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Tubs

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Great stuff @richardd that's some real hustling!

Thanks for this valuable thread!
 

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doitman

doitman

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UPDATE: I got a new profile name, in tribute to Shia Labeouf. Look it up. If you ever need good motivation or a laugh, he's your guy. But in all seriousness, "do it" is my mantra.

My most recent transaction was a bust. Luckily we were able to unwind it, and I didn't lose much money in the deal. But it was stressful, to say the least, especially with the amount of money on the table. I won't go into detail about it, but I will tell you that I've learned a lot about improving my vetting process of business opportunities. I am much stronger and hardened by this most recent experience, and much wiser as well. Many sleepless nights on this one for the past month. But the ordeal is over, and it's time to move on.

While dealing with all of that during this past month, I did unify most of my businesses under one brand finally. My web hosting, web site maintenance, and accounting software businesses fall under one name, my US corporation. My contractors all now handle help desk tickets through our WHMCS system. It's all centralized now. My last step is to get the remaining customers out of Freshbooks and into WHMCS.

WHMCS is a great billing platform. I won't go much into this since it's a large topic. But if you do any eCommerce, you should check it out.

For the new year, I will be rewriting a lot of our accounting software products to prepare for mass marketing since we are one brand now. Also, since all of our customers will be in WHMCS, I will be able to "cross-market" all of them very easily, offering any of our other products and services. The trust has already been established and engrained. Lastly, I'll plan on launching an online school linked to our online community. It's a lot on my plate, but since my last day of consulting is March 31, 2020, I will have a lot more free time come April.

Retirement from the slowlane.
 
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Tubs

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UPDATE: I got a new profile name, in tribute to Shia Labeouf. Look it up. If you ever need good motivation or a laugh, he's your guy. But in all seriousness, "do it" is my mantra.

My most recent transaction was a bust. Luckily we were able to unwind it, and I didn't lose much money in the deal. But it was stressful, to say the least, especially with the amount of money on the table. I won't go into detail about it, but I will tell you that I've learned a lot about improving my vetting process of business opportunities. I am much stronger and hardened by this most recent experience, and much wiser as well. Many sleepless nights on this one for the past month. But the ordeal is over, and it's time to move on.

While dealing with all of that during this past month, I did unify most of my businesses under one brand finally. My web hosting, web site maintenance, and accounting software businesses fall under one name, my US corporation. My contractors all now handle help desk tickets through our WHMCS system. It's all centralized now. My last step is to get the remaining customers out of Freshbooks and into WHMCS.

WHMCS is a great billing platform. I won't go much into this since it's a large topic. But if you do any eCommerce, you should check it out.

For the new year, I will be rewriting a lot of our accounting software products to prepare for mass marketing since we are one brand now. Also, since all of our customers will be in WHMCS, I will be able to "cross-market" all of them very easily, offering any of our other products and services. The trust has already been established and engrained. Lastly, I'll plan on launching an online school linked to our online community. It's a lot on my plate, but since my last day of consulting is March 31, 2020, I will have a lot more free time come April.

Retirement from the slowlane.
Just do it! Make your dreams come true.
Yesterday you said tomorrow.
So just do it!
 

mojorisin

Contributor
Oct 6, 2019
26
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UPDATE: I got a new profile name, in tribute to Shia Labeouf. Look it up. If you ever need good motivation or a laugh, he's your guy. But in all seriousness, "do it" is my mantra.

My most recent transaction was a bust. Luckily we were able to unwind it, and I didn't lose much money in the deal. But it was stressful, to say the least, especially with the amount of money on the table. I won't go into detail about it, but I will tell you that I've learned a lot about improving my vetting process of business opportunities. I am much stronger and hardened by this most recent experience, and much wiser as well. Many sleepless nights on this one for the past month. But the ordeal is over, and it's time to move on.

While dealing with all of that during this past month, I did unify most of my businesses under one brand finally. My web hosting, web site maintenance, and accounting software businesses fall under one name, my US corporation. My contractors all now handle help desk tickets through our WHMCS system. It's all centralized now. My last step is to get the remaining customers out of Freshbooks and into WHMCS.

WHMCS is a great billing platform. I won't go much into this since it's a large topic. But if you do any eCommerce, you should check it out.

For the new year, I will be rewriting a lot of our accounting software products to prepare for mass marketing since we are one brand now. Also, since all of our customers will be in WHMCS, I will be able to "cross-market" all of them very easily, offering any of our other products and services. The trust has already been established and engrained. Lastly, I'll plan on launching an online school linked to our online community. It's a lot on my plate, but since my last day of consulting is March 31, 2020, I will have a lot more free time come April.

Retirement from the slowlane.
Richard, please share what new vetting you learned in the recent transaction.

I'm currently under contract for 10 days (transferred funds to escrow.com yesterday) buying my first online business. Domains transferred to me yesterday. Hosting transferred tomorrow.

Would love to learn from you before it's too late!
 
OP
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doitman

doitman

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Richard, please share what new vetting you learned in the recent transaction.

I'm currently under contract for 10 days (transferred funds to escrow.com yesterday) buying my first online business. Domains transferred to me yesterday. Hosting transferred tomorrow.

Would love to learn from you before it's too late!
Quick thing. Verify the customers. If you can speak with them or email them, do it. Do not just trust the seller on the accuracy of their data.
 

mojorisin

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Oct 6, 2019
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Quick thing. Verify the customers. If you can speak with them or email them, do it. Do not just trust the seller on the accuracy of their data.
Excellent point. And thank you for sharing. Sounds simple, but hard to make the ask (for me)... curious, what would you do in my situation.

The site I'm acquiring has 3 monthly subscription customers who generate 60% of the revenue (3 of 10 total currently). They have each renewed for 3+ years. My concern was that I would "rock the boat" if I come in asking a bunch of questions as a "new owner" vs. leaving things as is. They each just re-updated their Visa CC expiration dates, etc. Nov 2019. And we have 4 new customers just came online in Jan/Feb so my plan will be to diversify with more customers vs. all "eggs in single basket". I know there is risk in the 3 main customers, however I have a clear path to continue to add more lower paying customers to grow / diversify.

What you request to communicate with the primary 3? Or leave things as is, then contact them post sale? I also wonder if they even know the site is up for sale (this is an obvious one I can ask the seller right now before purchase).
 
OP
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doitman

doitman

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Possibly easy... If you have the domain and hosting tomorrow, can you email the customers from the site's official email address with some innocuous message like how everything is going, and if they need anything else?
 
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doitman

doitman

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UPDATE: 32 days until fast lane freedom! I gave my final notice to all of my managers. Yes I have a bunch. That will leave me with only one... My wife.

I've been busy building our new server infrastructure, full with firewalls and disaster recovery features galore. This is not only to beef up security of all of our online assets, but also to prep for our new business ventures, namely an online school. Such a massive undertaking in my opinion. But I'll have the necessary bandwidth come April.

I'll also have time for my family. 2 years is a long time to go all out. I've been doing 100 hour weeks lately, and I'm all done with it.

My rebranding under one name has been a success. Meaning we haven't lost any customers so far that I'm aware of. I think in April we will start a new marketing campaign both with cross marketing to our current customers of all of our services, and mass marketing. Maybe you can tell, but I'm very excited.
 

mojorisin

Contributor
Oct 6, 2019
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UPDATE: 32 days until fast lane freedom! I gave my final notice to all of my managers. Yes I have a bunch. That will leave me with only one... My wife.

I've been busy building our new server infrastructure, full with firewalls and disaster recovery features galore. This is not only to beef up security of all of our online assets, but also to prep for our new business ventures, namely an online school. Such a massive undertaking in my opinion. But I'll have the necessary bandwidth come April.

I'll also have time for my family. 2 years is a long time to go all out. I've been doing 100 hour weeks lately, and I'm all done with it.

My rebranding under one name has been a success. Meaning we haven't lost any customers so far that I'm aware of. I think in April we will start a new marketing campaign both with cross marketing to our current customers of all of our services, and mass marketing. Maybe you can tell, but I'm very excited.
Awesome, congrat's.

I did acquire my first internet biz inspired by your thread. I get monthly revenue for web site leads. Now the hard part, gotta dig in to figure out how to grow it!
 

The Abundant Man

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If I buy a business like a retail store or a cafe, but I want to be as hands off as possible

Can I just hire a manager ?
 

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Tubs

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If I buy a business like a retail store or a cafe, but I want to be as hands off as possible

Can I just hire a manager ?
Sounds like a good question my favorite resource can answer.

google.com
 

Bigguns50

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Hey @doitman ...I've read your entire post several times and am actively looking for an online business to buy. I need to start looking for an advertising agency for ad fill. Recommendations ?

Also, which Country, and it's probably here somewhere, would you recommend to look for writers ?

Thanks and keep up the success !
 

willk

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May 10, 2015
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UPDATE: 32 days until fast lane freedom! I gave my final notice to all of my managers. Yes I have a bunch. That will leave me with only one... My wife.

I've been busy building our new server infrastructure, full with firewalls and disaster recovery features galore. This is not only to beef up security of all of our online assets, but also to prep for our new business ventures, namely an online school. Such a massive undertaking in my opinion. But I'll have the necessary bandwidth come April.

I'll also have time for my family. 2 years is a long time to go all out. I've been doing 100 hour weeks lately, and I'm all done with it.

My rebranding under one name has been a success. Meaning we haven't lost any customers so far that I'm aware of. I think in April we will start a new marketing campaign both with cross marketing to our current customers of all of our services, and mass marketing. Maybe you can tell, but I'm very excited.
I have read all of your posts for several times. Very inspiring. I'm also in the mid 40's. I have a full-time job (running digital marketing at a startup), but have also started a side hustle consulting/coaching business. The side hustle is slow lane but it provides another source of income. I have been thinking about acquiring businesses as I have done turn-around at several employers. So, your story is both inspiring and relevant to my plan. Thank you for the generous sharing.

I wonder if I can ask you a few questions:
1) How are your acquired businesses performing during current Covic-19 crisis?
2) My plan is to use my consulting/coaching revenue to fund acquisition. But, with the Federal government stimulus package, there is some benefits for SBA loans. I'm curious to get your thought on using SBA loans to acquire businesses.
3) I have been monitoring BizBuySell and Flippa, but have a hard time to find businesses at the $20K-$40K range that fit the criteria you outline. It seems that drop-ship e-commerce businesses take up a large portion of them. But, I have been only looking at this for about a month. My question: How long did it take you to search before finding a good candidate for acquisition? (1 week? a weeks? A few months?)

Thanks in advance.
 

Bigguns50

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I have read all of your posts for several times. Very inspiring. I'm also in the mid 40's. I have a full-time job (running digital marketing at a startup), but have also started a side hustle consulting/coaching business. The side hustle is slow lane but it provides another source of income. I have been thinking about acquiring businesses as I have done turn-around at several employers. So, your story is both inspiring and relevant to my plan. Thank you for the generous sharing.

I wonder if I can ask you a few questions:
1) How are your acquired businesses performing during current Covic-19 crisis?
2) My plan is to use my consulting/coaching revenue to fund acquisition. But, with the Federal government stimulus package, there is some benefits for SBA loans. I'm curious to get your thought on using SBA loans to acquire businesses.
3) I have been monitoring BizBuySell and Flippa, but have a hard time to find businesses at the $20K-$40K range that fit the criteria you outline. It seems that drop-ship e-commerce businesses take up a large portion of them. But, I have been only looking at this for about a month. My question: How long did it take you to search before finding a good candidate for acquisition? (1 week? a weeks? A few months?)

Thanks in advance.
OP has been silent for a while. Hope all is well.
 

PapaGang

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This is an amazing post. I'm in the same place you were right now (no job, but I can consult) and I love the idea of acquiring a business to get some cash flow and help snowball my wealth equation. Thank you for sharing this.
 

juicey

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I think it's my first post in the forum, although I have been browsing for a couple of years now.... Great thread!
I am looking to potentially acquire a business, which main source of income is from AdSense and found that there may be issues when taking over the AdSense account.

How have you usually organised the switch in AdSense?
 

John_Wick

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I think it's my first post in the forum, although I have been browsing for a couple of years now.... Great thread!
I am looking to potentially acquire a business, which main source of income is from AdSense and found that there may be issues when taking over the AdSense account.

How have you usually organised the switch in AdSense?
Where did you see issues / what are the issues with taking over Adsense account? In my experience, it's a relatively easier revenue model to transfer. Usually, the seller would ask you to use you own Adsense account because Adsense is tied to a gmail account, and a gmail account is usually, but not always, a personal. (as a buyer I would be cautious with communicating with someone who uses a "business" name gmail, and not personal gmail.)

So, taking over is simply just a matter of using your own Adsense ID and replace that of the seller in the website you just acquired.

If that website is using auto ad placement from Adsense, then it's just one placement to update. But, if the website is static and manual, then you will have to find every single one of it and replace them.

If that wasn't cleaned-up / replaced-all properly, then adsense could have issues with showing ads.

I hope that helps.
 

John_Wick

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If I buy a business like a retail store or a cafe, but I want to be as hands off as possible

Can I just hire a manager ?
The answer is it depends on what your objectives are.

The long answer is I would recommend you to read Onward by Howard Schultz. There you can see what happens when Howard, the founder and 2-times CEO, first retired and let others run an already established big profitable brand. Growth becomes a bigger priority than what Starbucks sets out to be: coffee, customers, partners (e.g., store managers / barista / others). Then came the sub-prime mortgage crisis turned financial recession in 2007/08 where the price of starbucks dropped to $15 (today is above $100).

But, let's chill out and look at the short answer, if you are okay with a lower return, able to manage the execution risk, and could find a good manager, then yes, you should be able to be hands-off.
 

mimmo_pizzachef

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Lol, there is no secret sauce. It's all laid out in this thread. The playbook is written. Honestly, everything I've done up to this point like raising capital, setting up a strategy, targeting businesses based on that strategy, and then executing the simple strategy is all in here.

For the people that have read this thread, let me know if this all makes sense. And if there are any grey areas, or you're not sure about certain details, pm me. Lots of people have already done so with their thoughts, what businesses they have targeted, and asked for my opinions on those opportunities. Just get out there and start looking even if you are window shopping. You can save money in the meantime.

Ma prima di iniziare il targeting, assicurati ancora di venire con i tuoi criteri di ciò che la tua attività futura dovrebbe soddisfare. Quindi trova quelle opportunità e torna da me. Non lasciare che la mancanza di capitale, la mancanza di esperienza o la mancanza di fiducia ti impediscano di iniziare a cercare opportunità di acquisto.

Sembro una pubblicità! Ma te lo prometto, non ti sto vendendo niente. Diavolo, sto trascorrendo molto tempo a lavorare con così tanti di voi. Ma non sto chiedendo in cambio denaro o guadagno finanziario, né lo farò mai.

L'unica cosa che ti sto vendendo è francamente un modo per entrare nella corsia di sorpasso. E il mio unico compenso è vederti avere successo.
[/CITAZIONE]
Wow You are a very humble person, a man with a big heart .. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us
 

mimmo_pizzachef

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 30, 2019
3
1
18
Lol, there is no secret sauce. It's all laid out in this thread. The playbook is written. Honestly, everything I've done up to this point like raising capital, setting up a strategy, targeting businesses based on that strategy, and then executing the simple strategy is all in here.

For the people that have read this thread, let me know if this all makes sense. And if there are any grey areas, or you're not sure about certain details, pm me. Lots of people have already done so with their thoughts, what businesses they have targeted, and asked for my opinions on those opportunities. Just get out there and start looking even if you are window shopping. You can save money in the meantime.

Ma prima di iniziare il targeting, assicurati ancora di venire con i tuoi criteri di ciò che la tua attività futura dovrebbe soddisfare. Quindi trova quelle opportunità e torna da me. Non lasciare che la mancanza di capitale, la mancanza di esperienza o la mancanza di fiducia ti impediscano di iniziare a cercare opportunità di acquisto.

Sembro una pubblicità! Ma te lo prometto, non ti sto vendendo niente. Diavolo, sto trascorrendo molto tempo a lavorare con così tanti di voi. Ma non sto chiedendo in cambio denaro o guadagno finanziario, né lo farò mai.

L'unica cosa che ti sto vendendo è francamente un modo per entrare nella corsia di sorpasso. E il mio unico compenso è vederti avere successo.
[/CITAZIONE]
 

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cjyellott

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2020
1
1
11
Orange County
This thread is inspiring. Props @doitman for taking the time to take us through your journey.

I've been searching for a manufacturing or distribution company over the last ~5 months, but after reading this am considering an online business as well. I like the idea of diversifying in both physical and non-physical assets.

Time to come up with my target statement and search criteria!
 

imagination

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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.
Keep in mind that Odoo blows all traditional accounting software out of the water (and it's open source with a fantastic subscription based business model so they have money overflow) and the very probable upcoming move of the whole world to crypto will completely seal the fate of the traditional accounting as part of the "good old days".
 

Rwill

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How's things going? This thread was inspiring, I'd hate to see it die. Ant chance of an update?
 

USN-Ken

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Holy crap this was fun to read! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Next up: You start a coaching biz to help folks buy online businesses!
 
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doitman

doitman

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY UPDATE FROM AMERICA!

Hey, Friends! It has been a long while since I last posted. You can probably imagine with the state of the world, I have been busy. I'm sure many of you have been. I had been locked down in my home for a couple of months, so I took the opportunity to re-architect and re-code our whole accounting software product line. And now I'm done! I modernized the user interface since the original software was written over 10 years ago. And I added a bunch of features that are pretty common now with current software standards. I'm really proud of this.

My focus was on making the user experience much more enjoyable, increasing the performance and speed of the programs, and improving the support capabilities. And now that I have everything working, we are in BETA test mode. Once we clear that hurdle, then we market the new products to all new customers, something that I prevented from happening while we had the old platform. We have been cruising with our current customer base. Time to take the new company that I purchased over a year ago out for a worldly spin!

My online blog took a precipitous drop in traffic during the early COVID-19 days, but has since rebounded. And actually, the past week we have blown past daily traffic records that we achieved back in November of 2019. Yesterday, we had over 45K page views with revenue of $689. The previous day we had 40K views. Today, even though it's still the morning here on the East Coast of the US, I can tell that we will eclipse 40K views.

The timing of all of this has been perfect for me. I quit my last full-time consulting gig at the end of April 2020. The last paycheck cleared a couple weeks ago. So, now I'm basically flying without that safety net. I'm not sure what our revenue numbers will be this month, but next month, I'll try to post them. My guess is that we will be around $20K.

Don't get me wrong. I'm scared. But even with COVID-19 in this new world, we just keep chugging along. Maybe "scared" is too strong a word. "Anxious" is better suited. Even when things got dark a few months ago, I told myself that THAT was the time to hit the accelerator. When things get hard, in my opinion, that's when you double and triple your efforts. I mean it. I hope all of you took advantage of all of this "downtime", to advance your undertakings.
 

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