How to Sell a Business Online in Three Easy Steps

May 2, 2012

It’s nice to know that almost anything can be bought and sold online these days.  Web sites like Ebay and Amazon have made it possible for people to earn a living by simply buying low and selling higher.  But when it comes to selling a business, most people cannot imagine how that would be done online.  Businesses have real property, competitors, leases, contracts, employees and more.  They may have vehicles, warehouses and complicated debt.  But in today’s fast-paced world it is possible to buy and sell a business online.

Whether they plan to go through a business broker or sell the business on their own, small business owners are starting the sales process by posting a listing in a business opportunities directory.  These online directories can be local or national in scope, and generally allow visitors to search for businesses by state, industry and price range.  Many sellers wonder if it matters which business directory they are in, and I always tell them to look for the directories that come to the top of the Google search rankings.  The better optimized the site is, the more likely your listing will be seen when people search by keyword.

To make the most of your listing in a business directory, these tips are an easy way to help you sell a business online.

  • Write an effective ad that uses good grammar and spelling.  Include just enough information to get your ad noticed by qualified buyers but not so much detail that it leaves nothing to the imagination.  Always encourage serious buyers to phone you for more information.
  • Make it easy for potential business buyers to contact you. Be sure to include all of your phone numbers and an email address where potential buyers can reach you immediately. Make sure you call or email them back promptly, and be prepared to answer all questions.
  • Remember buyers of small businesses are most interested in location and specifics about the business.  They will want to know the provable adjusted net income as well as opportunities for growth in the future.

Buyers who find listings on a business directory are often in the earliest stages of the buying process.  Perhaps they are doing their “due diligence” to determine if they can afford to buy a business, or maybe they are comparing pricing between one area of the country and another.  More than likely, a potential buyer will not live in the same neighborhood as the seller and in many cases they could live several hours away.  It’s not uncommon for business brokers to “shop” the listings and send an inquiry to the seller on behalf of a client.

Follow these tips to sell a business online and don’t forget to place your listing on