How Four Entrepreneurs Made Their Dreams Come True with Empire Flippers
Ace Chapman summarized it best when he said working with Empire Flippers is like getting the gift of time.
“To be able to skip over the typical entrepreneurial journey of spending six months, 12 months, two years trying to figure out how to make a business work is invaluable,” he tells us.
The road to becoming an entrepreneur can be long and bumpy. It takes passion, motivation timing, resources and often, a lot of capital. You’ve got to be willing to put your head down and work hard, even when things look bleak. But hard work and desire aren’t enough on their own. Successful entrepreneurs identify opportunities with hawk-like precision, and they have sharp instincts to separate the unviable offers from the gold mines.
No matter how precise your instincts are, there are always going to be blind spots and pitfalls. While you can’t necessarily avoid them all, with a little help, you can increase your chances of success.
In this article, we’re highlighting four entrepreneurs from vastly different backgrounds. What they all have in common is a desire to buy, grow, and sometimes sell businesses without the headaches and hassles of doing it on their own. Despite their differences, their stories all have distinct similarities, especially when the entrepreneurs discuss the processes involved in buying an Internet business.
Take Smart Shortcuts
While some entrepreneurs enjoy the journey of building something from scratch, others prefer acquiring a ready-made, profitable business so they can start making money from day one. Since 2011, Ace has amassed a portfolio of over 100 Internet properties, and he also runs an online investment firm.
“The key is understanding what you’re buying,” he says, “and one of the things I like about Empire [Flippers] is that they make sure, to the best of their ability, that the seller isn’t pulling anything fraudulent.”
Know the Financials
Other veteran Empire Flipper customers agree wholeheartedly. Travis Jamison reached entrepreneur status seven years ago and has bought multiple businesses, including several in the six-figure range.
“Knowing that the financials are solid is what really counts,” he says. “Some of the numbers can be faked. Empire Flippers are validating that the real revenue is there. The real profits are there.”
Travis acknowledges that he could vet businesses himself, but he much prefers to let us do the heavy lifting.
“Empire Flippers make it easy for me to buy companies. I can look at a business, and they’ve evaluated all the numbers; they’ve evaluated the health of the business. I can take a snapshot in 10 seconds. If I were to do that myself, it would take one of my staff a day.”
After Travis buys a business, all the migration work is taken off his plate, too. Discussing his most recent acquisition, he says, “The migrations team took care of it all. They went and changed out the AdSense code. They changed out the affiliate links, and they changed the log-ins. I didn’t have to do any of this stuff.”
Set Realistic Expectations
The time-saving aspect of working with a curated marketplace like Empire Flippers is what entrepreneurs looking to scale appreciate most. John Hefter, Thrasio’s VP creative and brand, is on a rapid path to building his own empire. He and his team now own 25 brands, all purchased within a 15-month period. Their average acquisition rate is two or three businesses a month.
“One of the reasons I like working with Empire Flippers so much is they set realistic expectations for their sellers,” he says, noting that this allows for respect, transparency, and cooperation throughout the entire buying and selling process. “Whenever we have an Empire deal, I just know that things are going to go relatively smoothly.”
Keep It Simple
Another Empire Flippers repeat customer, Felipe Vasconcelos, echoes that experience. Even before he graduated from business school, he was an entrepreneur. His first business involved selling kites to kids in his neighborhood, and he never lost sight of achieving his entrepreneurial dream.
“I would not trade being an entrepreneur for corporate life,” he says. “Not in a million years.”
Before buying a business with Empire Flippers, he looked at other marketplaces, but he was ultimately drawn to us.
“The first time that I bought a business from Empire Flippers, I was looking for a business that fit my skill sets. They made the process so much smoother. The process was talking to the seller, going through the contract, putting down a deposit, and receiving the business. That’s it.”
While everyone loves to talk about the perks of being an entrepreneur, fewer people are willing to address the risks. Seeing both the potential upsides and the worst-case scenarios is vital. Internet businesses can be vulnerable to economic downturns, disruptive technology, and intense competition.
Ace experienced that with his first business venture (pre-Empire Flippers), which he describes as a “crushing failure.” His business was a casualty of the dotcom bubble in 2001. Eighteen years later, he’s learned a lot of valuable lessons, including the importance of relationships, whether that’s with investors, clients, brokers, or sellers. As a result, he wants to ensure that the people he works with are in it for the “long haul.”
Ace knows we are here to stay and he can count on us!
Thinking about buying or selling a business? Schedule a free criteria call today.