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WES S01E01: Justin Has an Ace Up His Sleeve

Justin Cooke July 28, 2015

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Welcome to the inaugural episode of Web Equity Show, the podcast dedicated to providing successful entrepreneurs with information and resources to help leverage their capital, buy the right business and maximize sales in their web portfolio. We’re really excited to publish the show live for all of the listeners out there! Without further ado, here’s the first episode…

On this episode, your hosts Justin Cooke, co-founder of Empire Flippers, and Ace Chapman, an exceptional business acquisition specialist, talk about the motivation behind starting the Web Equity Show and what you can expect to get out of it. Listen in to find out how by merging online and offline experience, Ace and Justin can help you make awesome entrepreneurial decisions, achieve next-level results, and help you come out a winner!

Listen To The Full Interview:

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • What Web Equity Show is all about.
  • A sneak peek at the topics coming up on the show.
  • Justin’s and Ace’s backgrounds and goals with Web Equity Show.
  • Ace’s story of buying his first profitable online business at 19 years old.
  • Justin’s journey to becoming the Empire Flipper.
  • What you can expect to get out of this show.
  • Some killer tools you can start using today.

Interested in Buying or Selling? Click to Create Your Account


Featured On The Show:

Justin Cooke:
Everyone talks about, how to build a business or start your entrepreneurial dream or whatever. I can just see you like pulling your hair out going, “No!”, you can buy a business it’s already making money.

Speaker 2:
Buying and selling businesses just got a lot easier. Welcome to the Web Equity show, where thousands of successful entrepreneurs go to learn about buying, growing and selling online businesses. Your host Justin Cook and Ace Chapman share their real life advice examples, and expert interviews to help you build and grow your own online portfolio. Now to your hosts Justin and Ace.

Justin Cooke:
Welcome to the Web Equity show, I’m your host Justin Cook and I’m here with my co-host, Ace Chapman. What’s going on Ace, how you doing man?

Ace Chapman:
I am excellent man, first show, I’m excited to get this thing rolling.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah buddy I’m excited too. I’ve done these podcasts before and always look back at my first episode, and I’m like, “oh god man should we redo it, is it good enough?”. So I’m hoping we won’t do that here, but we are gonna get into a little bit of history, you know kinda of our history and what we’re all about. We’re gonna talk about the show, and kind of what we’re gonna get into over the course of the next few weeks, if you wanna follow along with us. And I think it’s gonna be really exciting man.

Ace Chapman:
I agree, I agree, I’m looking at kind of our plan for some of the shows coming up, and a lot of it hit the core of the questions, and emails and tweets and all this stuff, that I hear from folks that are trying to figure out what is the deal with all this Web Equity stuff.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah I hate to be to basic here, but it’s helpful for new listeners, people that are new to investing in websites and online businesses and stuff, for you to kinda, break it down man. So talk a little bit about Web Equity and what that means to us.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, you know as I think about Web Equity, I can’t help but go all the way back. I’ve had two books that have been, real paradigm shift for me. One of them was The 4-Hour Workweek, I think a lot of people listen to this show will identify with that. And the other was Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And when I think about Web Equity, I think about the whole quadrant thing that Robert Kiyosaki came up with. And it starts on the left with the employee and self-employed, and then moves to the business and investor, what the thing about Web Equity is that unique opportunity to jump from very beginning to investor. And they’re a couple ways that you do that. One is maybe you do buy a internet business that you end up running as a business owner and maybe eventually turn it into a passive income asset, or maybe you just go directly to buying a passive income.

So at the very basic level, what Web Equity represents is, taking a website that’s already been built by somebody else. And they’ve made it through what I call the entrepreneurial gauntlet. ‘Cause we’ve all heard the statistics, it is really tough to get to profitability without failing. And so, it’s an opportunity to buy the business that has succeeding and made their first dollar, and moved on to profitability in their business. You come in, buy that business or even invest in owning a portion of it, and start to get some monthly cash flow. And I think that is the real difference between Web Equity and going and buying something on the stock market, and getting a piece of equity. What these deals represent is cash flow, it’s hard to pay your bills with capital gains, you know you’ve got bills every month. What you need is cash flow, and that’s why I’m excited for us to talk to more people about how this whole space works, because I think it meets a need and allows people to get into this world, without having to be the genius that makes it through that entrepreneurial gauntlet.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, I think when a lot of people think about investing in, online businesses. They’re thinking, “oh you know I’ll buy some shares of Facebook”, or they think about these, billion dollar companies, and they’re gonna get small gains on their investments, and their stock ownership, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. So what those guys are doing, what those very large companies are doing on a very large scale, are buying up other start-ups, buying up tech, buying up entrepreneurs in their space and then enveloping them. Bringing them into their company and what we want to talk about I think on this show is how you can do that, in that 5, 6, and 7 figure range.

So if you own a pet store, an online pet store and you see other websites that are kind of in your space and you want to bring them in, either you like their kind of marketing channel or you like their product offering. You know, looking at how to pick them up and bring them into your organization, as a strategic acquisition is interesting. And it may only be a $70,000 pick-up, we’re not talking billions of dollars. But it could significantly impact your ability as a company to grow, and you’re offering to your customers. I think that’s what really exciting about this me, is that it’s not this pie in the sky, one $10 billion company buying a $1 billion company, we’re talking real money, real people, buying up assets and online businesses I think can improve their cash flow as you said.

So, some of the specific topics we’re going to be getting into are things like, where to find these types of assets or websites for sale. How do you do diligence on these? How do you dig into them and make sure that they’re not scamming you, that the numbers aren’t inflated, that everything is as they say it is. Things like if you’re selling, how do you maximize the value of this asset sale, how do you improve the value 12 months, 6 months, 3 months leading into the sale? So these are all topics we want to cover in the show. We’re going to be getting into these in much more detail as we get along.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I’m very excited that this is going to be an interactive show. It’s gonna be something where the listeners can ask us specific questions, we’ll be able to talk a lot and answer those questions. And it’ll be able to access us without having to jump on a call and that kind of thing, and one of the things that I’m even reluctant to call myself is an expert, but you look at Malcolm Gladwell definition and I think both of us have well surpassed 10,000 hours in this space, and I bought my very first business 16 years ago, that was a internet business back in the day, when that was a pretty rare thing.

And so we’re both bringing a lot of expertise, and the thing that excites me is it’s not something where either of us have read and book, and we’re talking about, done a few deals and we’re talking about it at any point probably between us we’re involved in 20 deals at a given time. So we’re gonna be talking from experience, but we’re also gonna be bringing in some other experts. We’re gonna be bringing accountants and attorneys and other buyers and sellers, because we also realize, as much as we know about the space and as involved as we are in working with other people, we love to get those outside perspectives and points of view.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah this isn’t something that, we’ve read a book or listened to some other podcasts and go, “hey we can talk about this stuff”, no these are things that we’re doing everyday and on a regular basis. We’re gonna share deals that we’re either working on, or that we’ve just previously completed. We can’t give away all the details all the time, ’cause there may be confidentiality agreements, and clients that aren’t okay with that. But for the clients are, we’ll be sharing those details with you, so you can hear about these actuals deals that we’re closing, the good and the bad that comes with them, and the deals that we’re involved in, and I think that will be helpful for our listeners.

The other thing, as you mentioned is, we’re gonna be answering questions. So it’s really hard to take every question that I get via email, or that we may get on the show via voicemail and answer them 1 on 1. But I think it provides a lot more value if we can take those questions and then share them publicly, and then answer them publicly, because if one persons asking, then there’s many others that have that same question. So I think that’ll be really helpful, buddy let’s get into your background a little bit, so tell me a little bit about yourself today, and kind of why you’re hosting this show, kind of what your goals are and where you’re at today.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, so as I’ve mentioned, we buy and sell businesses, so on the first thing that I’m spending time doing is managing my own portfolio of businesses and investing in other deals, and every once in a while, I’m still buying businesses. I don’t have as much time to put into running the business as I used to and kind of being the operator, but when there’s passive deals that I can kind of hire somebody to run then, I really love doing that. The other thing that I started doing 6 years ago, is working with clients who are interested in doing this stuff as well.

And as you know Justin, I still work in the offline as well as the internet and web equity world. And I help people kind of from beginning to end. I help them find the business, do diligence, and do the things that we’re talking about coming with evaluation and put together the financing to buy the business, and over the last 6 years, we’ve helped over 100 folks buy businesses, and that’s been exciting. But thing that’s really needed and the reason that I do it, and hopefully the thing that comes from this is, more deals. I love and one of the reasons I work with clients is, I invest in their businesses and so the more people that I can come in contact with, and the more opportunities, the more opportunities for me to find really get investments, and great people that I want to work with along side.

Justin Cooke:
Well you do both, offline and online deals, and just between you and our company, I mean we’ve done multiple 6 figured deals, maybe getting close to 7 figures in total, no I’d say probably mid 6 figures or something. So I know that we’ve done some business together, and that’s only the deals that you’ve done with our company. And I know you’re doing a lot of deals outside of there. So you’re a full on business broker man, you’ve got your fingers in a lot of pies, you’re involved in a lot of deals, you’ve got equity stakes and even more deals.

But, that may be intimidating to someone that’s looking to just kind of get started in buying and selling websites, I’ve had people ask me they’re like, “how do yo become a broker?” And then I’m like well, you could do this, and you could do this, and they kind of glaze over and the look on their face, they’re like, “uh that sounds kinda difficult”, so you weren’t always that though man, like that’s not how you started, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about kind of like your first deal and how you got into this whole, like buying assets and businesses game.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, the funny thing about where we are now is, and in this world, in the last couple months, I’ve done everything from $3.2 million deal that we were putting together and helping a past clients sell, down to a like $20,000 deal that we’re in the process we’re doing right now with you guys. And so, there’s this wide spectrum which creates a lot of excitement and a lot of new experiences and all of that. But you’re exactly right, 16 years ago, a 19 year old kid, who was definitely a business nerd, nerd enough to spend kind of my time outside of class, playing around on online stock market simulators, and there was one simulator that I really loved, and was disappointed that it was always crashing and always had issues and I would contact them, other customers and users would contact them.

You’d never hear from them, so summer was coming up, and I thought man what a great it’d be to try to intern with this business, and maybe help them improve it ’cause they’re obviously having some huge issues. So I reach out to them, to find out if they had a internship program, if I could come in as a intern and help them out. After a couple weeks, I get a email back, and they say, “hey actually this is project that we’re not interested in anymore, we want to sell it, would you be interested in buying it”. And so I’m like, okay that escalated really quickly …

Justin Cooke:
That’s funny, so you wanted do [inaudible 00:11:54] for these guys ’cause you liked what they were doing, and they came back and said hey, why don’t you just buy it from us. That’s kind of, that’s an interesting approach, I wonder why were they thinking that, the person that wants to come work there, or like work for them, would even come close to having the cash to buy them out. That seems, I wouldn’t even ask, that’s interesting that they asked that of you.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I don’t know if it was because, I was at a really expensive university at that point, they didn’t probably know that I got a full ride, and that was the only reason I was there, but I expressed the passion that I had for their business, and in my email, I also expressed some of the plans, and I think, I took ownership of the business, and I think that’s the only reason, because they had no other reason to think, “okay this kid could actually buy the business”, I think a lot of it was, just the fact, one they were pretty young, they were in their late 20’s and me telling them my plans for the business and the potential I thought it had and all of that, they’re like “okay wow this guy, maybe he can come up with the cash”, and what I wrote back saying yeah, I was thinking maybe they’re gonna give me this amazing deal, and they wrote back and said $70,000, you know I’m looking at my bank account, I’ve got $3,000, that’s a … $70,000 might as well be a million.

Justin Cooke:
So why didn’t you walk … okay so it’s $70,000 you’ve got 3. You don’t even wanna come back and ask them if they’ll sell it for 3, ’cause you’d sound like an asshole right? Like I can’t do that, so how did you end up getting this deal done, and like what struct you as this is still a doable deal, like why did that even cross your mind?

Ace Chapman:
Well I really wanted it, like I said I had an idea of what the potential for this business could be. And so, I really just wanted the deal, so my first reaction was yeah let me figure out if I could do it. The thing that I didn’t know at that point was, what a great deal it was, so after a few days, of thinking, okay there’s no way I’m going to be able to do this. I decided to go back to them, and ask them if they would finance half of it. So at that point, if I would’ve known a lot about this, and I find this with my clients, I had a guy, one of my clients in Toronto, who just negotiated a deal that was a lot more aggressive that I felt that the seller would’ve accepted. And so it was the case back then where I was just naive enough to ask for the outrageous.

Now they were selling me the deal at 1 times earnings, so anybody in the space understands that, on average these businesses would go from 2 and a half times the cash flow, that’s coming into the business on an annual basis. They were already selling it to me at 1 times earnings, so for me to come back and ask them to finance half of it, was pretty outrageous, but they ended up saying yes. And after I still had an outrageous amount of money to come up with. I found a buddy of mine at my college, who loved the business as well, he obviously was a big a nerd as I was, and he decided to put some equity money in it and then I really went out on the limb. I had to keep this a total secret from my parents or they would’ve strangled me. I went and applied for some credit cards-

Justin Cooke:
Wow-

Ace Chapman:
And I used the rest of that, to kind of make up that about $12,000 difference, and the good news is, it totally worked out. They had the name of the site, just to tell you a few of the changes I made, well it was makingstockcash.com, I changed it to Coolwallstreet we ended up growing the user base from 10,000 users to a quarter million in 70 countries, so it was a really great experience. Now one of the things that had a lasting impression on me, was I held on to it too long, so I held on to it after the bust, I could’ve had a 7 figure exit, had a low 6 figure exit and that was something where, it probably made me a little trigger happy and probably one of the reasons that over the last 16 years since, I’ve bought and sold 14 offline businesses and dozens and dozens of internet businesses. So I’m probably trigger happy because of that initial experience.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, I think so. So first off there’s a lot to unpack there man, like you went through a bunch. I’ll just say though that buying a business for, ultimately you only put up $35,000 cash and it’s bringing in $6,000 a month, is a hell of a deal right? I mean-

Ace Chapman:
Yeah-

Justin Cooke:
You’d take that in a heartbeat today-

Ace Chapman:
Definitely-

Justin Cooke:
[inaudible 00:16:22] son where do I send the money, let’s do it. But yeah that’s pretty cool, so you got another buddy, and how much equity stake did he give, did he put up half the cash, half the $35,000?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah he put up half the $35,000, he ended up with a third of the business, so I just went to him like an investor, “hey I’m doing this deal,” even though he put up about half of that, he was … I was gonna put in a little bit more work.

Justin Cooke:
It’s passive. Yeah or more passive for him, well you were gonna be the prime operator of the business.

Ace Chapman:
Exactly, exactly, and he brought to the table some technical ability, and that kinda thing. Yeah it was great opportunity for him as well.

Justin Cooke:
That’s funny man, I wonder how that would’ve changed that deal if it would’ve went to crap. Would we be on the show today man? Like I know you’ve done a bunch of deals since then, but like, that kind of first one that you’ve kind of got your feet wet, and that kinda jumped in right it got you started. And you said okay, you were probably a little more bold on the next deals. I know that for some people, that sounds scary as hell.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah.

Justin Cooke:
Like okay I’m gonna take a bunch of credit card debt and I’m gonna bring in this buddy on this deal, if it goes to crap, I feel really bad for my buddy, and that’s, I don’t know, that’s pretty interesting man. I’d say it’s a ballsy approach to doing your first deal, and I know that you’ve done a lot since then. I think you’ve, I’m sure you’ve learned a lot in terms of like how to finance deals now, how to structure them in a way that, that makes sense for you, that makes sense for the seller, and gets both the buyer and the seller what they want.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, well the other thing, in addition to making me really kind of a somebody who saw that, okay you can build something and eventually sell it down the line and get that equity out as cash. The other thing that I realized, very quickly is after I sold that business and started to look for my next deal, where I was going to be able to put $3,500 up and make $6,000 a month, I realize of wow, that’s not a normal thing, so you really have to hustle to find those kinds of opportunities. But because I knew that they existed I started to really focus on how do I find more deals like that. And that’s been a big part of our strategies since then.

And then the other thing is it did allow me to understand, that there are some sellers out there that are motivated enough, or maybe just attached enough that they’re willing to do these really outrageous structures and help you as the buyer get the deal done, so yeah. So Justin tell me a little bit about where you guys are now, I love your business, we do a lot of business together but tell the listeners about what you guys are up to.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah man, so when you’re saying you guys, so that the listeners know, I have a business partner and we run a company called Empire Flippers, over at empireflippers.com, we run a website brokerage, we help people buy and sell websites to date we’ve done, I think a little over $3 million in total sales. And we’re cruising recently to about 3 to $400,000 a month in volume. So we’re generally dealing with a 5, 6 and low 7 figure sites, we’re starting to get into that today, and we’ve also got a podcast, the empire podcast. We’ve done over 600,000 downloads, we’ve got about 130 episodes online. So we’ve done a good I think at producing some content in the space on buying and selling websites and online businesses.

But we didn’t start doing that either right? That’s not how we started off with this business brokerage. Joe and I both worked for an SCO company, Joe my business partner, and we worked for an SCO company in the U.S. and we were mid-level managers and we’d had some previous experience with outsourcing, before outsourcing was popular and we end up setting up a team in the Philippians and ultimately, we ended up outsourcing ourselves to the Philippians, setting up a outsourcing company that worked with our previous employer.

So we became contractors for our previous employer and were providing back in services to them, and we started getting into this weird little game of building niche websites, so, you know keyword research and trying to find out what people are searching for on Google. Delivering sites that matched what they were searching for, and then had advertisements on them via Google Adsense. So people would search, they’d find our site, they would, scroll through our site and if they clicked an advertisement, we would get paid, anywhere for 20 cents to a buck fifty let’s say. And these sites were small, they’d earn $8 a month, $20 a month in some cases, and then the bigger wins would earn $100, $200 a month.

And we started building these out, and it sucked at first and didn’t work and then it started working, it started making more and more money. We said, “wow we’re on to something here, you know I wonder would people buy these?” Right, we realized we wanted to build more and more of these, and grow this side of our business, which was still at this point, just kind of like a side gig for us. And we said we wonder if people would buy these. So we started offering these for sale, “hey look we’ve got a website it’s been earning a yeah and a half, it’s earning $300 a month, does anyone want to buy it”, and you know people would buy it for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 thousand dollars, which allowed us to front load all that cash. Then reinvest it into building out more of those sites.

So I sold this site that cost me, let’s say $50 to $100 to make, I had sold it for 2 or $3,000. I could create a whole lot more of those sites, and start reinvesting in that side of our business. So we found a real win in selling those assets off. And then we started talking about it online, and our blog and our podcasts, we just started telling people exactly how we did it. The exact steps and topics and niches we were searching for and it really resonated with people, who were like wow, I can, I’d like to try that too. And so we kind of built a name for ourselves, and then people started asking us, “hey you’re selling these sites can I sell them with you?”, and ultimately we ended up letting people sell their sites with us and that’s kind of how we got into the brokering side. We were helping people sell their sites to buyers that were interested in buying our sites, and we started moving our way up from selling 4 figure sites, to 5 figure and 6 figure websites and now heading into 7 figure territory, so yeah, that’s kind of how we got started.

We got started actually building the sites ourselves, so I’ve got a special place in my heart for people that are looking to build out niche sites from scratch and do all the keyword research and I feel their pain on like, when sites suck and they don’t work, and they’re not as fantastic as they wanted it to be. I was there man, I feel that.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, and I think that gives you a lot of insight, and that’s one of the things that’s weird for me is that I’ve never been on the builders side. I kinda got the hint early where we closed on a Tuesday, and I remember the very day money profits were deposited into my back account on a Wednesday and it’s been hard every since to think, “oh man, I’m gonna try to start something from scratch, and wait months and then eventually make money”, so that gives you a different level of insight and being able to identify with the builders and sellers.

Justin Cooke:
Well builders is a cash poor, time rich game. So if you have time building sites is, well probably the only way you’re going to be able to go, but it’s also the best way because it doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it does, it will cost some of your sweat equity. So you’re gonna have to put a lot of time in building out this site, that doesn’t have too money to start. And so, I actually, I’m totally with you on the, “I’d rather buy sites that’s gone through the gauntlet”, and the gauntlet you’re talking about is, when someone builds a site from scratch, there’s a failure rate. Some of them just suck, and they never actually pop up right, they’re the poppy that never actually makes it. And so, for the ones that do, those are the ones that become interesting assets.

And a lot of time the sellers they just get either frustrated with the process or they finally got one that kind of makes some money, and they’re ready to move on to something else, or they’ve got something else that’s crushing it, they’d rather focus their time on. And they’ve got this small site or this small business that has been through the gauntlet as you mentioned it, and is in a great position to be picked up. And so I think stepping up and being able to buy those, having the cash to do that and skip all that time waste, is fantastic, it’s a fantastic approach. Now you could do either, and it just kinda depends on what your financial situation is and how much time you have available. But I think it’s a great way, if you’ve got the cash and you’re not time rich to get into the game.

Ace Chapman:
Absolutely, and so it’s important for folks to know, we are gonna talk a lot about the sellers side. We’ve been focused a little bit on the buyers side, but the sellers side is a huge part of this. Both of us have done obviously a lot of selling, I’ve sold a lot of businesses that I’ve bought, you’ve obviously built and sold and helped a lot of clients sell their businesses. And it’s important to understand some of the ways that you can improve value and maximize what you’re able to get for your business if you do, do all the work to make it through that gauntlet, hats off to the people that make that happen, and so when you do make that happen, don’t leave money on the table when you sell that business, we’re gonna talk a lot about that.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, that’s good, ’cause there’s always two side of the coin right? On the one hand I could say Ace, you’re a little bit of a vulture, you just kinda sit around and then someone’s got some business that’s just about to make it and you go and you steal the fruit from the baby man. Like, “oh, you got little piece of food, I’m taking it from you”, right? So you could be viewed that way, and definitely I think, if you’re on the sell side, it could be viewed that way. But on the buy side, you’re like look that’s a fantastic buy I’m always looking for those types of deals so. Yeah you can’t have it both ways, right. You can’t say oh this is a ridiculously great deal for the buyer, ’cause it’s probably a bad deal for the seller and so we’re gonna talk about what that balance is, and how you can get into that, we’ll talk about that in some future episodes but let’s talk a little bit about why we’re doing this show overall.

Ace Chapman:
Absolutely, well I wanna talk about why we’re doing the show, but it’s important to realize that if I am a vulture I am a very happy friendly vulture.

Justin Cooke:
Who are those guys that the foreclosures or whatever that like they sweep in and try to snatch your home and you’re going into foreclosure. I saw this interview with this guy and he was doing that with homes, and like I was just like wow man what a jerk, but I don’t feel like, at least we’re not going after businesses that are on their last leg, I mean those opportunities pop up, but often, it’s like they’re either kinda being neglected, ’cause the persons move on or, they kind of just popped up and this person has some other interest, or they have some other things they’re working on. I’ve rarely seen a deal where, they just desperately need it and the buyer steps in, or I don’t know, I’m representing the seller often, so either we saw that, I’m not sure that I would project that in terms of the situation’s the sellers in, so yeah.

Ace Chapman:
Absolutely, so why are we doing this show. First of all, I’ve realized over the last 16 years, I mean it’s amazing to me, I think early on, I kept thinking, man people are gonna realize that this whole buying businesses thing is an amazing investment so, I almost for the first 5 years of me buying businesses and slowly selling them, and eventually meeting my mentor who flips hospitals, I felt like, okay eventually the words gonna get out, so I gotta do these deals quietly, so that nobody realizes that there’s this huge opportunity to make this amazing return on your money, compared to real estate, or the stock market or anything else. And there’s literally no comparison at all.

So it was a shock to me like a decade later you look at every blog, every magazine that’s about entrepreneurship, all the books on the bookshelf, and 99.9% of it is all about starting from scratch. And you have this tiny little sliver that’s like oh or you can buy one of the millions of businesses that have already made it, and kind of jump over that entrepreneurial Gauntlet, or that entrepreneurial lottery that you have to go through if you’re gonna start from scratch. And so that was the point where I realized, okay wow I probably should start spreading the word about this, and so a lot of this because one there isn’t a lot of information out there. There’s a little bit of information from folks that aren’t really in the trenches, especially to the depth that we’ve been in the trenches. And so when Justin brought up the idea of starting this, I’m like yeah, there’s a huge huge need so that was really the first reasoning in why I do everything that I’m doing right now.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah I think it’s interesting that you mentioned that everyone talks about how to build a business, or start your entrepreneurial dream or whatever and I can just see you like pulling your hair out going, “no!”, you can buy a business that’s already making money. Like that’s better, it’s cash flowing. Like why not start there, and there are some down sides so, we’re gonna talk about that of course, some of the downsides that comes with buying a business instead of starting one. When you’re starting it, you know all the tech, everything is, all the processes are yours from the ground up but I think that you can leap frog or piggy back on some of the success someone’s already had and made it through the gauntlet and you’re gonna have a lot more success for yourself.

Yeah and I agree with you that, the educational content for buying and selling these businesses just it’s not there, it’s not there at the level it should be and so, I’ve had you, on the Empire podcast a couple of times, and we talked, and I thought they were great discussions, I was like I love this guy Ace, we’ve done business together, there’s some trust base there. And I was like, you’re someone I’d love to talk to on a podcast, I’d love to kind of dig into these topics with, because you’re in the trenches, you’re actually doing this. We’re working out deals together, we’re doing deals separately, we have I think a lot of things to share, and we’re passionate about it too, like you’re saying don’t build these sites from scratch, don’t build these businesses from scratch, buy one, you really mean that.

I think it’s funny that you mentioned, before you were trying to keep quiet about it. Like you didn’t want to let that cat out the bag, or let the secret out. And I felt that same way, I’d say 10 years ago in business. It’s like when you have something that’s working you don’t tell anyone about it, and I’ve done a full 180 on that, like I’m all for letting the cat out the bag. I’m all for talking about what you’re working on, your successes and failures, I’ve found so much value in that. I’ve found value for people that are listening to that, and people connect with me, because I am so open and honest about that sharing. And I think, I’ve totally switched, so I see where you’re coming from and now why you’re probably more interested in doing this podcast. You probably wouldn’t have done it, 10 years ago, and I definitely wouldn’t have.

Ace Chapman:
Absolutely, and it’s just amazing to me that, even at this point more people aren’t talking about it. But I’m excited I think because of the internet businesses is bringing a lot more attention to this whole space.

Justin Cooke:
Well I think, I really want for us to be able to provide a voice for the industry, right? And we’ve talked about this before, it’s a very small niche industry. But there are amazing investment opportunities, both for people who’ve never heard of this, and then I think there’s opportunities for those who are already in the business. So other brokers, other independents, other partners that are buying and selling sites already, to kind of get in, to become a part of the community. Because we work with these professionals that buy and sell businesses, maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, they’re doing in transactions. But you know they don’t know anyone else that’s in the business, because it’s so niche, you’re not gonna like go to the grocery store and like, “hey what do you do?”, “oh I buy and sell businesses,” “oh really,” “yeah me too, well that’s so great” … That never happens. That never happens.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah.

Justin Cooke:
So on this sorta conference or something so I think providing kind of a community and an outlet for people to get together and kind of talk about these things, I think it will be really interesting, and I, it’s something I really hope comes out of this podcast. So I’d love to be apart of it.

Ace Chapman:
Well I’ve seen over the last 6 years of working with clients and helping to connect people, that have some kind of synergistic or benefit where they can work together and even just getting together in meet ups and that kind of thing. I’ve benefited even from investing and creating joint ventures between clients, and even just learning from the network of business buyers that we’ve built, it just is invaluable and there’s a reason that every industry has these annual kind of conferences and those kinds of things is because you benefit from connecting and learning from other people in your space. So I’m excited to build a even bigger community around this whole concept.

Justin Cooke:
Absolutely man, so I don’t want this episode to just turn into, this is Ace this is Justin, this is our background, this is what the show’s gonna be about. I want to provide some actual tools right away that our listeners can use and get some value out of so, anyone listening to this right now, head over to Webequityshow.com/gift and pickup a website buyers checklist and a sellers timeline, that’s out gift to you, free, just for listening to this podcast and checking it out, we really appreciate your checking out our brand new podcast. In the next episode we’re gonna be digging into the exact steps you can take to your business for a sale, and I think buyers should pay attention as well, because they can see whether the sellers are actually following the steps, if they’re not, find a way to get that deal on the cheap. Anyway thank you so much for listening to the show, you can check us out at Webequityshow.com if you want to find out more information about the show, or just come by and say hi.

Speaker 2:
Thanks for listening to the Web Equity show. Now is your chance to be a part of the action. Go to www.webequityshow.com/gift and send us your business acquisition or exit question and have it answered on the show.

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Discussion

  • Joe Burrill says:

    Hey Justin and ace,
    Fantastic first episode, I have been following on empireflippers for a while now and really love the stuff there.
    I was a bit disappointed when I found the free gift has already been taken down though.
    Anyways, keep up the awesome work 🙂
    Joe

    • Thanks, Joe!

      The free gift wasn’t taken down – it just hasn’t been put up yet! Will be coming soon. If you’re on the list, you’ll get it when it’s ready to go!

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