What’s it worth?

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If you run a job board or career site, you’ve probably given some thought to what it’s worth – perhaps because you want to sell, or perhaps because you want to grow.

Judging from a recent discussion on JobBoarders, everyone has an opinion. At the end of the day, however, you’re simply attempting to put a value on your business. How hard can that be?

Harder than you think. For example, what exactly is the worth of your resume database? Your job seeker traffic? Your current employers? Your position in your chosen niche? The actual niche itself? Each of these factors into the value – and to muddy the waters a bit more, each matters more or less to any given buyer.

Having said that, the most important item in a job board valuation, in my humble opinion, is having an interested buyer. If you don’t have one, you need to create one (via the time honored techniques of networking and PR). This means that long before you want to (or have to) sell, you should be cultivating a group of potential buyers who know about your site, who know how well it does, and who have the wherewithal to purchase it if it ever became available.

Sure, traffic and resumes and all the rest will matter – but only if you have a buyer. So my advice is to start there, ideally from the very first days of your operation. Join the IAEWS. Ask questions. Call colleagues. You’ll learn lots of useful info – and potential buyers will begin learning about you.

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