When you create an online business, whether it’s something like a service-based web design business, an e-commerce site or a blog, there’s always the potential that you may be able to sell it eventually.
In fact, it’s becoming more common for online business owners to start sites and blogs with the specific goal of selling them once they’ve built up their following and their traffic.
Before you can sell an online business, like any other company, however, you need to have a professional business plan in place.
A business plan for a web-based business or blog has many similarities to a traditional business plan, with some differences as well.
If you’re a blogger or online business owner and you want to sell your site eventually, consider the following components of a strong business plan.
Define your Unique Value Proposition
The world of blogging and e-Commerce business is highly crowded and competitive. The first thing you should do as you create a business plan is to highlight how you’re unique and the value you can bring that others in your industry or niche can’t.
A value proposition is an important area to focus when you’re writing a business plan because it’s somewhat like an elevator pitch and it’s going to be one of the first things potential buyers or investors will see. It’s what will help them decide whether or not they’ll move further and read more of your business plan.
Try to keep it as short and concise as possible.
Define Your Target Audience
For any online business or online marketing, having a highly specific idea of your target audience is essential.
The most successful blogs and online businesses know clearly and definitely who their audience is, and they’re able to appeal to them personally.
Potential buyers and also investors that might read your business plan are going to want to know who your audience is and how you’re tapping into them. You might consider adding a buyer or reader persona to your business plan.
Develop Your Business Model
If you ever want to sell, you need to have a business model in place. A business model is not only going to show the general structure and concept of your online business, but this is also where you’re going to be able to highlight financial aspects of your site and how they work in line with your model.
In an online business model you can include things such as your content scheduling, whether or not you offer products or services, membership or subscriptions you might offer or plan to offer, and how you market and promote your site or blog on social media and other places.
Any buyer or investor is going to want to see the numbers, and this should definitely be included in your business plan. If you’re just starting out, you can add your startup budget.
If you’re more established as a blogger or online business you can include things like your revenue and where it comes from, your expenses, your budget to create content, and forecasts.
According to Firmex in their Mid-Market M&A Report, while large-scale deals were on the decline, smaller and mid-market deals fared well in 2016. It can be a good environment to create and then sell an online business or blog, if you’re prepared, have a strong following and have a professional business plan in place.