There are lots of reasons an entrepreneur may choose to sell their online business. They may need a lump sum to invest in a new project or want guaranteed income for a few years without the risk of running a business. They may want to put down a deposit on a home or go on a round the world adventure without responsibilities before trying something new.

Whatever the reasons you’re thinking of selling your business, you need to make sure your website is in excellent shape before putting your company on the market.

Here are a few essential steps you need to take to prepare your website for sale:

  1. Collect Data from the Start

The data that you’ve collected throughout the course of your business operations can be as valuable as the business itself. Here you should have lots of information on traffic, customer demographics, conversions and the marketing strategies that have worked. The more data you have, the more complete a picture of your business you can give to prospective buyers.

  1. Create Documents Detailing SOPs

Standard Operating Procedures (or SOPs) are incredibly useful to prospective buyers. They show them the amount of work involved in running your business and help them to understand which actions are producing which results. Maintaining and updating your SOP documents is an essential job in the run up to the sale of your business.

  1. Enhance your SEO

Ranking highly for your chosen keyword phrases is a sure fire way to attract a buyer for your business. You need to find and rectify anything that could be affecting your website SEO. Finding and deleting any duplicate content or duplicate listings is a good place to start. You should also check through your backlink profile and use Google’s Disavow Tool if you come across anything spammy. Find and fix any broken links too.

  1. Get Written Agreements with Suppliers / Contractors

A buyer will want to know that even with you gone, your business can continue to operate successfully. Being able to present written agreements with suppliers or contractors is a good place to start. These agreements should state that the same terms of service will be maintained, even with a new owner at the helm. In addition, outsourcing as many tasks as possible in the run up to a sale will show a buyer that your business requires less input and also that things will continue in much the same fashion after the sale.

  1. Review Financials and Traffic

You should be able to perfectly explain the peaks and troughs that appear in your financials and traffic reports. Why was one month particularly poor for sales and what prompted a surge in sales six months later? Having an explanation ready can help to allay buyer fears over the slow months and give them the confidence to recreate your more successful periods.

  1. Research a Business Broker

Having an experienced business broker like Digital Exits on side can be invaluable. They can help you to value, promote and negotiate sale terms for your business. Selling your website can be a very complicated process so make the most of any help you can get.

Preparing your business for sale marks the end of an era. It’s likely to be an emotional journey but one that requires lots of practical planning and forethought too. Get your website working as well as it possibly can do, collect data on traffic, brush up on your financials and look for business broker assistance to ensure a smooth, successful and profitable website sale.