into the future.
When you buy an established business, the incoming profits go to you. These allow you to draw a wage and/or use the incoming profits to expand the business so you can make more money down the line.
You can skip the frustrating initial phase where the money just trickles in and instead focus on directing the flood of funds coming in.
Establishing a social media following and building a site that ranks well enough on Google to be found can be a huge part of the battle when starting a new business.
Buying an established business usually means that the social media and website have been up and running for some time.
This can be advantageous when it comes to growing your business’s online presence.
Established businesses come with solid relationships with suppliers, vendors, and other business partners – including partners who refer potential customers to you.
These business relationships, when leveraged correctly, can be of immense value. Especially in the early days when you’re finding your feet in your role as a business owner.
Similarly, if you purchase an established business with employees, you can skip the training phase. The employees will already know the ins and outs of the business and can help make the transition as smooth as possible.
When you compare this to building a business from scratch, the benefits are obvious. Building your own business means training the employees on everything from business processes to teaching them about the product/service you’re selling.
Buying an established business means getting access to knowledgeable employees who can ultimately help you with flexible thinking and business efficiencies.
Easier Access to Financing
Finally, financing is often easier to obtain if you purchase an established business. Since you have definitive proof of the earning potential of the business, financiers can accurately assess risk. They can then loan money accordingly.
When starting a business from scratch, the risk is less certain and, therefore, financing is less certain. And more difficult to come by.