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From Michelin Chef to Website Optimizer

Mike Swigunski Updated on March 16, 2020

From Michelin Chef to Website Optimizer

With just five years of experience in online marketing, Doron Wolffberg has become a global force to be reckoned with.

A former Michelin chef, Doron worked at the finest restaurants in Europe and Israel, including Noma in Denmark.

Perhaps it was his talent for creating dishes from scratch and systemizing recipes that helped him catapult to success in the online world, where he now finds the exact combination of strategies and tactics to optimize sites to perfection. Maybe it had something to do with his degree in economics, which taught him business principles that he’s been able to apply when he buys and sells businesses. The answer is more likely a combination of the two, but his drive and passion have undoubtedly played a major role.

One thing is certain: After looking at job prospects, Doron knew that he was destined for a different path. He also thought it would be smart to diversify his revenue by venturing online. It turns out that he was right.

He began working at an online marketing agency in Israel and was able to gain considerable experience in the field. His first role was as an SEO account manager, but he was quickly promoted to head of SEO. When his firm began a new website acquisition division in 2017, Doron was eager to join that department.

From the beginning, Doron fell in love with the idea of working on Internet businesses. “What I love most about working online is the flexibility and being able to manage my own time,” adding, “You can work anywhere, and it’s so scalable.”

“When you’re working a day job, and you want more money, you’ve got to put in more hours, whereas in the online marketing space, if you want more money, you use your head, think, and strategize.”

Once Doron had been working in the industry for a couple of years, the team formalized a strategy to find alternative funding sources. Doron explained, “When all of your revenue is based on your clientele, it tends to fluctuate, and you’re constantly worried about bringing in new business and retaining existing clients. You might run into a situation where you have a couple of clients leaving at the same time, which causes issues with your cash flow.”

Despite Doron’s ultimate success, not every acquisition was profitable, especially some of the initial attempts. “When we were first starting, we bought different types of business models, and some of them failed completely. As marketers, we tend to think that since we know marketing, we immediately know everything there is to know about online business.”

While that confidence can take you far, it can also lead to mistakes, especially if you’re venturing into new territory. That’s what happened to Doron and his team, but they learned quickly from those early missteps.

“We bought an e-commerce site in the furniture space in a country where we weren’t really aware of the regulations.” Because they didn’t have the knowledge or expertise to run an e-commerce business, especially in a foreign country, they divested the company and sustained a loss.

Far from discouraged, Doron and his team went back to the drawing board to figure out the best types of companies to acquire. “As we progressed, we realized that, for us, what was working best were the content sites.”

Once they identified the niche that worked best for their team, Doron shifted his entire focus to acquiring content sites. “We’re obsessed with the optimization process for this single model, and that has proven to be a good decision that has helped us grow.”

Finding acquisitions can be competitive, especially for particular niches. Doron acknowledges that content sites can be competitive because they have high-profit potential and a relatively low workload compared to other business models. “You have to act quickly once you see a prospect that you like.”

Doron’s company does act quickly, and it has made a series of successful acquisitions. Once they proved that they could master this business model, they decided that it was time to sell some of their holdings. They wanted to be able to demonstrate that “we not only know how to buy businesses, but we also know how to flip and sell them for profit.”

What Doron’s experience has taught us is that you should identify your strengths and know your weaknesses before you buy a business. He leaves us with the following advice: “Focus on one thing that you can generate an advantage against the competition, especially starting off. Make sure you have one area, one vertical, or one niche that you know how to operate better than most, and then start there.”

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