Started in 2003, this business sells essential products to schools and libraries. Its straightforward business model is strengthened by an excellent reputation and high-quality products. Their sales are comprised of 75% proprietary products, with the remaining 25% generated through a royalty agreement with two international companies. While not used for marketing purposes, the business currently sources all of its products from the US, allowing for minimal inventory requirements and short lead times. The products are simple to manufacture and could easily be sourced from China to increase margins or marketed as “made in the USA.”
In 2020, the business was significantly impacted by COVID-19 as all schools and libraries were closed, with sales dropping by 48%. With zero paid marketing, digital or otherwise, the business bounced back and is up 65% in 2022. In their 70s and approaching retirement, the sellers have tried to keep the business at a manageable level and have not invested in growth. They have yet to explore selling on Amazon. Additional opportunities include revamping the very much out-of-date website, email marketing, social media, and attending industry trade shows.
Following their two decades of success, the husband-and-wife owners have decided to retire. They currently operate the business with no employees or contractors and put in about 30 hours per week each, working only 3-4 days per week. This time commitment could easily be reduced by hiring hourly warehouse staff. The business is not geographically dependent and could easily be relocated as the owners work from a home office and utilize 375 square feet of nearby self-storage space. The business is easy to run, and the owners are willing to train the buyers and provide post-sale closing support.
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Chuck built his first profitable website in 1996 at 18 years old. In college, he studied computer software engineering which taught him the skills to analyze search results and implement strategies that took advantage of the observations he made. Throughout his career of developing, managing, consulting, and investing in internet-based companies, Chuck has developed a keen ability to spot opportunities and develop strategies that lead to growth and profitability.
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