The Deal

Unless you have second thoughts, the deal should be sealed as soon as possible. Otherwise, the buyer's share price may drop, you may lose a crucial order, or some other external factor beyond your control may intervene and botch the deal. You must agree who should be present at the signing, where and when it shall take place, and what documents you need. Prepare pre-drafted company minutes with all the relevant directorship papers, resignation papers, affidavits, and new share certificates as agreed. Again, have your attorney present to oversee the process.

It is not uncommon for people to try to change the goalposts even now. If they try this on you, look them in the eye and ask them to stop wasting your time. Give them five minutes to come to their senses or the deal is off.

If money is being exchanged it must be in the form of a banknote. A company check is worthless, as it can be cancelled any time prior to payment. If money is promised at some future date it must be backed up by watertight personal guarantees from the most creditworthy member of the buyer's board. If you are getting shares in lieu of cash, the certificates must be vetted in advance.

It is legal fiction that the signing, exchange, and transfer of all documents take place simultaneously. What you actually do is sign all the company minutes, finalize the share certificates, and so on, and carefully and slowly pass them to your attorney. Then both parties sign the contract making sure it is correctly dated and witnessed. Some directors like to initial each page. When this is clearly completed, the attorneys exchange the paperwork, directorial forms, share certificates, banknotes, and so on. Your attorney then passes the boodle to you. You all shake hands.

That's it.

The deal is well and truly done.

Search Engine Optimization (or Winner Takes All)

his appendix explains how to optimize your Web site ratings in seven steps:

1. Decide what you want your Web site to achieve.

2. Familiarize yourself with HTML.

3. Select your search engines.

4. Make your site search engine friendly.

5. Compile your key words.

6. Index your Web site for maximum exposure.

7. Submit your site and monitor progress.

Your Web site is likely to be the most powerful selling tool your software program will ever have. There's no point in creating a fascinating site to promote your much-wanted program if no one else can find it.

There are only three ways searchers will find your site:

1. They already know (or guess) its name. However, it has to be well known, or be so outrageous that no one ever forgets it. If searchers are not to go astray, the name had better be short, unambiguous, and hard to misspell.

2. Chance. A friend or magazine article mentions it, or they run across a link in another Web site.

3. The searcher uses some kind of search engine. This is by far the most common way to find a Web site, and the one addressed in this appendix.

In the beginning (which was only as few years ago), anyone who created a Web site was like the first astronaut on the moon. Teenagers fell off skateboards and curious computer people checked in from miles around just to look. Now everyone from the president of the United States to lifers in jail have Web sites. If you search for the word "software" on one of the major search engines, you could get over 590,000,000 hits.

Today, the task of finding any one site is daunting. When you have created a Web site, the work of getting it seen has only just begun.

As the creators of search engines soon realized, helping people to find needles in haystacks is not a new problem. Cartographers, genealogists, linguists, and librarians have been grappling with it (pretty successfully) for centuries. However, to get your site indexed with the search engines, you have to follow the rules.

The secret is twofold: Include the mechanisms the search engines are looking for, and construct your site in a way that search engines can index it.

Not only must your Web site be found, but for users to be bothered to follow the results, you should also appear on the first page of results and as close to the top as you can. Any site can be found. What you are aiming for is high rankings. The steps outlined here will help you get just that.

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