Unfortunately this scenario is all to common in today’s economic and cultural environment: Men and Women in their forties and fifties, having been laid off during the recession, are finding themselves still with few prospects and wondering what the future holds for them. They’re seeing their years of experience being passed over for a younger generation of workers that are deemed more technically savvy, more in tune with modern culture, and more easily molded in a company’s image. While I’d debate those perceptions, that’s a topic for another day.
What I believe is that this class of professional represents some of the best minds in America. They started the technology revolution! They are the ones that took us from green screen to HTML and Flash! They created great sales organizations and implemented massive efficiency gains in production and support. The did this while building families and going to little league games. My point is, this is a very capable, educated, and motivated generation of leaders and I believe can use this experience to come out better on the other side!
Buying a business, buying an Internet business even, is never a simple nor quick decision. Our best advice is to first spend time researching. Investigate the components, the business models, what a website is worth and the valuation models in the marketplace. The business broker, especially one focused within this marketplace can help. There are resources out there to help you, from a business valuation calculator to mountains of data on how to value an Internet company, and sites dedicated to businesses to buy. Not all are the same, there are ecommerce companies, media and publishing sites, and technology companies that provide services such as SaaS, web hosting and development.
A business broker can help, especially if they are focused in a particular area. Pick their brains, gather as much input as you can. A common scenario for iMerge Advisors is a call from a seller saying, “sell my website”, it’s reached a point where they are stretched too thin or it needs business skills the founder simply does not have. The numbers for growth within the Internet marketplace are encouraging, that said as in any business there are segments more attractive than others, that have less competition or varying degrees of barriers to entry etc.. With discipline, a plan, and some tolerance for risk there is a tremendous opportunity awaiting.