Home – New Forums Starting your journey Ready built online stores

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #978663
    SavvySME
    Member
    • Total posts: 201
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi all,

    Just out of curiosity would you every consider buying an online “shell company”

    That is a company that has already got a website, it’s logo, a few sample products, its own basic social account (FB, Twitter etc) and a few blog posts to get you started. However it has no sales and has not really been “marketed”. The idea is to be able to plug yourself into the business and start building it straight away.

    How much would you pay for something like if it was say an online jewellery store or maybe another category?

    #1108674
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    Up
    0
    ::

    Interesting question…

    If the company already has its branding somewhat together (website, logo, accounts etc) then I would consider it if they had gone to the effort of protecting their logo via trademark registration… if they haven’t done so then they could be selling you something that infringes existing rights of someone else, which would render it a fairly bad purchase (in my opinion).

    Or, at the very least, I would pay less for any business that was including names/logos but hadn’t registered them as trademarks.

    As to how much would I pay for those things, well it would probably be dependent on the name they have built their site/logo around. If it’s something you could easily and quickly build/drive traffic to etc it would be worth more than some obscure name that hasn’t been promoted etc. If it’s a made up name I would want to see how much they have spent on their design efforts for the site/logo, and make my decision from there.

    #1108675
    adrian
    Participant
    • Total posts: 181
    Up
    0
    ::

    How would this be different to flippa? Australian target?

    #1108676
    Opulence
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m guessing that what the OP has seen here is someone who makes a living out of finding niches, building a bare bones business and flogging them.

    A logo isn’t worth anything (Trademarked or otherwise) unless its a logo that people recognise and that ultimately leads to conversions on your site.

    I’d be very careful buying into something like this.

    What they’ve done is pretty mechanical and is essentially an administrational task of setting up the site. What will make or break you is finding out whether or not there is a gap in the market to get a foothold. I.e medium to high demand and a lack of credible competition.

    #1108677
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    Up
    0
    ::

    A logo isn’t worth anything (Trademarked or otherwise) unless its a logo that people recognise and that ultimately leads to conversions on your site.

    I must respectfully disagree with this; obviously a logo will be worth more if it’s one that people recognise etc than one they don’t… but, I still believe that a logo that’s registered as a trademark is worth ‘something’ even if completely unrecognisable versus an unregistered & unrecognisable logo; it’s worth at the very least some peace of mind for the prospective purchaser – to know that you can’t have infringement action taken against you because the logo is registered is worth something; to know that you could be within your rights to stop others using the same/similar logo is worth something etc.

    I would, personally, pay more for a business in this ‘shell’ state when I had the above assurances that you only get with trademark registration than I would without those assurances. Without those things in place you could pay good money, only to be told you have to stop using the ‘brands’ because it infringes other people’s rights and then have to totally re-brand, which would end up costing a lot more.

    But – that’s just my 2c (and, given the business I am in of course trademarks will probably be a little more front and centre in my mind that others ;))

    #1108678
    Opulence
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    Up
    0
    ::

    Ok to say it is’t worth anything is a function of my usual exaggerations. Of course it is worth something but I’d have to say it’s minutiae we’re talking about here.

    All I’m saying is that there’s a list as long as tonights groceries docket of things I’d look at before even considering if I want to participate in the industry of said trademarked logo.

    #1108679
    Opulence
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    Up
    0
    ::
    JacquiPryor, post: 120723 wrote:
    But – that’s just my 2c (and, given the business I am in of course trademarks will probably be a little more front and centre in my mind that others ;))

    Just had a look at your profile. It all makes sense now. ;)

    #1108680
    Divert To Mobile
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,751
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Savvy

    To get to your question well of course its viable as everything is. The challenge will be to reach your target.
    How much is it worth?
    similar to how much are each of the individual components?
    Website: can range from $200 to the thousands
    Logo: from $99
    FB page: from $50
    Blog: probably part of website
    shelf company: $800

    I would say from 2k
    Depending on your asking figure you could value add with google places

    Steve

    #1108681
    Steve_Minshall
    Member
    • Total posts: 518
    Up
    0
    ::
    SavvySME, post: 120706 wrote:
    Hi all,

    Just out of curiosity would you every consider buying an online “shell company”

    That is a company that has already got a website, it’s logo, a few sample products, its own basic social account (FB, Twitter etc) and a few blog posts to get you started. However it has no sales and has not really been “marketed”. The idea is to be able to plug yourself into the business and start building it straight away.

    How much would you pay for something like if it was say an online jewellery store or maybe another category?

    No and nothing at all.

    Because what people should understand is that selling stuff is actually really hard work. This is the online equivalent of renting a unit, painting it, filling it with some random stock and putting a sandwich board outside.

    I am not saying people won’t buy into the idea, do some overly optimistic forecasts and jump right on in. What I am saying is that the internet is chock full of small businesses trying to make money with on-line stores. The offering is just a mechanism or a template. It doesn’t provide what Seth Godin would call the ‘Purple Cow’.

    It is not the want of a template or structure that stops people making money on line it is the want of a good idea and a point of difference.

    #1108682
    ozcart
    Member
    • Total posts: 19
    Up
    0
    ::

    I agree. An online store is only as good as the background work that has been put into it. The sample products, logo and basic store design might save you a bit time, but it could end up hurting you too – if too many other people have the same “shell” in the same industry.

    All too often, people rush into starting an online shop without first thinking about the overall approach to their business. They think of the store as their end goal of “selling online” rather than as “a business that sells online”.

    Whether you are planning to buy an existing established business, a store shell, or start something from scratch, you should only ever start an online store with a clear idea of:

    – What is the main purpose of store is.
    – Who you are selling to. If your answer to that is “anyone who buys”, “anyone who visits the site”, “anyone” or any variation of this, then you need to do more work targeting your customers. The big stores often spend time doing customer profiles and market segmentation to really understand who is buying from them and why you buy. If you don’t understand exactly who is going to buy these products and why they buy them then you won’t be able to respond to changes in the market (what your competitors do). If you understand the key people who buy those products and why they buy them (is it for convenience?, is it for luxury?, what will make them buy more?, what will make them buy less?) then you will be better prepared to handle new competitors or more effort from existing competitors.
    – Who you are competing against and the level of competition. How well do you think your competitors are doing? Is there a segment of the market that is not being serviced well? I read something a few days ago that summed it up nicely: “find out where your competitors suck and do that better than they do now, or be prepared to match”
    – How you are protected against other market entrants copying you and whether your idea infringes on others (the things that Jacqui has mentioned)
    – What will be your point of difference compared to the competitors? You need something that will really make a difference or you will merge into the melting pot as more competitors enter the market.
    – Your brand. What do you stand for? What comes to mind when you think about the visual elements of your brand? What kind of service will you offer (old fashioned service vs speedy efficient service etc)

    You need to understand those things to see if the ready made site you are considering matches what you want from the market. Will the name of the site appeal to the end customers? Is the logo eye catching and appealing? Is the domain name memorable? How does the design compare to the top players in the industry?

    One thing to look at with regards to evaluating the store design is whether there are hundreds of other stores with exactly the same design. You might be seeing that ready-made look for the first time, but how many other times has a potential customer seen it? You don’t want to walk through a shopping mall and have ten stores side by side that all look like absolute clones of eachother or you won’t have a reason to buy from any of them (except price). Worse, if all stores look the same, you might not remember which one you bought from when you come back to buy more.

    When it comes to evaluating the ready made store from a technical perspective, ask yourself things like this:
    – is the actual store technology easy to use?
    – can customers get through checkout quickly or is it confusing?
    – does it have marketing tools in it to help your business offer promotions appropriate to your industry?
    – does it have “friendly” search engine urls? These won’t necessarily help your rankings but can help you have memorable landing pages to advertise in brochures and help the search engines index content
    – what is the blog technology like?
    – what is the security like? Is the site hosted on a secure server?
    – what payment methods will you be able to offer?

    I’ve been brief here – these are not the only things to consider. My point is that you shouldn’t rush into business no matter what it is and to repeat what Steve said – business is really hard work. You can be hugely successful in business and feel very fulfilled if you put in the groundwork planning first and know exactly what you’re getting into.

    Brooke

    #1108683
    SavvySME
    Member
    • Total posts: 201
    Up
    0
    ::

    Wow thank you Brooke! Very good points and worth considering :)

    Thank you all others as well – it’s an interesting topic.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.