One of many critical variables that buyers analyze prior to making an offer on a business is whether the business is fully dependent on the seller. If the answer is yes, then it is a much more challenging sale than otherwise, as the buyer must rely (or depend) on the seller for a longer than expected transition, which introduces an additional risk factor to the transaction.

When we speak with sellers that are interested in selling their website, we advise that the best way to reduce the online business’ dependence on them is to begin to delegate many of their responsibilities to their competent staff members.

If they do not have talent capable of absorbing some of their roles, then it can be prudent to bring in the appropriate personnel ahead of a sale. When you transition to more of an absentee owner, it adds a lot of value to the business as it increases the potential buyer pool, especially when the business is on the larger side.

This is due to the many small-to-middle market private equity firms that have ample money to spend but sometimes do not have an operator or manager who can jump right in and take over the seller’s responsibilities.

Additionally, here at W3 Business Advisors we also advise our sell-side clients to properly document important processes and key information so that their staff can run things smoothly both before and after the transaction.

Also, a buyer will feel more confident when processes are well documented as they understand that the knowledge transfer will be more seamless, and they can rely less on the seller post-sale. Owner reliance is just one of the key factors which affect the value of an internet business, which is why it is extremely important to work with an experienced, educated and knowledgeable website broker, who can properly advise you on all aspects of the sale of your business.