Want to own an online business? Owning an online business doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch, as some entrepreneurs opt for simply purchasing a business with a built-in track record for success, with a customer base, and a large following in tow.
Buying an already-established online business means you won’t have to start from square one as you’ll already have a foundation to work with—this poses a massive advantage. In this day and age, the marketplace for buying an online business is teeming with opportunities for those who want to enter ecommerce from a different vantage point. When you consider the online business acquisition route, you’re positioning yourself in a place where you can capitalize from the groundwork that has already been set by the business’ previous owner, gaining for yourself a clear head start in online business.
In this article by Ecommerce Pro, we cover some of the pros of buying an online business as well as 5 of the best marketplaces for you to explore and discover your next online venture.
Table of Contents
Pros of Buying an Online Business:
Below we elaborate on 5 of the top reasons why you should buy an already established online business. Learning about the pros will help you make an informed decision while you weigh the benefits on whether you should buy or start an online business from scratch:
1. Established Track Record:
When you acquire an online business, you’re positioned to acquire one that already has a track record for success. You can choose to buy an online business that already has years of proven revenue stream, a loyal customer base, and a history of effective marketing strategies. Buying a business with an already established track record in turn helps you minimize the risk and uncertainty you’ll certainly face with a startup venture you start yourself, as you’ll already be equipped with a solid foundation that has the potential for future growth.
2. Immediate Revenue Stream:
One of the greatest advantages of buying an online business is the potential for buying a business that can provide you with an immediate revenue stream. Unlike starting a business from square one, where you’re likely to wait for months or even years to turn a profit, buying an already established online business can allow you to generate income almost immediately. This is worth highlighting for those who are looking for a quicker ROI.
3. Existing Customer Base:
An online business with a track record for success and great marketing means that it already has a pre-existing customer base. This saves you significant time and resources because you won’t have to shell out as much marketing effort to build momentum for a new brand. With this route, brand awareness is already established, and you can leverage existing customer relationships to introduce new products or services and build loyalty.
4. Established Operational Infrastructure:
Operational infrastructure for an online business can take some time to establish, especially if you’re still trying to figure out how best to run your startup. You can avoid the trouble by acquiring an online business with an already established operational infrastructure. These technicalities include established processes, systems, and possibly a skilled workforce. This can save you time and effort that would otherwise be spent on setting up and refining these elements in a startup.
5. Reduced Risk Compared to Startups:
While all businesses pose some risk, startups are known to be inherently more precarious, and this is all due to uncertainties in market acceptance, product-market fit, and other factors that can sometimes be hard to predict. However, acquiring an established online business mitigates some of these risks as you’ll be in a position where you can select a business with an already proven and well-accepted concept. Ideally, the business you acquire will have already weathered the initial “startup phase”, making it more stable and a fine investment.
5 Marketplaces to Buy an Online Business
Flippa is one of the top marketplaces to shop for online businesses, whether you're trying to buy a Shopify store, a blog, or an app. The marketplace has a wide range of listings for you to explore where you can see stats like profit margin and net profit per month.
With key metrics on display, the Flippa marketplace gives you all you need for an informed decision-making process, allowing potential buyers to gauge the financial health and viability of the online ventures they are considering.
The platform is a great place for buyers and sellers to meet and you can find websites with different price ranges to meet your budget.
Not to be confused with Flippa, Empire Flippers is a curated online business marketplace with thousands of customers around the globe. With a free account, you can peruse online businesses that are up for sale, using search filters and tools that help you find what you’re looking for.
What’s great about Empire Flippers is that all online businesses for sale on their website have undergone a vetting process, so you can be sure that the details given regarding the online business you are eyeing are accurate.
So far they’ve helped people buy and sell over $450 million worth of online businesses. You can sign up for free, use their nifty search tools, and dive into their site where buying and selling online businesses is as easy as online shopping.
Motion Invest is a marketplace that has since helped thousands of entrepreneurs buy and sell online businesses. The Motion Invest team provides a service that's a little more hands-on, helping you handle the transfer process and moving you in the right direction.
To view the Motion Invest marketplace, you need to sign in to the site for a free account, after which you can explore different sites available for purchase. If you decide to lock in on one, you can click the buy now button and their team will get in touch with you shortly to help complete the transfer.
The way that Motion Invest is set up facilitates quick buying and selling with a seamless transfer process, making it a dynamic hub for online entrepreneurs looking for a hassle-free experience in acquiring an online business.
Business Exits specializes in selling top-performing online businesses at the best price. With that said, they are experts at selling $2m - $50m revenue companies, brokering the sale of these businesses to potential buyers.
Business Exits prides itself on being a transparent brokerage firm, addressing common questions regarding fees, the selling process, and the team involved, fostering trust between both buyers and sellers on their site.
They have an impressive track record, they closed 91% of the deals they took to market in 2022, with a total transaction volume of $315 million.
FE International is a platform for buyers and sellers to quickly make and complete transactions online, facilitating transfers smoothly and guaranteeing zero chances of fraudulent practices.
They specialize in matching buyers with businesses that suit their needs, expertise, and long-term goals, employing data-led and customer-centric approaches to connecting you with the right type of online business.
FE International has been the sole advisor on over 1200 online business acquisitions, totaling $1 billion in acquisition value, a rather impressive track record you can be sure of. They’ll make for a reliable and experience partner when it comes to acquiring a high-value ecommerce store.
The decision to buy an e-commerce business over building one yourself from scratch can make for an incredibly strategic entry into ecommerce. For one, the advantages are compelling, allowing you to enter the market with a business that already has a successful track record, with an existing customer base, operational infrastructure, and so on. You’ll enjoy more stability and mitigate some of the risks associated with startup businesses.
Some of the best places to look for an online business to buy are highlighted above. Explore platforms like Flippa, Empire Flippers, Motion Invest, Business Exits, and FE International for a diverse range of opportunities. Who knows, you might find your next business venture listed on one of these sites!
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