W3 Business Advisors has been around for 10 years and we are extremely selective, only advising on around 15-20 transactions per year. Our team of brokers all have a comprehensive background in finance and accounting that was learned from the top business schools in the country and gained by working in the investment banking area while the other brokers in this niche don’t even have college degrees in general business.

In addition, W3 has actual offices in New York and Chicago while the other brokers typically work from their homes. We have our pictures on the “our team” page of our site because we want you to know exactly who you are working with compared to the other firms who not only don’t provide pictures, but don’t even provide proper background information on their specific qualifications to advise on transactions of this type.

So, while some of the other brokers might have more listings than us, we only focus on quality businesses with EBITDAS over $150,000 and we won’t dilute our invaluable services, spread ourselves too thin or waste our time with lesser deals. All our competitors constantly have their “quality” businesses on the same page as their subpar businesses that are worth less than $100k.

While interviewing prospective online business brokers to sell your business, one of your requests should be to speak with a couple of their past clients as they can provide you with valuable insight into the broker’s process and their experience working with them.

This is certainly a valid request and if a website broker is unwilling to provide you with references, then you can be assured that they are hiding something, and you would not be working with a broker that has a history of success.

When a past client had a positive experience working with a business broker who successfully sold their business, then they are usually always happy to serve as a reference and speak to any potential new client of the broker. At W3 Business Advisors, we go above and beyond our duty and most of our clients actually offer to serve as a reference, without us even asking them to.

Anytime I have asked a client to speak to a new potential client, not one has ever said no.  I am always happy to offer many references and understand the importance of a prospective client hearing about our process directly from the most relevant source.

Therefore, if a broker or firm is unwilling to provide references of past clients then they unequivocally are not worth considering.

Some online business owners who are looking to sell may be reluctant to pay an internet business broker to sell their business but if you ask any seller that sold their business with the assistance of a broker such as W3 Business Advisors, they will unanimously agree that they are glad they did.

A recent study surveyed 85 business owners who sold their businesses with the assistance of an advisory firm and 100% of the respondents said that the advisor added value to the transaction, with 69% saying the value-added was “significant”. Every transaction is unique and complex, and most sellers do not have experience with transactions, many do not truly know the value of their business, and it is nearly impossible to balance the discretionary demands and time constraints of a sale while still running their online business. Professional website brokerages such as W3 have the experience and to manage the deal process, find the right buyers, obtain the most lucrative price, allowing the seller to continue to operate their business at an optimum level.

The study also analyzed what aspects of the advisor’s role were the most helpful to the sellers and asked them to rank the following functions from most to least significant:

  1. Finding buyers
  2. Negotiating the deal
  3. Managing the sale process
  4. Adding credibility to the seller
  5. Preparing the company for sale
  6. Educating and coaching the seller
  7. Structuring the transaction
  8. Enabling the seller to run the business

While finding buyers might appear to be the most important function of an advisor’s role, surprisingly, it was the lowest ranked of all. Managing the process was actually ranked as the most important of the many roles of an advisor. As you can see from the results below, the core services that an advisor can offer are the most important to maximize value. Those services include coming up with an executing a plan, preparing the prospectus and teasers, dealing with potential buyers in a discretionary manner, managing the data room, negotiating key terms of the transaction, just to name a few. One respondent stated that “representation definitely got us a better price and more favorable terms”.

how internet business broker adds value for sellers

Additionally, 84% of the business sellers polled said that their final sale price was equal to or higher than the initial evaluation provided by the advisor. The increased purchase price certainly makes the commission charged by a business broker well worth their services.

An experienced and professional website brokerage firm such as W3 Business Advisors will certainly more than add value to the sale of your online business. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today!

Unlike other traditional website brokerages, W3 Business Advisors is a boutique online M&A advisory firm that focuses on quality of the businesses we represent rather than the quantity of those we list.

Most of our competitors will promise you the world in terms of service and results, but they spread themselves too thin by taking on too many listings, most of which are sub-par website businesses with little to show for profits.

While they mainly pride themselves on listing (and sometimes closing) so many deals per year, we are the opposite as we take pride in our reputation as a selective firm which only works on a handful of deals at a time, which allows us to provide our clients with the level of service and professionalism they deserve.

Some clients who come to us after having dealt with other internet business brokers not only complain about the lack of results, but also of the lack of service they received. It is unacceptable to wait days (or even hours) for a call back when dealing with one of the most important transactions of your life.

Just one of the many factors that separates us from our peers is that level of service as we make ourselves available not only every day, but also most nights and weekends as well. We don’t just take on clients only to delegate the transaction to a junior broker. Our seasoned and well-educated advisors are hands-on from the beginning to end, and the “end” doesn’t just mean the closing, but throughout the transition phase also.

Again, here at W3 Business Advisors, we would much rather deal with a select few high-quality attractive listings rather than a dozen or so small or low-quality deals. Our 10,000+ vetted buyer base knows this, and our clients certainly do as well.

When you sell your website it is critical to work with an established internet business broker rather than working with a traditional business broker or attempting to sell the site yourself. Traditional brick-and-mortar business brokers do not understand internet business models, do not know how to value them properly, and do not have qualified prospective buyers to market your website to. As a result, they will likely overprice your website so that it sits on the market for six months and the buyers that do inquire about it are also looking for pizzerias and gas stations. These are not the right buyers for your website and they will waste your time!

Furthermore, unlike a website broker, this broker will rely on you to deal with these buyers as he will not be knowledgeable enough to answer their questions, many of which will be novice questions and should be in the prospectus to begin with.

One recent client came to us after having his business on the market for over one year with a traditional business broker, who was a friend of a friend. The broker brought him one prospective buyer during that time frame and he wasn’t even qualified. Some of our clients come to us after attempting to sell their websites themselves unsuccessfully. The challenge with selling your internet business yourself, is that it is very difficult to market the business optimally to the right buyers and at the same time maintain your privacy.

In addition, you may not understand the current marketplace and establish a proper website valuation and either overprice the business to sit on the market for a long time or even worse, leave money on the table.

Finally, it is not so easy to prepare a prospectus to present your website effectively, to screen buyers to determine whether or not they are qualified or to negotiate the sale properly in order to achieve the best price and terms possible. The fees that you will pay a knowledgeable website brokerage to sell your website will be more than worth it as your net proceeds will certainly be higher than if you sold it yourself and they will navigate the process from A to Z.

If you are a business owner and you have decided now is the time to sell, deciding to working with a business broker will be the best move to make for most.

The real key to success is finding the right broker to work with and if you are trying to sell an internet business, you need to work with an internet business brokerage.

While there are hundreds of traditional business brokers, there are only a few internet business brokers who exclusively deal with internet based companies. I’m sure the search for the right broker can be frustrating, but typing in phrases such as “Selling internet business” on Google can often point you in the right direction for a business broker that specializes in internet based companies.

The real difference will ultimately be clear when clients see how little traditional business brokers really know about internet based companies and valuing many of the intangible assets that are generally associated with businesses that operate online. While I have the upmost respect for traditional business brokers, dealing with brick and mortar businesses is completely different then dealing with internet based companies which is while most traditional business brokers often double as real estate agents.

Most traditional business brokers have some experience running a business, but to have a firm understanding in the online arena, it will be crucial to work with a business broker who has experience starting / running an internet based company as they can truly relate to the experience their clients have been through of operating a successful online business.

In addition, most buyers who do actively search for internet based companies to acquire often know what to look for in quality intangible assets such as organic traffic rankings, website infrastructure, email marketing lists, etc. and working with a traditional business broker who does not have a strong background in the online arena will only hinder the process.

Fortunately for internet entrepreneurs, W3 Business Advisors does specialize in dealing with internet based companies and has helped dozens of clients on both the selling and buying side of the transaction.

Anyone who has experience in trying to sell ecommerce business knows that the process can become quite costly which is why most business brokers require an exclusive listing agreement.

As a website brokerage, we require all of our clients to execute an exclusive listing agreement that gives our firm the ability to sell your website without competing against other firms.

Typically exclusive listing agreements have a standard term of 6 months to a year because of the length of time it generally takes to complete the website sale process.

The primary reason business brokers require this type of agreement is because the representing firm has to invest a great deal of time, energy and money to successfully prepare your business for the market and effectively market your business to qualified buyers.

While an exclusive listing agreement may seem restrictive at first glance, if you are serious about selling your business, giving your business broker an exclusive on the business allows him / her to represent your business 100% and will ultimately result in a better deal structure than if you had several brokers trying to sell the same business.

Personally, I feel that any broker who is willing to take on a business listing without having an exclusive listing agreement should be avoided as it is a clear indication of their inexperience with M&A transactions. While many buyers are initially hesitant about locking up their business with one firm for 6 months, asking for references from former clients before signing should alleviate the concerns the seller is facing.

Ultimately it is important that you are comfortable with your broker as you will be working together over the next few months to find the right buyer. From the broker’s point of view, it is a huge good faith gesture on the seller’s part showing their commitment to representing firm and their trust in the broker to find the right fit for the business.