Buying an established website is easier than ever today. Website marketplaces like Flippa have streamlined the process for you, allowing you to make informed decisions about whether existing websites are right for you. In many cases, the website is profitable, however, the business owner simply doesn’t have the time or interest in running it any longer.
On the Flippa platform, you can browse websites for sale, viewing all the data you need to have to better understand if it’s worth your investment. Some entrepreneurial-minded people might be interested in reaching out to website owners whose work they like, and arranging a private transaction. Plenty of research goes into making the decision to buy a pre-existing website. However, once you’ve made the move, then what? It’s important to make the right decisions to avoid tanking a potentially lucrative website. Here’s what you should do once you’ve secured a new domain:
Transfer the Website
Once you’ve made the purchase, one of the first things you’ll want to do is transfer it so that you can assume ownership. This can be a complex process, but it’s a necessary one. If you aren’t technically savvy, you should consider hiring someone else to take care of this portion for you. You’ll need to know about affiliate and other types of codes, and without a general understanding of how things work on the backend, you’ll quickly become frustrated and confused.
Create Your Own Marketing Strategy
Ideally, you’ll have a conversation with the current website owner to see what’s been working for them. However, even if they have a good strategy, your mission is to grow the website/business and make it your own. As such, you need to start executing your own marketing strategy. Considering what you learned from the previous owner, it’s time to make it your own. Take a look at marketing strategies that other businesses are using in your industry for inspiration.
Start Interacting With Your Readers
Although you may have had many talks with the previous owner, chances are you haven’t had discussions with their customer or subscriber base. If you acquired an ecommerce website or a website that offer services, customer service should be at the forefront of your goals. Bad customer service costs businesses billions every year, and you could lose business-making dollars by not paying attention to your clientele. If the customer base is still small, send out surveys to ask what they’re looking for and how you can improve the website interface to make it more user-friendly, as well as how you can improve the business.
Think About Funding
As the old adage goes, you have to spend money to make money. With that in mind, you have to think about potential funding opportunities. The good thing is, if you already have a financial rap sheet, you aren’t starting from ground zero. By purchasing an established website, you may already have a sales history and grounded brand. This could make it easier for you to score a bank loan or get an investment from friends and family. Alternatively, you could reach out to angel investors and attend pitch contests to score some extra cash that will help you continue on an upward trajectory.
Secure Your Website
Website security is paramount in today’s business landscape. There are more malware samples being launched every single day, and although you may hear about major breaches at well-known corporations, it’s important to know that small businesses are not exempt from digital attacks.
Every year, 60% of small businesses are hacked. Be sure your website has the proper SSL certification, and invest in extra security measures through your host. Platforms like WordPress have many security plugins you can take advantage of. Furthermore, you also want to protect your data as well. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, you wouldn’t want to lose your data and have to start from scratch once everything is restored.
Think About Branding & Design
Just as with your marketing strategy, you’ll have to focus on what type of first impression you want your new website to give. On the plus side, you know you already have the audience. But you also want to rebrand in a way that matches your own vision, rather than the vision the previous owner had.
You can learn a lot about rebranding from major companies who have undergone rebranding efforts. Most times, they try to retain the core of the business while changing just some elements. For instance, the color scheme is almost always the same, but the typography or layout of website is different. Changing the website entirely may not be the smartest move to make to start: ideally, you’ll retain the customers or subscribers you already have. To start, make changes slowly to see how your acquired followers react; in the future, you can make more drastic changes.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.