The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

GOLD! From 0 To $240,000 Per Year PROFIT In 18 Months

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

JATL1984

PARKED
Jun 29, 2019
1
0
1
From 0 to $240,000 per year profit in 18 months

I've been a follower of this forum for about a year now, had read the Millionaire Fastlane book, and finally have decided to tell my story. About a year and a half ago, I found myself unemployed and with near zero savings, two house payments, and a second baby on the way. Things were so dire that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I had just lost my slow-lane job with one of the original big three TV network companies. Worked there for about 3 years making the mistake of transitioning away from my career in computer consulting thinking that having a job would bring a certain level of security. It didn't. Man, those were dark days.

I decided to go back to consulting. But this time instead of taking on just one client full-time, I took on a second, and then a third, and then a fourth. A couple of them, I was billing 40 hours a week, working at the client site for 1, while telecommuting for the other. Clients 3 and 4 were part-time, billing 10-20 hours a week for each but at higher rates, also remote. FYI if you haven't heard, businesses more and more are allowing the telecommuting way. So, if you hate going into your job, look for opportunities to work from home. They're out there.

Well I did this for the past year+, and life has been shit busy, but I saved up a ton, about $200,000 in a year. That felt good. I felt secure with a lot of savings, I had multiple income streams, and the second baby now walks and can feed herself. My wife suggested we invest the $200K in money market funds or CDs. Sounds good, right? Earn 2.3% APY resulting in a whopping $383/mo.! I love my wife, but not for us.

Investing in low-yield financial instruments, and working for someone whether consulting or full time. These are strong characteristics of the slow lane. I've always had an entrepreneur’s mindset. I wanted financial freedom from the daily 9-5 grind, or for me this past year, the 5am-1am grind, including weekends. Even though I had the high-paying clients, if you think about it, it's never good to have all your nuts in very few baskets. And you definitely don't want your schedule dictated to you as consulting can often times do. Besides, money was still tied to my time, and this current work schedule was unsustainable. So having a business seemed like the way to go.

How did I start a business that gives me the financial freedom and time freedom that I so desired? Funny thing. I didn't. I didn't start a new business. Oh, I created a new corporate entity initially for my consulting. But I'm just not creative enough, nor risk averse with family and kids to take a chance there. And besides, burning a year of my life working my a$$ off to roll the dice on a new venture. Nah. So did this mean that I just wasn't going to pursue financial freedom, and maybe instead continue the 100 hours a week work load? No.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at buying software/internet businesses. Why reinvent the wheel? The number of businesses sold on the internet is growing rapidly. Sure there's a ton of scams, get-rich-quick opportunities offered by fake sellers. There are a lot of businesses that the seller just wants out because of failing operations. There are businesses that are a dying breed tied to the old world, pre-internet. For example, consider commercial printing companies which as a side note I was an owner of one about 10 years ago. I'll get back to this in a moment. There are businesses that run in a saturated space like many ecommerce, dropship/Amazon businesses that may have once been profitable, but have lost their edge due to the marketplace. Oh, and blogs, need I say more. Lots of bad opportunities!

So let me quickly detour farther into the past. 10 years ago, I was the owner of a print shop. We had lots of B2B customers looking for printed material on paper. They were all local customers, who often times paid late since we invoiced at NET 30. We had employees running the machines to print and cut and collate and staple. We had leased printers and other equipment. We had leased store-front space. We had a lot of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), namely the paper itself. Ultimately we failed, and went out of business. Simply put, sales decreased over time, the business didn't scale, the cash flow was shit due to late payers, the overhead was horrendous, and having full-time employees was expensive and such a burden.

Years later, I tried blogging. Tech centric since I'm a programmer. That was a waste of time. AdSense brought in a few hundred bucks a month. But since I don't like writing (even this posting is painful to me), it turned out not to be worth it. I tried ecommerce, AliExpress/Shopify drop shipping of apparel. Did OK for a few months, but then the sales dried up, and I had difficulty coming up with new products to sell. Hated that as well. Definitely not sustainable. So ultimately I failed.

Which bring us back to now. I say I failed, which I'm sure many of you reading this have done so as well. But I say that to make a point. Failure is not truly failure when considering what it really is. As humans, we all fail, probably every day in one form or another. Most of our failures are inconsequential. We break something. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We buy some product that doesn't live up to our expectations. But guess what? We adjust our behaviors to mitigate risk so that next time, we do better. Business should be treated the same. Choices that you make in business can be driven by experiences, good and bad. I have a ton of that, especially the bad.

So based on my past failures, I came up with criteria for what my next business acquisition would require. Here they are:

1) No full-time employees. Didn't want the headache.
2) Profitable. Of course.
3) Years of proven profitability.
4) Digital/software products or services. No inventory. No drop shipping.
5) Scalable.
6) No physical location. Allowing work from home without need for leasing office/store.
7) Flexible business. Caters to expanding product and service line beyond current offerings to customers.
8) Low weekly hours necessary for owner operation.
9) Instant credit card sales, vs NET30 or other delayed payment processing.
10) Minimal marketing.
11) Full control. No partnerships. Limit dependencies with external entities.

So, I'm sitting on my $200,000 nest egg from all that hard work. I'm researching businesses for sale. And I find one that is a software company that sells proprietary accounting software. Promising! I'm a programmer with tons of experience in accounting. The business has been operational for 30 years, with recurring clients going back 10+ years, and has been run by this one couple who are well into their retirement years but hadn't pulled the trigger. And guess what? This software business satisfies all 11 of my requirements above. Well, I send their broker an offer of about $200K with half of it owner-financed for 5 years. They accept. Done deal. The profit annualized is $70,000 with an initial investment of $100,000. ROI = 70%. Nice! Since taking over, I'm happy with the performance, and I only spend maybe a couple hours a week on it. I outsource the programming.

Why stop there? I know MJ preaches monogamy. But I feel you can scale your company multiple ways. 1) expanding your sales in your current product/service line, and 2) buying existing businesses to generate more revenue. The only limiting factor of the second is that you will hit a limiting threshold in time when managing and marketing your multiple business holdings. Hopefully by then, you have gotten to a point where you can hire managers to offload that work. In any case, I next took over... a blog. I laugh when I write that because as mentioned before, I hated blogging. But I'll give you a little secret. You can hire writers, which I have a whole staff of them.

The blog is more than just a blog with hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. It has an online Facebook page with a quarter million followers, and a Facebook group with tens of thousands of passionate people whose lives revolve around my niche. And I am one of them, also passionate towards the content that we generate. So, I placed an offer, and got it, trademark included. $80K. We make money working with an advertising agency that deals with handling ad fill. Profit after paying our writing staff has been about $3500/mo. So annualized is $42,000 profit/year. ROI = 52.5%.

Next acquisition. I bought a web site backup service. We have hundreds of customers that we perform nightly backups of their sites as well as make sure their sites are operational 24x7. I outsource that work to offshore for cheap, but excellent labor. I love the guys who keep this business going strong day to day. I barely do anything but accounting for this. Maybe spend half an hour a day. I got it for $35,000. And annualized we make $30K in profit. ROI = 85%.

And most recently I've assumed a web marketing business. This too has a team of contractors that do the heavy lifting. Premium one-word, business-specific, domain name that garners 30K organic traffic a month. Very little ad spend. We generate about $8000/mo. in profit, again annualized to $96K profit for an ROI = 240%. I haven't figured out why the previous owner sold this other than he didn't want to do it anymore, and wanted to concentrate on his other business. He's got rep. I did my research.

So here's the grand total annualized profit:

Accounting Software Business: $70,000
Blog and Online Community: $42,000
Web Site Backup Business: $30,000
Web Marketing Business: $96,000

Total Annualized Profit: $238,000

Mind you, since these ventures take up maybe a total of a couple hours a day for me to run, I am free to focus on marketing for growth, while keeping a couple of my consulting clients. I quit the one client where I had to go into the office, and the other remote client, I just quit because I didn't have time for them. So I work from home now. The consulting dollars gets me to $400K a year, but I will most likely stop consulting next year to completely focus on my businesses. And my family and I are planning on moving to Central America this winter, because we love it there, and hell, I can work from anywhere that has internet.

One last note on being a serial entrepreneur. I look for synergies between my businesses and any future acquisitions. Each of the four ventures that I now have complement one or more of the other businesses, so I can leverage/cross-sell amongst the lot of them. This specific business model is starting to gain traction. But one challenge for me is branding when cross-selling. I haven't figured out how to consolidate the brands most efficiently. Each has their own distinct brand that current customers trust. And future customers may gravitate to the current branding. So not sure yet, but it's a good problem to have.
This a real good post and good information. I’ve always thought of buying online business already going with customers. Guess my only would be how to scale quickly?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
This a real good post and good information. I’ve always thought of buying online business already going with customers. Guess my only would be how to scale quickly?
I initial thought about scaling an acquired business quickly, but I decided to scale by acquiring multiple businesses. The end result is similar short-term. Phase one of my plan was to acquire as many profitable businesses as I could in a short amount of time to reach financial independence. Phase two is to grow those businesses, which is the goal for me in 2020.
 

CareCPA

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
749
2,571
650
30
Pennsylvania
Ah I see. My operation would become cost and time prohibitive if I structured it under multiple entities. Since my business models are pretty simply, I can subcategorize each sale under a different business unit. Similarly with expenses, although some expenses cross business units.

There may come a time where I may spawn off a business unit into its own corporate entity, but it would have to get pretty large. Honestly, I can't imagine at what point that could happen practically speaking.
A footnote here:
If you are planning to sell any of these businesses in the future, the buyer is likely to request financials and tax returns. If you have all your businesses in one entity, this can get pretty intrusive, and pretty time-intensive trying to reconcile the QBO account to the tax return.

It may be simple to you, but try convincing the buyer you didn't push extra expenses to a different website instead of the one being sold - they will automatically assume you're under-representing expenses.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
A footnote here:
If you are planning to sell any of these businesses in the future, the buyer is likely to request financials and tax returns. If you have all your businesses in one entity, this can get pretty intrusive, and pretty time-intensive trying to reconcile the QBO account to the tax return.

It may be simple to you, but try convincing the buyer you didn't push extra expenses to a different website instead of the one being sold - they will automatically assume you're under-representing expenses.
Unwinding may be problematic, yes. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Luckily, my business models are easy to manage from an accounting perspective. Expenses can easily be explained with shared expenses. For example, server hosting cost is easy to understand for a future buyer, I assume. Online tools like help desk software is also easy to discern.

Some of my businesses that I have purchased were co-mingled with other businesses. It was pretty easy for me to separate income/expense items in reports and financial accounts supplied by seller.
 

mojorisin

New Contributor
Oct 6, 2019
15
7
12
Normally I look at years of proven profitability. BUT, in your case, the traffic is more important. If the site has proven traffic for years, I'd consider it a seasoned asset. Forums are great because of the user engagement. You can't fake this. And if the current owner just started monetizing it, I'd consider that strongly. Ad sales of course are driven by traffic. And since the traffic is seasoned and genuine, I think you'd have a good candidate for a business asset to consider.
Guys, what process, steps, or service are you using to validate the company you are acquiring is legit?

Since this is my first one, I'm ok paying a little extra to get it done right.
 

mojorisin

New Contributor
Oct 6, 2019
15
7
12
Richard, sent you a PM for your opinion on my first one I'm about to pull the trigger on. Wish me luck!
 

EdKirby

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 29, 2015
78
93
128
52
United States
I just finished reading this entire thread. @richardd Thanks for sharing, this is brilliant.

I'm really enamored with SaaS's and for years I've thought about buying struggling B&M businesses and trying to get them tuned up but I've never pulled the trigger. I really like the idea of buying online assets especially given your criteria and doing the same thing.

Currently I'm getting ready to release a mobile game that I've been working on for a few years. However, I've realized that indie game dev is more like trying to win the lottery. I've learned a lot and have become a much much better programmer because of it. I could probably jump ship on consulting and go to work for a game company with the skills I've developed. I've already made some money with those skills via side hustles. But that's Slowlane as we all know.

I think I remember you mentioning something about rebooting your life. I'm pretty much there right now. I consult in IT but I'm between gigs etc. This thread and your journey has been very encouraging with regards to my situation. Thanks!
 

karakoram

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 9, 2011
194
163
96
@richardd
I'm implementing your idea and could use some of your advice. I sent you a PM, but I'm not sure if you received it.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: I have been super busy @Doctor.IM. The year end has been pretty frenetic. Here's a breakdown:

1) Accounting software business has been going well. We are approaching tax season, so sales have been going well as expected. Have a software update shortly.

2) Online community is doing well. Not as great as last month where we did a record $8000 in ad sales. We are on target to get about $7000, so I'm very happy about that.

3) Web hosting and web site businesses are doing well. I hired a new tech person to offload all the ticket support. He's working out very well. Freed up tons of time for me.

4) Working on completing a big deal based on my standards. I'm finishing up DD on a job posting web site. The final price has been negotatiated at about $120K. Monthly profit will be about $11K. I negotiated owner financing of $30K paid out over 6 months at 5% APR. I also secured about $35K in financing from a lender to be paid out over 7 months. So my down payment will be $55K. All monthly earnings over the first 6 months will be allocated to paying off the financing portion. So by July 2020, we will be in the black for the job posting site fully paid off. That will mean that we will be clearing $30K a month in profit.

My family was planning on moving to Central America by the end of this year, but that had to be postponed to next year due to health issues. Probably summer 2020. By then we won't have to worry about money any more.

I caught my second wind after passing on another opportunity that I talked about incessantly in this thread. I just didn't have the drive to keep going. That month off freed my mind to be open to this latest deal. It is forcing me to continue consulting till March 31, 2020. And I did give notice that that would be my last day. But I have the energy now to keep going. My phone shows 94 days to go.

I think I talked briefly about why it has been so important for me not to be complacent, and keep driving forward to where we will be financially by July 2020. Right now, we are in great shape, and I could quit consulting now, but for me $30K a month profit is not an arbitrary number. Since our household expenditures are about $10K a month, having $20K a month currently in profit affords us financial freedom. BUT having $30K a month, although it may seem like greed, does a couple things for me psychologically and pragmatically.

Psychologically, just having an extra $20K a month over our personal expenses gives me peace of mind from almost any emergency expense. For example, in my lifetime, I've only had maybe 3 significant emergency expenses that took my breath away. Recently, I had to be hospitalized from a freak thing. I'm fine now and am fully recovered. But even with insurance, my yearly deductable caused me to pay $14K out of pocket. Another example, 10 years ago I was hit with a $20K unexpected tax bill. Luckily, I was able to work with the tax agency to get it down to $1000, but, man, did I freak out there. And a few years ago, one of our cars had to have its engine replaced for about $8000. So, you can see, with an extra $20K a MONTH, I won't have to worry about that shit any more. Those types of bills will become analogous to maybe something like buying a new microwave from Home Depot.

Pragmatically, the extra 20K a month over our monthly expenses allows me to expand my company perpetually at a pace that I am happy with. We can probably grow $100-150K in earnings every year from now on. And that growth can be exponential, limited mainly based on my time. I work maybe 2 hours a day now on my businesses. But you can imagine the more assets you acquire, the more work you will need to allocate for managing your enterprise.
 
Last edited:

Doctor.IM

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jan 21, 2019
43
32
59
France
UPDATE: I have been super busy @Doctor.IM. The year end has been pretty frenetic. Here's a breakdown:

1) Accounting software business has been going well. We are approaching tax season, so sales have been going well as expected. Have a software update shortly.

2) Online community is doing well. Not as great as last month where we did a record $8000 in ad sales. We are on target to get about $7000, so I'm very happy about that.

3) Web hosting and web site businesses are doing well. I hired a new tech person to offload all the ticket support. He's working out very well. Freed up tons of time for me.

4) Working on completing a big deal based on my standards. I'm finishing up DD on a job posting web site. The final price has been negotatiated at about $120K. Monthly profit will be about $11K. I negotiated owner financing of $30K paid out over 6 months at 5% APR. I also secured about $35K in financing from a lender to be paid out over 7 months. So my down payment will be $55K. All monthly earnings over the first 6 months will be allocated to paying off the financing portion. So by July 2020, we will be in the black for the job posting site fully paid off. That will mean that we will be clearing $30K a month in profit.

My family was planning on moving to Central America by the end of this year, but that had to be postponed to next year due to health issues. Probably summer 2020. By then we won't have to worry about money any more.

I caught my second wind after passing on another opportunity that I talked about incessantly in this thread. I just didn't have the drive to keep going. That month off freed my mind to be open to this latest deal. It is forcing me to continue consulting till March 31, 2019. And I did give notice that that would be my last day. But I have the energy now to keep going. My phone shows 94 days to go.

I think I talked briefly about why it has been so important for me not to be complacent, and keep driving forward to where we will be financially by July 2020. Right now, we are in great shape, and I could quit consulting now, but for me $30K a month profit is not an arbitrary number. Since our household expenditures are about $10K a month, having $20K a month currently in profit affords us financial freedom. BUT having $30K a month, although it may seem like greed, does a couple things for me psychologically and pragmatically.

Psychologically, just having an extra $20K a month over our personal expenses gives me peace of mind from almost any emergency expense. For example, in my lifetime, I've only had maybe 3 significant emergency expenses that took my breath away. Recently, I had to be hospitalized from a freak thing. I'm fine now and am fully recovered. But even with insurance, my yearly deductable caused me to pay $14K out of pocket. Another example, 10 years ago I was hit with a $20K unexpected tax bill. Luckily, I was able to work with the tax agency to get it down to $1000, but, man, did I freak out there. And a few years ago, one of our cars had to have its engine replaced for about $8000. So, you can see, with an extra $20K a MONTH, I won't have to worry about that shit any more. Those types of bills will become analogous to maybe something like buying a new microwave from Home Depot.

Pragmatically, the extra 20K a month over our monthly expenses allows me to expand my company perpetually at a pace that I am happy with. We can probably grow $100-150K in earnings every year from now on. And that growth can be exponential, limited mainly based on my time. I work maybe 2 hours a day now on my businesses. But you can imagine the more assets you acquire, the more work you will need to allocate for managing your enterprise.
Awesome update, well done for all those successes, and thank you so much for the update!
I'm glad you're back on your feets from your health issues. *touch wood*

I'll keep a close eye on your thread, thank you so much for sharing all this knowledge and best of luck for the future!

PS: Which studies have you done ?

All the best,

Dr.IM
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
Awesome update, well done for all those successes, and thank you so much for the update!
I'm glad you're back on your feets from your health issues. *touch wood*

I'll keep a close eye on your thread, thank you so much for sharing all this knowledge and best of luck for the future!

PS: Which studies have you done ?

All the best,

Dr.IM
I studied at one of those prestigious engineering colleges in the US getting a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.

Mind you, I kind of wish I would have gone to a state school, and saved my parents a hundred grand. And I probably would have had way more fun.
 
Last edited:

jon11

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 3, 2019
19
10
17
Good stuff Richard, I'm still stuck in the analysis/paralysis phase. Had a few in my sights but nothing that really blew my mind. The search continues.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: I spent all weekend improving my organization. I'm back to Inbox Zero! I setup up filters in all of my Gmail accounts. I set up all starred emails to create a card automatically in Trello. I adopted the Station app browser to replace Google Chrome tabs, and so all of my business apps are more easily accessed. Love Station! Got 1Password working for password management. Set up Grammarly to fix my spelling issues everywhere. Adopted Polymail for unified inbox. And hired a second guy to handle tickets for my web hosting business. TOTAL action faking stuff, because I didn't feel like doing actual work. BUT I will be saving a ton of time. Cleaned up my desk too. Oh, and also switched from Dropbox to Google Drive.
 

pasifloralove

PARKED
Dec 30, 2019
3
0
1
From 0 to $240,000 per year profit in 18 months

I've been a follower of this forum for about a year now, had read the Millionaire Fastlane book, and finally have decided to tell my story. About a year and a half ago, I found myself unemployed and with near zero savings, two house payments, and a second baby on the way. Things were so dire that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I had just lost my slow-lane job with one of the original big three TV network companies. Worked there for about 3 years making the mistake of transitioning away from my career in computer consulting thinking that having a job would bring a certain level of security. It didn't. Man, those were dark days.

I decided to go back to consulting. But this time instead of taking on just one client full-time, I took on a second, and then a third, and then a fourth. A couple of them, I was billing 40 hours a week, working at the client site for 1, while telecommuting for the other. Clients 3 and 4 were part-time, billing 10-20 hours a week for each but at higher rates, also remote. FYI if you haven't heard, businesses more and more are allowing the telecommuting way. So, if you hate going into your job, look for opportunities to work from home. They're out there.

Well I did this for the past year+, and life has been shit busy, but I saved up a ton, about $200,000 in a year. That felt good. I felt secure with a lot of savings, I had multiple income streams, and the second baby now walks and can feed herself. My wife suggested we invest the $200K in money market funds or CDs. Sounds good, right? Earn 2.3% APY resulting in a whopping $383/mo.! I love my wife, but not for us.

Investing in low-yield financial instruments, and working for someone whether consulting or full time. These are strong characteristics of the slow lane. I've always had an entrepreneur’s mindset. I wanted financial freedom from the daily 9-5 grind, or for me this past year, the 5am-1am grind, including weekends. Even though I had the high-paying clients, if you think about it, it's never good to have all your nuts in very few baskets. And you definitely don't want your schedule dictated to you as consulting can often times do. Besides, money was still tied to my time, and this current work schedule was unsustainable. So having a business seemed like the way to go.

How did I start a business that gives me the financial freedom and time freedom that I so desired? Funny thing. I didn't. I didn't start a new business. Oh, I created a new corporate entity initially for my consulting. But I'm just not creative enough, nor risk averse with family and kids to take a chance there. And besides, burning a year of my life working my a$$ off to roll the dice on a new venture. Nah. So did this mean that I just wasn't going to pursue financial freedom, and maybe instead continue the 100 hours a week work load? No.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at buying software/internet businesses. Why reinvent the wheel? The number of businesses sold on the internet is growing rapidly. Sure there's a ton of scams, get-rich-quick opportunities offered by fake sellers. There are a lot of businesses that the seller just wants out because of failing operations. There are businesses that are a dying breed tied to the old world, pre-internet. For example, consider commercial printing companies which as a side note I was an owner of one about 10 years ago. I'll get back to this in a moment. There are businesses that run in a saturated space like many ecommerce, dropship/Amazon businesses that may have once been profitable, but have lost their edge due to the marketplace. Oh, and blogs, need I say more. Lots of bad opportunities!

So let me quickly detour farther into the past. 10 years ago, I was the owner of a print shop. We had lots of B2B customers looking for printed material on paper. They were all local customers, who often times paid late since we invoiced at NET 30. We had employees running the machines to print and cut and collate and staple. We had leased printers and other equipment. We had leased store-front space. We had a lot of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), namely the paper itself. Ultimately we failed, and went out of business. Simply put, sales decreased over time, the business didn't scale, the cash flow was shit due to late payers, the overhead was horrendous, and having full-time employees was expensive and such a burden.

Years later, I tried blogging. Tech centric since I'm a programmer. That was a waste of time. AdSense brought in a few hundred bucks a month. But since I don't like writing (even this posting is painful to me), it turned out not to be worth it. I tried ecommerce, AliExpress/Shopify drop shipping of apparel. Did OK for a few months, but then the sales dried up, and I had difficulty coming up with new products to sell. Hated that as well. Definitely not sustainable. So ultimately I failed.

Which bring us back to now. I say I failed, which I'm sure many of you reading this have done so as well. But I say that to make a point. Failure is not truly failure when considering what it really is. As humans, we all fail, probably every day in one form or another. Most of our failures are inconsequential. We break something. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We buy some product that doesn't live up to our expectations. But guess what? We adjust our behaviors to mitigate risk so that next time, we do better. Business should be treated the same. Choices that you make in business can be driven by experiences, good and bad. I have a ton of that, especially the bad.

So based on my past failures, I came up with criteria for what my next business acquisition would require. Here they are:

1) No full-time employees. Didn't want the headache.
2) Profitable. Of course.
3) Years of proven profitability.
4) Digital/software products or services. No inventory. No drop shipping.
5) Scalable.
6) No physical location. Allowing work from home without need for leasing office/store.
7) Flexible business. Caters to expanding product and service line beyond current offerings to customers.
8) Low weekly hours necessary for owner operation.
9) Instant credit card sales, vs NET30 or other delayed payment processing.
10) Minimal marketing.
11) Full control. No partnerships. Limit dependencies with external entities.

So, I'm sitting on my $200,000 nest egg from all that hard work. I'm researching businesses for sale. And I find one that is a software company that sells proprietary accounting software. Promising! I'm a programmer with tons of experience in accounting. The business has been operational for 30 years, with recurring clients going back 10+ years, and has been run by this one couple who are well into their retirement years but hadn't pulled the trigger. And guess what? This software business satisfies all 11 of my requirements above. Well, I send their broker an offer of about $200K with half of it owner-financed for 5 years. They accept. Done deal. The profit annualized is $70,000 with an initial investment of $100,000. ROI = 70%. Nice! Since taking over, I'm happy with the performance, and I only spend maybe a couple hours a week on it. I outsource the programming.

Why stop there? I know MJ preaches monogamy. But I feel you can scale your company multiple ways. 1) expanding your sales in your current product/service line, and 2) buying existing businesses to generate more revenue. The only limiting factor of the second is that you will hit a limiting threshold in time when managing and marketing your multiple business holdings. Hopefully by then, you have gotten to a point where you can hire managers to offload that work. In any case, I next took over... a blog. I laugh when I write that because as mentioned before, I hated blogging. But I'll give you a little secret. You can hire writers, which I have a whole staff of them.

The blog is more than just a blog with hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. It has an online Facebook page with a quarter million followers, and a Facebook group with tens of thousands of passionate people whose lives revolve around my niche. And I am one of them, also passionate towards the content that we generate. So, I placed an offer, and got it, trademark included. $80K. We make money working with an advertising agency that deals with handling ad fill. Profit after paying our writing staff has been about $3500/mo. So annualized is $42,000 profit/year. ROI = 52.5%.

Next acquisition. I bought a web site backup service. We have hundreds of customers that we perform nightly backups of their sites as well as make sure their sites are operational 24x7. I outsource that work to offshore for cheap, but excellent labor. I love the guys who keep this business going strong day to day. I barely do anything but accounting for this. Maybe spend half an hour a day. I got it for $35,000. And annualized we make $30K in profit. ROI = 85%.

And most recently I've assumed a web marketing business. This too has a team of contractors that do the heavy lifting. Premium one-word, business-specific, domain name that garners 30K organic traffic a month. Very little ad spend. We generate about $8000/mo. in profit, again annualized to $96K profit for an ROI = 240%. I haven't figured out why the previous owner sold this other than he didn't want to do it anymore, and wanted to concentrate on his other business. He's got rep. I did my research.

So here's the grand total annualized profit:

Accounting Software Business: $70,000
Blog and Online Community: $42,000
Web Site Backup Business: $30,000
Web Marketing Business: $96,000

Total Annualized Profit: $238,000

Mind you, since these ventures take up maybe a total of a couple hours a day for me to run, I am free to focus on marketing for growth, while keeping a couple of my consulting clients. I quit the one client where I had to go into the office, and the other remote client, I just quit because I didn't have time for them. So I work from home now. The consulting dollars gets me to $400K a year, but I will most likely stop consulting next year to completely focus on my businesses. And my family and I are planning on moving to Central America this winter, because we love it there, and hell, I can work from anywhere that has internet.

One last note on being a serial entrepreneur. I look for synergies between my businesses and any future acquisitions. Each of the four ventures that I now have complement one or more of the other businesses, so I can leverage/cross-sell amongst the lot of them. This specific business model is starting to gain traction. But one challenge for me is branding when cross-selling. I haven't figured out how to consolidate the brands most efficiently. Each has their own distinct brand that current customers trust. And future customers may gravitate to the current branding. So not sure yet, but it's a good problem to have.
Wow way to go... my blog and forum generated around that. I need to get back into something online to generate income. Full time employee/manager right now.
 

cballs

PARKED
Dec 24, 2019
1
0
1
From 0 to $240,000 per year profit in 18 months

I've been a follower of this forum for about a year now, had read the Millionaire Fastlane book, and finally have decided to tell my story. About a year and a half ago, I found myself unemployed and with near zero savings, two house payments, and a second baby on the way. Things were so dire that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I had just lost my slow-lane job with one of the original big three TV network companies. Worked there for about 3 years making the mistake of transitioning away from my career in computer consulting thinking that having a job would bring a certain level of security. It didn't. Man, those were dark days.

I decided to go back to consulting. But this time instead of taking on just one client full-time, I took on a second, and then a third, and then a fourth. A couple of them, I was billing 40 hours a week, working at the client site for 1, while telecommuting for the other. Clients 3 and 4 were part-time, billing 10-20 hours a week for each but at higher rates, also remote. FYI if you haven't heard, businesses more and more are allowing the telecommuting way. So, if you hate going into your job, look for opportunities to work from home. They're out there.

Well I did this for the past year+, and life has been shit busy, but I saved up a ton, about $200,000 in a year. That felt good. I felt secure with a lot of savings, I had multiple income streams, and the second baby now walks and can feed herself. My wife suggested we invest the $200K in money market funds or CDs. Sounds good, right? Earn 2.3% APY resulting in a whopping $383/mo.! I love my wife, but not for us.

Investing in low-yield financial instruments, and working for someone whether consulting or full time. These are strong characteristics of the slow lane. I've always had an entrepreneur’s mindset. I wanted financial freedom from the daily 9-5 grind, or for me this past year, the 5am-1am grind, including weekends. Even though I had the high-paying clients, if you think about it, it's never good to have all your nuts in very few baskets. And you definitely don't want your schedule dictated to you as consulting can often times do. Besides, money was still tied to my time, and this current work schedule was unsustainable. So having a business seemed like the way to go.

How did I start a business that gives me the financial freedom and time freedom that I so desired? Funny thing. I didn't. I didn't start a new business. Oh, I created a new corporate entity initially for my consulting. But I'm just not creative enough, nor risk averse with family and kids to take a chance there. And besides, burning a year of my life working my a$$ off to roll the dice on a new venture. Nah. So did this mean that I just wasn't going to pursue financial freedom, and maybe instead continue the 100 hours a week work load? No.

About 6 months ago, I started looking at buying software/internet businesses. Why reinvent the wheel? The number of businesses sold on the internet is growing rapidly. Sure there's a ton of scams, get-rich-quick opportunities offered by fake sellers. There are a lot of businesses that the seller just wants out because of failing operations. There are businesses that are a dying breed tied to the old world, pre-internet. For example, consider commercial printing companies which as a side note I was an owner of one about 10 years ago. I'll get back to this in a moment. There are businesses that run in a saturated space like many ecommerce, dropship/Amazon businesses that may have once been profitable, but have lost their edge due to the marketplace. Oh, and blogs, need I say more. Lots of bad opportunities!

So let me quickly detour farther into the past. 10 years ago, I was the owner of a print shop. We had lots of B2B customers looking for printed material on paper. They were all local customers, who often times paid late since we invoiced at NET 30. We had employees running the machines to print and cut and collate and staple. We had leased printers and other equipment. We had leased store-front space. We had a lot of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), namely the paper itself. Ultimately we failed, and went out of business. Simply put, sales decreased over time, the business didn't scale, the cash flow was shit due to late payers, the overhead was horrendous, and having full-time employees was expensive and such a burden.

Years later, I tried blogging. Tech centric since I'm a programmer. That was a waste of time. AdSense brought in a few hundred bucks a month. But since I don't like writing (even this posting is painful to me), it turned out not to be worth it. I tried ecommerce, AliExpress/Shopify drop shipping of apparel. Did OK for a few months, but then the sales dried up, and I had difficulty coming up with new products to sell. Hated that as well. Definitely not sustainable. So ultimately I failed.

Which bring us back to now. I say I failed, which I'm sure many of you reading this have done so as well. But I say that to make a point. Failure is not truly failure when considering what it really is. As humans, we all fail, probably every day in one form or another. Most of our failures are inconsequential. We break something. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We buy some product that doesn't live up to our expectations. But guess what? We adjust our behaviors to mitigate risk so that next time, we do better. Business should be treated the same. Choices that you make in business can be driven by experiences, good and bad. I have a ton of that, especially the bad.

So based on my past failures, I came up with criteria for what my next business acquisition would require. Here they are:

1) No full-time employees. Didn't want the headache.
2) Profitable. Of course.
3) Years of proven profitability.
4) Digital/software products or services. No inventory. No drop shipping.
5) Scalable.
6) No physical location. Allowing work from home without need for leasing office/store.
7) Flexible business. Caters to expanding product and service line beyond current offerings to customers.
8) Low weekly hours necessary for owner operation.
9) Instant credit card sales, vs NET30 or other delayed payment processing.
10) Minimal marketing.
11) Full control. No partnerships. Limit dependencies with external entities.

So, I'm sitting on my $200,000 nest egg from all that hard work. I'm researching businesses for sale. And I find one that is a software company that sells proprietary accounting software. Promising! I'm a programmer with tons of experience in accounting. The business has been operational for 30 years, with recurring clients going back 10+ years, and has been run by this one couple who are well into their retirement years but hadn't pulled the trigger. And guess what? This software business satisfies all 11 of my requirements above. Well, I send their broker an offer of about $200K with half of it owner-financed for 5 years. They accept. Done deal. The profit annualized is $70,000 with an initial investment of $100,000. ROI = 70%. Nice! Since taking over, I'm happy with the performance, and I only spend maybe a couple hours a week on it. I outsource the programming.

Why stop there? I know MJ preaches monogamy. But I feel you can scale your company multiple ways. 1) expanding your sales in your current product/service line, and 2) buying existing businesses to generate more revenue. The only limiting factor of the second is that you will hit a limiting threshold in time when managing and marketing your multiple business holdings. Hopefully by then, you have gotten to a point where you can hire managers to offload that work. In any case, I next took over... a blog. I laugh when I write that because as mentioned before, I hated blogging. But I'll give you a little secret. You can hire writers, which I have a whole staff of them.

The blog is more than just a blog with hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. It has an online Facebook page with a quarter million followers, and a Facebook group with tens of thousands of passionate people whose lives revolve around my niche. And I am one of them, also passionate towards the content that we generate. So, I placed an offer, and got it, trademark included. $80K. We make money working with an advertising agency that deals with handling ad fill. Profit after paying our writing staff has been about $3500/mo. So annualized is $42,000 profit/year. ROI = 52.5%.

Next acquisition. I bought a web site backup service. We have hundreds of customers that we perform nightly backups of their sites as well as make sure their sites are operational 24x7. I outsource that work to offshore for cheap, but excellent labor. I love the guys who keep this business going strong day to day. I barely do anything but accounting for this. Maybe spend half an hour a day. I got it for $35,000. And annualized we make $30K in profit. ROI = 85%.

And most recently I've assumed a web marketing business. This too has a team of contractors that do the heavy lifting. Premium one-word, business-specific, domain name that garners 30K organic traffic a month. Very little ad spend. We generate about $8000/mo. in profit, again annualized to $96K profit for an ROI = 240%. I haven't figured out why the previous owner sold this other than he didn't want to do it anymore, and wanted to concentrate on his other business. He's got rep. I did my research.

So here's the grand total annualized profit:

Accounting Software Business: $70,000
Blog and Online Community: $42,000
Web Site Backup Business: $30,000
Web Marketing Business: $96,000

Total Annualized Profit: $238,000

Mind you, since these ventures take up maybe a total of a couple hours a day for me to run, I am free to focus on marketing for growth, while keeping a couple of my consulting clients. I quit the one client where I had to go into the office, and the other remote client, I just quit because I didn't have time for them. So I work from home now. The consulting dollars gets me to $400K a year, but I will most likely stop consulting next year to completely focus on my businesses. And my family and I are planning on moving to Central America this winter, because we love it there, and hell, I can work from anywhere that has internet.

One last note on being a serial entrepreneur. I look for synergies between my businesses and any future acquisitions. Each of the four ventures that I now have complement one or more of the other businesses, so I can leverage/cross-sell amongst the lot of them. This specific business model is starting to gain traction. But one challenge for me is branding when cross-selling. I haven't figured out how to consolidate the brands most efficiently. Each has their own distinct brand that current customers trust. And future customers may gravitate to the current branding. So not sure yet, but it's a good problem to have.

Thank you for sharing!
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: Getting organized...

My last long post here referenced my performing action faking. But context is everything. I'm on the verge of getting my business to the promised land, well at least for me. Way more money than my family needs while working half days on it and nothing else but enjoying the rest of the day doing whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want.

So at long last it was time to get organized. When you're a serial entrepreneur acquiring business after business after business, you reach a point where chaos reigns. My chaos is lack of organization. I have 6 separate email accounts. Each had thousands of emails, some going back 10 years. I decided to go inbox zero, because hoarding emails and using your inbox as a to-do list just wasn't cutting it.

I currently use Trello to keep track of everything, and I tried integrating email with it, but the process became unwieldy with Google action scripts tied to Gmail labels and email forwarding to the Trello boards. So i decided to go simple. I just wanted one simple click to mark emails for to-do items. That's when I rediscovered the star (or pin) in Gmail. On my phone, tablet, and PC, I use Spike. All work nicely with the simple act of pinning emails. So, even with a massive amount of emails, I have my email to-dos all neatly packaged with a star.

Next, I figured I would get through the 20K emails. I decided to purge stuff that was pre-2018. No looking back. That still left me with 5K emails. So with the magic of Gmail filtering, and a lot of hours at the computer, I finally paired all of it down to about 1000 emails.

I labelled all 1000 of those emails as "Keep". So now my inboxes are totally clean. But then what about daily upkeep? I don't want to sort through the gobs of junk that comes in on a daily basis. So I rediscovered Gmail filtering! I know about a lot of automated emails that come in. I created filters for a majority of them. Those emails either get forwarded to Help Scout (the help desk ticketing system for my businesses), or labelled as "Delete Later" cuz as a hoarder, I can't get myself to just let that shit go. What's left over in my daily inboxes are emails that fall through the Gmail filters, and there aren't many. Specifically, they are actual work emails, newsletters, and junk that pass the Spam filters.

One of the best features of Spike is that it has is the functionality to click a button that allows you to unsubscribe from a newsletter and then auto delete the email. Just that alone will keep my inboxes from continuing to be inundated with junk that I never read. From here, I only see the good stuff. And I give myself 4 choices:

1) Respond
2) Pin (or star) for later response or action
3) Archive
4) Delete

With these 4 choices, it's very easy for me to get through my inbox. Oh, by the way, all of my businesses are consolidated into one inbox. This setup effectively turns my chaos into the soothing sounds of, well, whatever. Currently my wife vacuuming which is drowning out my son's crying. But I am now at peace.

As a side note, my next challenge is to only do emails at specific times in the day. Probably first thing in the morning, maybe noon time, and then at the end of the day. I should allocate 20 minutes for each period. I really think that's all I need with my new system. AND maybe someday, I'll hire a VA to do this for me.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: $40K in December sales total for all my businesses. And finishing up due diligence in a couple days for my latest acquisition target. All looks good. Financing is also secured. Stress is high, but my ultra organization these past few days is paying off just by clearing up all the noise.

For my online community, we did about $6700 in sales for the month. I'm happy with that. And our Facebook post wishing everyone a happy New Year eclipsed 1.7 million views in 24 hours.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: On the verge of finalizing another business acquisition for my company. Due Diligence is done. I just had to pour over a ton of sales data, basically looking at PayPal transactions, mapping them to WordPress sales transactions, and mapping that to Google Analytics traffic. Pretty cool stuff, at least to me. It's a job board where businesses post job listings. Nothing fancy. So I can see the PayPal payments, the WordPress orders, and the subsequent traffic from the job posting. Because of the shear volume of orders, and pretty much being able to find the corresponding traffic in GA, this made it the easiest DD for me to date.

Logistically, the sales agreement terms are all set with the seller and myself. We just need to sign. Bridge financing is all set. Funding to my bank account will happen in a couple of days. Seller financing is all set, as agreed upon in our contract. So, in a couple days, I get to wire transfer $90K to the broker who will hold the monies in escrow. Once that's secured, this weekend the seller and I transfer the assets which include the domain, the web site, and the social media accounts. So I should be open for business probably Saturday (about 4 days from now). Then of course I agree to release the funds to the seller.

I can't tell you how excited I am to make this happen. Sure the next 6 months paying back all the financing will be in the forefront of my mind, but assuming the new business does as it should, all the monthly business earnings should be able to service the debt. Then after 6 months, I'm free and clear with the nice shiny new money tree. This thing should profit me about $11K to $15K each month moving forward. Probably a couple hours a day of extra work for me until I hire myself a VA to take over the manual tasks. I don't mind doing that, especially when learning a new business. You get a good feel of how it all flows while coming up with ideas to make it more efficient, either with automation or organization.

It's too early to say what my 2020 ROI will be, but some basic numbers. Sale price is $120,000. My money down is $55,000. $35,000 commercial financing paid back over 6 months. $30,000 seller financing paid back over 6 months. I would venture to guess that we'll do about $130,000 in sales, most of which will be profit Depending on how you look at it, that would mean about $60,000 left over after paying back the financed amount. Over 100% ROI. But technically it would be over 200% ROI since from an accounting perspective I'm gaining equity while paying back the loans. Honestly, I'm actually targeting $15K a month, so if we can get to $180K in sales for 2020, then, well... life would be sweet.

And 83 days to go before I retire from stupid consulting... see screenshot of my phone.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

jon11

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 3, 2019
19
10
17
You're buying up online businesses at quite a rate!

Where did you discover this one flippa?

My search has stalled abit because haven't seen much of interest coming up but im pretty much just looking on flippa and EF. EF seems too much straightfwd tanking FBA shops. Flippa its alot of sifting wheat from chaff.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: i just finished due diligence, and signed the sales agreement. Funding escrow will have to wait till Monday. But we are pretty much set to go. Should be a smooth transition since I'll take over their GoDaddy account with the domain, the Hostgator account with their web site, and all their Social Media accounts. Next six months are signed away.

Business is going well with our accounting software. Tax season has started, so our e-filing software is selling well. Online community ad sales have dropped considerably, but that's as expected since marketers spend a lot in November and December leading up to Christmas. It should starting picking back up in the coming months.

Web hosting and maintenance businesses are purring. I like my team of techie guys. They all are making my job as a manager very easy.
 
OP
OP
R

richardd

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 11, 2017
188
957
328
United States
UPDATE: Just wired $90K to begin finalizing the latest business acquisition. Always anxiety inducing. Mondays suck in general with my 78 days of consulting left over. At least I get big checks. Unfortunately, my focus is pulled away from business.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
New Course! Upwork Client Psychology I #UdemyApproved! Upwork Client Psychology I is designed...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Welcome to 2020, I wanted to add in a quick note about gratitude for the new year...


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

The 2020 Fastlane Summit

This event SOLD OUT in October. For authorized resale tickets, please check ticket resales or contact the forum directly.

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom