Most common reasons people sell their website businesses
One of the most popular questions that all buyers ask the internet business broker representing a website business for sale is: "Why does the seller want to sell?"
It's a very important question as the buyers need to fully understand why the seller wants to exit a profitable internet business. In my experience as a website broker, I have probably heard all of the reasons sellers can come up with for wanting to sell their internet business and below you'll find a list of the most common reasons to sell a website:
New Business Ventures - This is probably the most common reason sellers provide with regard to why they want to sell a website. While this reason is genuine in most cases, some sellers provide this reason because it's the most common and because they think it's what buyers want to hear. It's completely understandable for a seller to want to do something new, especially after operating the same business for 5+ years. Most internet business owners are entrepreneurs at heart and over time, it's very common for an internet business owner to recognize a new opportunity in an unserved market.
Partner Disputes - While this reason isn't the most popular, there will always be some website owners that simply no longer get along with their business partner, especially when that business partner is actually a spouse. While divorce is never a favorable outcome for 2 people, working together on a business can often lead to disagreements and ultimately divorce. In these scenarios, it's best to work with an internet business broker that can help divest the business quickly so that both parties can move forward with the next step in their lives.
Declining Revenues - There can definitely be external factors that impact an internet business negatively with regard to declining revenues and profitability. Most internet business owners try to "weather the storm" in hopes that revenues will rebound, but often this trend can't be reversed without a new owner that can look at the problems objectively and fix the problems that are causing the decline. This is obviously a terrible situation for an internet business owner that wants to sell a website since the valuation will suffer, but many savvy buyers wait for opportunities like this because it allows them to buy a distressed business for a huge discount.
Negative Industry Changes - While internet business owners perform diligent research on their industry, sometimes there are negative industry changes that take some internet business owners by surprise. For example, we once represented a vitamin supplement retailer that had a revenue concentration risk because over 70% of revenues came from one specific type of supplement. Since this supplement was weight loss related, it was subject to unexpected government regulations that occurred and caught the owner off guard. New regulations made this once popular supplement illegal, which put the internet business owner in a tough position as he essentially lost 70% of his company's value overnight.
Regardless of the reason the seller provides for why he wants to sell a website, always do your own due diligence and look at the each internet business objectively. If you do diligent research on the internet business you want to buy, it shouldn't really matter why the seller wants to sell a website, especially if your research is thorough.