I've run my own webdev business since 2001, building PHP/MySQL sites for small businesses. Unfortunately I've had major health problems for the last several years and just haven't been able to keep it going properly - I've been turning work away and I haven't advertised for years. My health has, unfortunately, been geting a lot worse and I've finally decided to throw in the towel. I have a few existing customers who pay regular maintenance/hosting fees, and I get the occasional referral from them for new work, but it's only in the region of about £1.5-2k a year, minus costs.
I'm just wondering if you guys reckon it's worth selling on or not - maybe I should just pass on my remaining clients to someone else.
Any input appreciated!
I'm very sorry to hear about your health problems. It's difficult for anyone to give advice on such a personal matter. I can only tell you want I would do in your circumstances.
I wouldn't spend any effort trying to find a buyer for your business. The fact is that the business has very little in the way of realisable assets. Its main asset is yourself. It is you that your customers deal with, not the business. If a customer gives a referral, it is because they know you and trust you. It is your skills they are recommending. For those reasons, the business is worth almost nothing to a potential purchaser.
That said, I would try to find someone to take over the existing clients. That will leave you free to focus on your most important task: overcoming your health problems. If you do manage to find someone, you might suggest that they offer you a small commission or finder's fee in return, but I wouldn't press hard for that. It's more important that the clients have someone they are happy to turn to - if only to take the pressure off yourself.
So, that's my opinion. Obviously, it's up to you to decide whether it is the right course of action for you.
Thanks for your reply that's kind of the conclusion I was coming to myself, but you've helped make it much clearer, so thanks!
I'm going to chat to a couple of webbie mates and see if they want to take it all on.
Just wanted to say I too am sorry that you have had health problems, and you should prioritize getting healthy even it means a few less dollars in your pocket. I have personally had to make big changes in my life and am so glad I did. Here are my "new rules" that have helped me get healthier but also gave me some time to make money online too.
1. Don't wake up and go straight to the computer. Stretch. Get some water. Take some deep breaths. Get some food.
2. No sitting for more than an hour continuously. Stand sometimes too when on the computer.
3. Get out of the house or at least completely away from the computer and internet multiple times per day. Find other things to do like walking, swimming, preparing good meals, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, etc.
Sorry to hear about your health issues and the hit you have had on your business. But rather than selling your business and clients that you have built to someone else, I guess you could work out some sort of revenue sharing with a web developer so that you need not focus on the web development part, but yet you could at-least get earnings out of it and say one day your health turns around for the better (we hope it definitely does) then you atleast have a base to restart your work. I would be happy to help you out manage such jobs. You can PM me if you wish. I guess there would be many such developers like me willing to help out fellow developers in the hour of need.
Sell your website! You should be able to get anywhere from 8 to 10 time the profit that's it's making. Sell and go and take care of yourself.
He's not asking about selling a website. He's asking about selling a web development business. There's a world of difference.
Is is not a possibility to outsource the work and keep hold of your business, acting as a consultant to those websites.
At least with this option you'd keep the door open to potentially coming back to work without giving away your business.
If your business is making a good profit I would select a lucky family member (direct or otherwise) and pass it down. I come from a very family orientated family so I would be looking at family members first.
This all depends on your individual circumstances.
Thanks everyone. I'm keeping hold of it still for the time being, and thinking of handing it on to my teenage son at some point, who is suddenly turning out to be a programming genius!
Thanks for the update, Mistafeesh. It sounds like a good solution. I hope your health issues are improving too.
Yes you can sell your company if you have great lose in a business. Many profitable company will contact you and they merge their company with your company.
Thank you for your contribution, but if you read the recent posts in this thread, you will see that the OP has now made his decision.