Why an online presence is valuable to your business – especially when it’s time to sellBY Australian Retailers Association
By Catherine Kimpton – Beyond Business Sales
How can an online presence help your business? There are many things that can help you sell your business, and you can read millions of articles on them. I want to focus on one strategy that doesn’t seem to make the list – but often seems to make all the difference.
Let me ask you a simple question – How do you conduct research?
Ask 100 people that question and I bet that 95 of them will say something along the lines of “the internet”.
If you are a potential business owner, looking to purchase a particular business where do you start? I bet it starts with “G” and ends with “oogle”.
It’s the 21st Century – even the Yellow Pages are online!
A business with an online presence will not only benefit the current owner but also can work as an advertisement for potential buyers.
Why does a website make your business more attractive to potential buyers?
If customers can easily find information about your business online, so can potential buyers! They will be able to research the business values, branding, accreditations, and contact details clearly, and will have all the information that they require at the click of a button.
2. Client endorsements
Websites often utilise client testimonials, case studies, or follower lists to show credibility to potential customers. This is also handy for potential buyers! If a buyer can see that the business has a happy client base, a wide audience or successful operations it can help show that the business is a wise investment.
3. Contact Link to client base
Well-planned website often utilise social media to keep in touch with their customer base. Linking to sites such as Facebook or Twitter provides a means of two way communication to the client base – an invaluable asset to a business. Social media is a cost effective way to reach a wide audience, and therefore reduce advertising or marketing costs.
Mailing lists are another great way to reach the audience, and depending on the size of the list can also prove a dedicated client base to potential buyers.
Websites can make a business appear to be larger than it is. A well-built website with regularly updated content will help legitimise the business, even if it is a one-man-operation. This can mean a small business can compete for a medium-business size client base!
5. Meeting expectations
The biggest reason to have an online presence these days is because it is expected.
Customers expect to be able to leave feedback, purchase online, find opening hours, review products, and learn about your business at the click of a button. To remain competitive in this day and age with the current market and competitors a website is essential.
Potential buyers may even have doubts about buying a business that is stuck in the stone-age!
Careful though –
Do not get a slap-up site together because you are thinking about selling.
Interestingly, the only thing worse than having no website is having a poorly built website, with stale content. This can damage your brand immensely.
To combat this I recommend including a website in your budget, finding a cost effective team to build and maintain it, and most of all – continually review and update content.
Good luck with your online presence!
Catherine Kimpton is the Director at Beyond Business Sales, a business brokerage offering advice on exit strategies, coaching and branding for retailers. For more information, visit beyondbusinesssales.com.au.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.