One of the things I ask business owners when we talk about selling their business is if they have website. More often than not, they have one, occasionally an elaborate one with flash introductions and avotars. More often, small green industry businesses have a minimalist one – more-or-less like a Yellow Pages ad.
Here are some observations about how your website impacts the sale of your business:
- Not having a website can be a negative. Potential buyers will want tosee you website and will be puzzled if you don’t have one, unless there is a good reason.
- Having a lousy website, with poor quality graphics, poorly written or edited text or distracting features does not speak highly of your business’s attitude to marketing. It is possible to have an inexpensive (possibly free) website that is simple, but effective.
- More than once, I have commented to a client that I have seen their website and they have responded that they had “forgotten” they had one or that they had one, but had not updated it in years. They may even say that they quit paying the hosting fees years ago, but it was still there. This situation illustrates one of the real problems with the internet. Once your information is out there, it may be very difficult to get rid of it. Inaccurate or poor quality data can cast your business in a poor light.
On the other hand, a well-conceived website can add to the value of your business and improve its marketability. Your website should include clear, accurate information about your business. It should include engaging content that meets your customer’s needs and high quality tools for online inquiries, bill payments, etc.
In addition to your own website, there are two other things to consider about your internet image that may affect both your business and your prospects for selling it.
- Make sure you are listed in appropriate online directories for your business and community. Many are free and some that aren’t may be very worthwhile.
- Take the time to “Google” your own business and see what yu find. You may be pleased or you may be surprised. You might find an old website. You might find directory listings with inaccurate old information. Or you may find information on a consumer site that rates your business in an unfavorable way. While it may be very difficult to eliminate that sort of thing, it may still be possible to make sure it is balanced.
Your website – and your total web presence – has a definite impact on how others view your business. Understanding and managing that impact is just one more way of preparing your business for sale.
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We help people buy and sell green industry businesses, including lawn care, tree care, landscape services, garden centers and nurseries. When the time is right, we'd like to help you sell your green industry business or buy one.
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