Business Service Offerings and Liquidity | business services

“Being all things to all people” sounds good, but in most cases it reduces the liquidity of a business. Business liquidity encompasses the number of prospective buyers, the business valuation, and the amount of time required to market the then close the deal.o The most liquid scenario is a co-located web hosting client base, with no data center, offices, or employees, and only one owner/decision maker. This type of business can be under contract to be sold within 48 hours. (Post ‘Letter of Intent’ due diligence, contract preparation, integration plans etc. all take a bit of time.)o The least liquid scenario is a web hosting company, which offers design services, has offices, a data center, and offers related services such as access, marketing services etc.Valuation Difference:
Something I have seen many times is the owner/decision maker on the sell side has heard web hosting company valuation formulas and wants to apply that formula to his company. Inevitably the owner is disappointed when the offer comes up short in their mind, and passes on what actually is a fair valuation.Design Services:The decision to staff up and start offering web design services to complement the pure play hosting recurring revenue is a huge decision with regards to the effect on business liquidity. Of course design services can be a natural fit with hosting clients by helping to reduce client churn and up selling existing clients. However, the value of the revenue and cash flow generated from one-time design jobs is no where near the value of the recurring hosting revenue and cash flow.Negatives of design departments when it comes time to sell:o From the buyer’s perspective, acquiring the entire company and keeping the design efforts going is risky. It’s 50/50 whether the key design people will stick around after closing … regardless what they or the seller states. In addition, if you have to replace key people, the new staff will not have the relationships with the client base.o From the buyer’s perspective, acquiring the entire company then canceling the design efforts is usually a risky decision as well. There are offices to deal with in addition to staff which needs to be let go … both time consuming and detrimental to the existing client base.o My estimate is for every 20 buyers of a pure play hosting company, there are only 1-2 buyers for hosting design shop combo’s.Internet Data Center:Investing in an IDC may increase the value of the entire company by an enormous amount over time, but definitely reduces the liquidity in the short run. Typically smaller web host co-locate in the beginning, then at a later date acquire their own data center. In turn, the company will then offer space to other smaller host hence creating yet another service offering.Owning an underutilized data center reduces the number of one type of buyer … the “cash flow buyer”, yet invites a new category of buyer, the “asset and cash flow buyer”. The later buyer is looking to both grow through acquisitions and make the swap from co-location to owning the data center. The less remaining capacity of the data center, the more of a cash flow type deal it will be, hence usually more liquid.

Real Estate Website Promotion is Easy | Real estate

If you are a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, or provide a Real Estate service you know how important effective real estate web promotion is to your business. The large number of people searching the internet for local, national and international real estate information can simply not be ignored.At the same time you may think effective real estate website promotion is too difficult to master, too expensive to afford, or just too mysterious to understand – an area reserved for experts in the field of search engine marketing.Like most practitioners of highly specialized skills, search engine marketing specialists have a vested interest in making their field seem mysterious and difficult to master. But it is not really that mysterious. It is possible for anyone to dominate the search engines in virtually any local market. All it takes is a bit of common sense and some hard work.The principles involved in getting good positioning for your real estate website are quite simple and straightforward. They are the same principles that apply to search engine marketing for any website and it is actually quite easy to apply these principles to real estate websites. Many real estate agents have simply given up trying to score well in the search engines for local real estate searches because they don’t properly understand the process.But think about it for a minute. When you do a search in Google for “real estate Phoenix” or “Banff real estate” or “Halifax real estate” or “Fort Lauderdale real estate”, and you see the same real estate agents or agencies coming up on the first page week after week, how do you think they got there? What magical real estate website promotion formula are they using or who have they paid to get this high position?Now before you answer that question, ask yourself how you think Google assigns these positions to different websites. Does their giant computer just pull names from a great big cyber-hat? Do they use secret rules that only a few insiders know about?Of course not. All the major search engines make it perfectly clear what they are looking for – and especially Google. If you want to score well for a term like “real estate Phoenix” or “real estate Ottawa”, really all you have to do is pack your site with good information about Phoenix (or Ottawa) and focus your home page in a very deliberate way on those search terms.The search engines like focused content. They assume if your site contains lots of content relevant to “real estate Phoenix” then it should be shown high in searches for that keyword.Of course the problem is that there are already a number of other real estate websites offering good content focused on your favorite search term, so you are going head to head with sites that have previously established position, and it will take a bit of time and a fair amount of work to get past them.That is fair enough. After all, if the real estate agent down the streat offers more focused and relevant information than you do about the market you are both chasing, she deserves to come up above you in the search engine rankings. It makes sense, doesn’t it?That does not mean you should not keep on trying. It simply means you should be patient and work harder. Take a close look at her site and outdo her by refocusing your site and creating more interesting and valuable content. Focus is the name of the game. Make it crystal clear that you are the “expert” on “Calgary real estate” by offering the kinds of things that an expert would offer.And please, do not hesitate to mention the search phrase you are trying to get positioning on. If it is “Kingston real estate” or “Sacramento real estate”, then use that term all over your home page. Say to yourself, “OK Google, so you are looking for real estate websites that have something to say about ‘Sacramento real estate’, well here I am. I breathe Sacramento Real Estate. I ooze Sacramento Real Estate. I AM Sacramento Real Estate.” This is called Search Engine Optimization.In the meantime, while you’re waiting for Google to come around on your primary search term, find some less competitive ones to focus on as well. For instance, if you want to service the entire Ottawa area, but most of your clientele is in Kanata or Nepean, focus some of your internet marketing efforts on those smaller markets. You have a much better chance of getting results in these significantly smaller and less competitive markets.