Buy Your Own Work From Home Business In 2018: Top Tips
A work-at-home business can help you take your first steps into entrepreneurship. And buying one that’s already making money seems like a no-brainer. Why not start shopping for your first at-home business today and see what’s out there?
Whether you’re looking to buy a blog, an ecommerce business, an affiliate website, an online learning portal, or any other form of online business, there are a few ground rules to follow.
You don’t want to end up getting sucked into a bad business deal or scam. It’s easy for sellers to advertise a “profitable turnkey” business, but is there really a reliable track record to back this up? Are other people running successful businesses with this model?
Here are some top tips to help you buy a business that’s going to actully bring in the bucks.
Research the seller
You can learn an awful lot about a business deal by looking at the people involved. Don’t take anything at face value, and make sure you are doing due diligence checks on the seller. Step #1: do a Who.is search to verify the credentials of the domain — and if you smell a rat, call them out on it.
Some questions to ask:
- Why are they selling? What are their motivators likely to be?
- What sort of language are they using to describe their business? Is it negative or positive? Does it sound like a rehearsed sales pitch?
- Are they going to cut you a better deal if you negotiate with them?
- Are they being evasive about something? Why? (Remember, it’s in the seller’s interests to be open and transparent with you, and any shady behavior is uncalled for).
It’s very different dealing with the owner and seller directly, versus dealing with professional brokers. There is no right or wrong way to buy a business, but be aware that a broker may be working on a commission. At the same time, you may have the added perk of having legal help or someone there to verify key business information. When it’s a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) transaction, the seller may have extra help from advisors, but largely they are dealing with the particulars of the sale themselves. This can be a good way to get a real feel for what running the business will actually be like.
Website auction sites can be great for getting bargains, but marketplaces might offer you a bit more insurance and security.
Research the niche
Are people actually making money this way? Is there a successful case study…or a proof of concept to showcase what the business will look like 10 years from now?
Have you heard of pyramid schemes before? These are the ones to look out for and AVOID. Even though they may come across as legitimate business opportunities at first, they usually mean you having to spend loads of capital buying products you are then forced to sell to recover your losses. Be wary of any business models that have an aggressive commission structure, make you sell to friends and family, or force you to buy a whole ton of product or services first.
Prepare for working at home
It’s no piece of cake working at home. Make sure that you have the right framework in place that will allow you to make a success of your professional journey. You need to balance flexibility with productivity, and make sure that you plan in enough social interaction so that you don’t run the risk of becoming a hermit.
A business with no sales channels is not a business
In 2018, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so do what you can to inspire online chatter.
Just because you can buy an ecommerce website, doesn’t mean that you should. Ecommerce sites are normally sold at about 10X – 24X their monthly earnings, but this can depend on the niche and the seller. Just having a good-looking website and brand with some OK products is not enough to make a decent income out of ecommerce. You will need to drive traffic and sales to your site and spend your budget on advertising and marketing.
- You want a business with multiple streams of income, not just one standout product or service. If you find that a product isn’t selling, you can change it until you find stock that sells.
- A business that’s already in decline could be a money drain. Bear this in mind when you are checking out ready-made business marketplaces online.
- Too little cash flow can sap your energy, kill your drive, and massively demotivate you.
- All ecommerce businesses require some effort, so don’t believe it if someone tells you it’s ‘hands-free’. Even an ecommerce business on the FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) model still requires plenty of work — not least when it comes to accounting and taxes.
Amazon can be a great place to research products, category listings and product descriptions. In the first stages of building a business, you need to make sure that you have planned out your strategy. Take as many research notes as you can. You can use all of the keywords, influencers, and sites you find and organize them into a spreadsheet.
Don’t just buy a moneymaker
To make a success of any business endeavor, you need to have some drive and a deep sense of belief in what you’re doing.
From an online selling perspective, this means that it often makes sense to choose a niche you already know well. Think of the products you would already buy and the hobbies in your life.
The same goes for an affiliate niche site or blog — the more you already know, the better. In order to create content cost-effectively, a proven track record or area of interest definitely help.
Buying a business is easier than ever, but there are also professional ‘resellers’ out there who may be peddling businesses that are unlikely to fare well. It’s best to buy a business that’s founded on genuine interest and value, rather than something generic and easy to replicate. After all, if it’s too easy — everyone will be doing it.
Victoria Greene is a writer and brand consultant. She runs a blog called Victoria Ecommerce where she likes to share content marketing tips and strategies. Here, she helps wannabe entrepreneurs find good business opportunities online.