Customer Success Story: Six-Figure Exit
There’s a myth about owning online businesses that we’d like to dispel…
Most people think that if you run an online business, you’re a natural-born entrepreneur who has to spend a dozen of hours in front of a computer screen every day.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and Danail Donchev is a perfect example of what’s possible with a little planning.
Danail owns Fortune Lords, a digital marketing agency that helps companies get more traffic to their sites by using SEO (search engine optimization). While Danail runs Fortune Lords full-time, he also works on independent passion projects, including buying and selling websites.
As Danail grew his agency, he realized he had extra time to pursue other business ventures. His advice: “If you have optimized processes, you can scale up and work on multiple projects [at the same time]. You can hire subcontractors or a remote team, which can be a cheaper solution than hiring locally.”
A Family Business
He has even hired a few of his family members, including his wife. During his most recent Empire Flippers transaction, Danail’s wife lent him support and assisted with the companies social media. “I’m trying to bring as many family members as possible into our agency.” With a laugh, he also adds that he has “trust issues” for outside hires.
Working with your life partner has pros and cons, but Danail is quick to point out that there are far more positives than negatives. He does caution, “It’s hard to draw the line between business and personal.” The couple works from home and while traveling. “Because we work in the same space, it’s a bit hard to draw the line where your workday ends, and the relationship starts.”
Still, Danail is grateful for the lifestyle that running his own business affords him. “It gives you the freedom to work on your own terms at the time you want.” This is particularly true for Danail and his wife, who spend much of the year traveling. He explains, “My wife and I like to travel a lot, so for example, we can spend two months in Greece every year, and I can do a few hours of work every day.”
He says his favorite aspects of running an online business are location independence and not having a daily commute. “My office is next to my bedroom.”
Knowing When to Sell
Though there’s no official right or wrong time to sell a business, finding that sweet spot where you can get the maximum value without selling too early can be a nerve-wracking challenge. In one venture, Danail ran a business for 12 months and then sold it. “My wife and I decided that we weren’t patient enough, and we would probably be better off selling the business.”
Before deciding to sell, Danail used our valuation tool to understand what his business was worth. “I checked the price of the website every few weeks, so it was a good benchmark to know what price you could get. You get a rough idea of what you can expect. It’s an awesome tool.”
Still, he had some reservations. “We weren’t 100% sure that we were up for a sale. The business was profitable. It was promising, and it had [the] potential to 2x or 3x, or even more.”
Eventually, Danail’s desire for adventure won out. “I have this need to talk about any new venture daily.” With his wife as an active partner in his business, he says, “I can talk about online businesses and opportunities all the time.”
Danail also warns that the higher the value of your business, the longer it can take to sell: “I was a bit over-optimistic about how long the deal would take. If you’re selling a six-figure business and up, you should be prepared for it to take two to three months for the business to sell and the deal to be finalized.”
Despite feeling somewhat impatient at times, Danail is glad he found a partner that helped him get top dollar for his business. He says, “[With Empire Flippers], you feel like you have people who’ve got your back. So, you get this feeling of trust, that someone is working hard to make the deal for you.”