I’ve seen just about everything since joining the adult space over 20 years ago. The good, the bad and the ugly.
The thing I see a lot with people submitting sites for sale as a website broker are common, sometimes fatal mistakes made by the site owners. Now, I don’t mean these mistakes will actually kill you, but they may kill your business.
So here are some common mistakes I’ve seen website owners make that can impact not only the operations of their sites, but these can impact the owner’s ability to sell the sites.
Mistake Number One: Hiring the Wrong Developer to Build and/or Manage Your Site
The reason this is mistake number one is that I see so many poorly structured sites, it impacts everything the site is trying to do.
Navigation is poor, structure is poor, the speed is slow because of the size of the images on the home page, links are broken, etc.
It’s very important that even if you have someone else put your website together and manage it, you need to be very much a part of the process. You should constantly go to the site and ask yourself if it looks good (and please ask your friends who aren’t in adult, who will have an unprejudiced opinion). Check your links. Make changes as necessary.
Mistake Number Two: Giving Your Hosting Access to your Developer and Not Having Master Access
I’ve seen this happen where the developer had the client over a barrel if he was upset with him in any way. Whatever you do, make sure you can take over your hosting panel and all other important systems, such as content management systems and NATS. If not, you’re setting yourself up for some major trouble if things go south with your developer.
Mistake Number Three: Telling Your Developer “You Build the Site”
This goes along with number one. Don’t just tell your developer to build a site without much direction. You won’t get what you want. And if you don’t, it’s your fault, not the developer’s. Give clear directions where you want everything and again, ask non-industry friends for their advice before launching your site. Otherwise, your site could cost two times as much or more.
Mistake Number Four: Having Only One Payment Method
I had a client with a rather large site who once who lost their processing. In one fell swoop they were out of business. And it was due to nothing my client did. Someone made a false report to the processor and that was that. He had to scramble to find processing and of course he not only didn’t make any money in the weeks it took, but many of his customers had gone elsewhere and he had lost them.
He called me in a panic asking if I could sell the site. Of course, without processing I could not. I was able to help him to get it sold once he had processing, but needless to say, he lost a ton of money on the valuation of the site.
If he had a backup processor this wouldn’t have happened. I suggest not only having a second or third credit card processor, but also offering other payment methods, such as crypto, ACH, mobile, etc. So, if something goes wrong, you’ll still be able to process payments.
Mistake Number Five: Not Buying all Main Extensions for Your Site or Company, especially the .com
I’ve been running into this a lot lately. I had a major site who when they started, they failed to purchase the many combinations of their .com. They came to me for help. They were losing major amounts of traffic to the domains they didn’t have. It wasn’t easy. We went through a long-prorated negotiation with the seller’s broker and finally made a deal. Let’s just say that the domain would have cost about 10 to 20% of what he ended up getting it for and would have saved him tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
People, your domain is very important. Don’t cheap out when it comes to securing it. And do it early on, before you launch the site, when it will cost less. If you wait for the business to blow up (which this one has), it’s going to be a very expensive lesson.
I have another couple of these instances going on now and I can’t help but think what I could have purchased these domains for years ago. A hundred bucks? Two hundred maybe? That’s better than tens or hundreds of thousands.
Mistake Number Six: Taking Your Eye off the Ball and Letting Your Business Fall
I discussed this one in more detail in a previous article. I can’t tell you how many potential sellers let their business go and then expect to be able to sell it for a decent amount of money. Remember, every dollar in annual profit can get you as much as 3 to 5 times that figure when you sell.
If you don’t plan to continue to work hard on your business, sell it and get as much as you can now. Don’t wait for it to go down the tubes and then try to sell it. We’re always happy to give you a free evaluation.
If you have questions about anything covered in this article series, feel free to reach out to us on our website. To contact Adult Site Broker with any questions about what you’re reading here, or about buying or selling adult sites or companies, go to our contact page.