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How Dan Built and Sold His SaaS Business
Dan Cooperstock was the Founder of Cooperstock Software (Software4NonProfits.com), which writes and sells Windows programs for tracking donors, contributions, and bookkeeping. He previously held senior roles in software and programming companies, including Senior Software Developer for Quest Software, Senior Technical Consultant for HEPCOE Credit Union, and Senior Systems Developer for CIBC Wood Gundy Securities. Dan is an active member, having held various leadership positions for both local and national bodies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Dan received his bachelor’s in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Toronto, his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford, and his master’s in computer science from the University of Toronto.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:27] How Dan Cooperstock created software for churches and charities to solve their technology deficiencies
- [07:19] Dan details programming software that continues to evolve and assist clients
- [12:12] Why a buyer interview is a crucial step in the exiting process
- [17:44] Dan shares his due diligence conversations with potential buyers
- [22:53] Ways to balance profit and loss by offering paid upgrades for your service
- [27:09] Dan talks about partnering with the buyers of his business so he can continue to serve the clients
- [32:59] Why exiting your business can free up the time to make improvements
In this episode…
You’ve spent years building your business, so when it comes time to sell it, how can you ensure it will be in the right hands? What steps can you take to build a transferable company geared toward growth?
Dan Cooperstock recommends you focus on what you care about, and your passion will be your guide to building an enduring enterprise. Many buyers are searching to purchase a business that is easily transferable with secure transactions. Dan programmed software that was transferable upon his exit, but he wanted to be sure his work would be in the right hands. For a smooth transition, building a questionnaire and engaging in conference calls is one way to guarantee stability in the exiting process. So, what other steps can you take for a seamless exit?
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Dan Cooperstock, Founder and former Owner of Software4NonProfits.com, to discuss designing software and streamlining the exit process. Dan details why buyer conference calls are an important part of selling your business, discusses overseeing due diligence, and how partnering with your buyer cultivates a better experience for your clients.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Dan Cooperstock on LinkedIn
- Steven Pope on LinkedIn
- My Amazon Guy
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Mark Daoust
- Pat Yates
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by MyAmazonGuy, an Amazon agency to help level up your PPC, SEO, Design, and manage your entire Amazon catalog.
This episode is also brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your everyday broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!
What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.
Hi folks. It’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals
Joe Valley 0:32
Hey folks, Joe Valley here, welcome to a another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast. today’s podcast is sponsored by My Amazon Guy. I know the founder, Steven Pope. He’s a good guy. I know him personally. He’s been on our podcast, and we’ve been on his. And you’ve probably seen him all over YouTube sharing free educational content. If you own an Amazon business, you got to check out the content, he’s going to help you level up your PPC, your SEO, your design, they can even manage your entire Amazon catalog, check him out at myamazonguy.com That’s myAmazonguy.com. And now on to our guest today. Our guest today is an entrepreneur and accidental entrepreneur and somebody I like to call an EXITpreneur because he is a Quiet Light client. Pat Yates was his advisor here on the team and just closed the transaction on September first, I think was the day that the transaction closed, listed the business in July, and ended up getting it closed on September 1. It’s an accidental entrepreneur. Shift type of situation because he is a programmer and had a problem with what he was doing within his church at one point and develop some software to solve that problem. Ended up with 1000s of free users and decided to level it up and start charging for people to get extra support and service. And did that very, very successfully. He ultimately ran the business for a total of 15 years and was getting older, 65 years old decided to move on to his next adventure in life and get the business. So great interview covering all sorts of topics and some advice from younger for some younger entrepreneurs at the end of the podcast as well. Please listen in this is Dan Cooperstock and EXITpreneur and client of Quiet Light. Here we go. Hey, Dan, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast.
Dan Cooperstock 2:29
Thank you very much, Joe. Glad to be here.
Joe Valley 2:31
It’s good to have you here. Can you give the folks a little bit of background on yourself? What kind of business you started, I know that you just had an exit with Pat, helping you get to business a little bit. give the audience a little bit of background myself, if you wouldn’t mind?
Dan Cooperstock 2:48
Yeah, sure. I mean, for for a long time, I was a programmer. And I’m also a Quaker, and for my Quaker meeting, which is you know, like a church, for those who aren’t familiar. We had bought some software to use in the church, and I started seeing the deficiencies of it. And so I ended up writing something that did the same things. But more properly, you know, I could see that the thing we’d bought before was not designed by a professional programmer. And then eventually, that turned into a program that I started giving away for free for years. And then eventually, I went I went professional with that made it a business, and ended up with two different programs for churches and charities. And that’s, that’s been my business since 2007.
Joe Valley 3:46
Since 2007, so that is a very long time. 15 years. I’m going to cut to the to the to the punch line for the folks listening. They just sold this business through Quiet Light. Some stats and details. It looks like you signed an engagement letter with Pat here on the team. June 2, you had your first lead, you had your only letter of intent. You had 10 calls with potential buyers, you had five offers and you accepted one of them. And that was accepted on July 15. So pretty quick turnaround. And then 45 days later you sold the business for about 12 and a half percent higher than the original list price. So congratulations on all of that. Now let’s go back to the beginning. You gave it you gave it away for years first you found a need you solve the problem. First it was your own and your church’s and then you gave it away for free. How did you transition from giving it away for free to testing out you know charging? Well,
Dan Cooperstock 4:58
I’ve been doing that for I’ve been giving it way for about eight years since I developed a Windows version that that very first version was way back in the DOS days. And I had, I had over 4000 users at that time. And so basically I said to those users, I mean, there were slightly complicated reasons why I decided to do this, because I hadn’t really been intending to ever make a business out of it, it just sort of happened. But for various reasons, I’ve decided to do it. And basically, I say, to those users, look, obviously, you can keep what you’re using now for free. But if you want to be eligible for support, and upgrades from now on, you can pay this much. And a lot of them did very, very quickly. So I could see that it was going to work, you know, I was prepared to go back to work, I would be working for employers all this time, I was prepared to go back to work if it didn’t work. But it did. And so it, you know, grew fairly quickly. And after I was out, it was about seven years before I hired my first employee. So all that time, I was just a solo intrapreneur doing everything by myself with just very occasional bits of contract work. And then, by the time we did the transition to say, Well, we were up to three employees, I just sort of gradually added people as the as the income would would make it sensible.
Joe Valley 6:21
When you had 4000 original free subscribers, and you said, keep it for free. Or if you want the upgrades. You can you can pay this monthly fee. Ballpark what percentage said Yeah, I’d love to send you money every month.
Dan Cooperstock 6:35
Sorry, apologies. You know, I’d have to go back to my records. But but a lot, a lot paid very quickly. People have always said to us, we loved we loved the software. And that continued from way back then. Through through to, to today.
Joe Valley 6:58
And while you were giving it away for free, did you did you have a full time job? Yeah, yeah, I
Dan Cooperstock 7:03
had a full time job. At what point did you quit
Joe Valley 7:05
the full time job and just focus on this, this software.
Dan Cooperstock 7:09
But what actually happened was, was I took a leave of absence. And my thought was that I was going to rewrite the software, which was written in some proprietary programming language to be more something that could be open sourced. And part of that was thinking, you know, well, what if something happens to me? What if I rec get run over by a boss, if at least it’s open source somewhere, software, maybe somebody can take it over and keep supporting the users. And so I worked on that accurate for a couple of months. And then I started, two things happen. One is, I got to the point where I realized, gee, this programming languages I’m using to do this are really much worse than what I’ve been using before. And my boss, from my work started saying, you know, we need you back. And so I said, Well, I’m really having fun working on this, how can I keep having fun, and the way was, let’s start selling it, using the old code base, the same proprietary languages, which we’ve kept through to this this day. And and, you know, it didn’t actually solve the problem of what if I get run over by a boss, though, eventually adding some staff did and certainly now selling to some purchasers who have every intention of keeping it going in for the long term? That really, really solves it?
Joe Valley 8:39
Yeah, it’s interesting, because one of the things I would have said to you as an advisor is, as you plan the next, you know, two, three years when you go into exit, yeah, let’s if there’s, if there’s, you know, a platform out there that’s not proprietary, that is open source that you can put this on and do an equal job, it makes it a much more transferable business. Right? And that’s kind of what you were thinking about, right? If we get hit by a bus, what am I leaving behind a mess that nobody can figure out or something that you know, somebody that’s good at coding can can can take care of the way that you saw that was actually with people? And so in the transaction that just closed? Did the staff have three transfer with the business or did the buyer not need them?
Dan Cooperstock 9:26
Two of them did and I’m also contracted to keep working for them on largely on this the existing software, but also various other tasks that will be slowly phased out as they can take them over for the next year.
Joe Valley 9:41
Yeah, I want to touch on that because it’s an interesting deal structure that you put together. But before we go there, let me ask, you know, when it came to the five offers that you’ve got what was the process like, you know, I know and people that are listening know that, you know, as advisors at Quiet Light, we put you the sellers kind of through the wringer in the process of getting your business ready to be listed for sale. And I think in our initial call, I think Pat came up with, like, 130 questions that you answered. And you’re rightly complaining to me that you’re working harder on that than actually running the business because I told my wife that same thing back in 2010. When I said,
Dan Cooperstock 10:26
I won’t say I was complaining, I was observing or discussing it. I understood why they were asking all these questions. Because it gives a lot of information to potential purchasers that together with, you know, all the financial disclosure, which which was a whole nother thing, not not included in those 130 odd questions.
Joe Valley 10:45
And those those 130 questions, you’re right, you’re not complaining. What it does is, is it streamlines the process for the buyers once they get the package, which is critical, right. And it’s actually easier for you. During those 10 buyer seller conference calls that resulted in I’m actually looking at the stats, it was actually six offers not five, and then that one acceptable offer at the end, if you only had 1015 20 questions, some basic stuff, buyers wouldn’t have, you know, come up with enough questions, they probably wouldn’t have jumped on 10 buyer seller conference calls. It wouldn’t have resulted in the same thing. And going from listing to closing in such a short period of time, I want to say it was 10 to 12 days, it looks like here pretty quick, not listening to closing but listening to LOI. So Alright, so let’s talk about those buyer seller conference calls. It looks like you had 10 of them six offers weren’t accepted. Why? Why did you accept the one that you accepted?
Dan Cooperstock 11:52
They were just clearly the best.
Joe Valley 11:56
What makes them the best, let’s define that with a likeable with the most money.
Dan Cooperstock 12:01
I liked them. And they were experienced tech entrepreneurs who’d been through through acquisitions and exits before so understood the process. And that gave me a confidence that they were going to know what they were doing, and know know what to do with a software business. Most of the other people just didn’t have the right experience. Or maybe almost enough, but we’re all we’re all going to be lacking something of my purchasers. One of them is sort of more money in a business guy, and one of them is a more tech product leader type guy. So between them that’s, you know, a great combination. And yeah, you know, so So with, with, with everybody that made an offer, except maybe there was one offer that just didn’t seem good enough to follow up. We had a second interview. And with these guys, and maybe one other I had a third interview, you know, so that we could each ask some more questions, because obviously, I wanted to make sure that my business was going into the right people that was really important to me. And yeah, so that’s sort of
Joe Valley 13:24
that last comment. That’s surprisingly more important. And I’m talking to all of you buyers out there. It’s surprisingly more important to entrepreneurs like Dan and myself than you would you would expect. You know, it matters at the end of the day. When it’s all said and done. You know, when I sold my last business, I moved on pretty quickly, because I got paid all cash and it was good situation good deal for me. And I had a new baby, right? It was it was the money to manage. And a lot of people look at it that way. But at the same time, it’s important to people that build these businesses and employ people that are providing for their family, that it’s a secure transaction, and it transfers over i i sold the business a few years ago, probably five or six years ago now, Dan, where I had two full price offers in the Smid seven figure range, and one was all cash. And one was an SBA deal that required a 10% seller note and my seller, very savvy. He simply liked the guy that had to had to give a 10% seller note more than the other he trusted him more felt better about him and that particular buyer honed in on wanting to take care of the business and keep the people and transfer them over and really just keep that entity that this site had built. And that that that did it for SIADH and I can understand how it did it for you You as well. Let’s just just,
Dan Cooperstock 15:03
if I could just comment on one more thing, like you mentioned, you know, having a baby, this business is my baby, you know, and and I’ve always cared deeply about the customers and about the market that I’m serving of nonprofits. And so so that’s why I want to make sure that you know, not just the staff, but the customers will be will be well taken care of.
Joe Valley 15:29
Right, because they actually use the product that you’ve created. So then, obvious question to the question, if it’s your baby, if you loved it so much, why did you sell it?
Dan Cooperstock 15:41
I was just getting tired of some aspects of that. I was doing customer support, at many hours of many days of the week, even though I had one full time support person, I was still doing a lot of supervision. And while they were doing it full time, I would, you know, look at emails and answer them first thing when I got up in the morning, and I would look at them multiple times in the evening and answer them and all weekend and on Christmas Day, there would be emails that I would answer. And I was getting tired of feeling responsible for 1000s of users. And, you know, I’m 65, and I have a few health issues, none of them, you know, looking like they’re likely to be fatal, although life is fatal for all of us eventually. And so it was just kind of time to slow down and and have someone else shoulder the responsibility. That makes
Joe Valley 16:39
total sense. So, you know, everybody’s going to exit their business someday. And somehow, somehow, you know, you and I are within a decade of each other age wise, and those that are 20 or 30 years younger than us don’t see this. Vision is clearly, you know, you do get tired, you do want to move on sometimes to your next adventure, that maybe another business that you launched, that you do with so much more intelligence and wisdom and experience and money than you did the first time. And sometimes you just want to kick back and take it easy and unburden yourself. And that’s the key thing. Sometimes your business becomes a burden, and you want to unburden yourself of that. And sometimes the burden is managing cashflow, seeking buy enough inventory. In your case, it’s making sure the customers are taken care of no matter what time of day, or what day of the year it is, you know, when you might just want to go disappear for five days? Do you trust your full time staff
Dan Cooperstock 17:43
to do that enemy, you know, truthfully, the new owners very sensibly, are limiting the support hours to reasonable support hours, not crazy support hours, like I was doing first thing in the morning last thing at night before I went to bed. And that’s good. You know, I’m happy with that I’m, I’m you know, at the very first when we implemented that I was struggling a little not to go to the computer, but now I’m I’m I’m happy with it. It’s it’s fair, it’s reasonable for the our software is actually priced quite inexpensively. So it’s very reasonable for the inexpensive prices of our products not to have massive hours outside of you know, nine to five ish.
Joe Valley 18:26
So yeah, that makes sense. And sometimes only a new owner can come in with a logical vision. Whereas yours is a passionate one. And you’re going to do whatever you can, because that’s what you’ve always done. So it’s fine sometimes. So tell me about the process of going through due diligence, right, you’ve signed this letter of intent, you’ve agreed on a price on terms. Let’s talk about the due diligence process. It’s sometimes it’s very invasive, what what was it like for you?
Dan Cooperstock 18:55
It was a lot of work to there’s there have been a whole bunch of things that have been, you know, ever since starting this process, probably all pretty much nonstop. I’ve been a lot busier than I’d been in the in the say prior months. Because, you know, with staff, although I worked those extra hours during support and stuff. I still was not busy all the time. You know, I would often watch TV during the day or something like that go out. So I’ve been a lot busier. So. So the due diligence specifically. Yeah, there were a lot of questions. And some of them were hard to answer. And some of that was because of how we had organized our customer database that they wanted information that just sort of wasn’t there stuff about, you know, churn, you know, what’s your retention rate and stuff, because of some of how we had set our pricing and policies and how some of how we recorded the data. All of that was actually very hard. hard to determine. And so we had to kind of have a lot of conversations about, you know, well, what are these numbers? What do they mean? How can they be made more more realistic? And then we just had a bunch of, you know, we had a number of talks about where, where they wanted to go and what ideas I had, you know, with the business, and yeah, it was, it was a lot of work, but it was, it worked out.
Joe Valley 20:27
Obviously, obviously. So you know, so sometimes, you know, with an E commerce business, a content business, sometimes the most important numbers are right there in the p&l. It’s a profit and loss statement, you got cost of goods sold, you’ve got expenses, you’ve got the bottom line profit. With a SaaS business, those buyers are not looking at the p&l first. One of the things they’ll focus on first is what you just said, churn rate, what’s the churn rate? Right? And then, you know, what’s the lifetime value of a customer because their job, what they want to do is they don’t want to just, you know, this is not an ATM machine where they’re going to just take out money on a regular basis, they want to grow this thing. Yeah. That’s
Dan Cooperstock 21:05
the case here. Yeah. And I mean, the technical complications for us of evaluating that were a payments were annual, rather than monthly, and B payments, although I’d actually started moving away from this, before I even started the process. So we were we were in the process of moving away from a setup, where payments were kind of optional, if you wanted support and upgrades to the software you paid. Or you could pay just viewing that as insurance, even if you weren’t sure you needed those things. But if you, you know, didn’t feel like spending a lot of money and didn’t think you needed support and upgrades you didn’t pay. And so it’s it’s not a standard analysis situation, because those people that didn’t pay, could well be going to pay again in the future. It’s not like they’d necessarily laughed or stopped using the software. They just hadn’t paid recently, perhaps. So that greatly, you know, that that made it. And it made it difficult for for the purchasers to say, well, what are we actually getting here?
Joe Valley 22:17
Right? In hindsight, do you wish at some point in the last 24 to 36 months, you had changed it to pale only subscriptions, or that there’s two different levels of pay? No service? It’s $4 a month? It’s full. So
Dan Cooperstock 22:32
yeah, you know, I mean, nothing different. I mean, like I said, I was already moving in that direction. And I actually hadn’t, it’s not like I was moving in that direction. And then I said, Okay, well, a couple of months into this process, that’s going to take over a year to move in that direction, I’m going to start trying to sell the business, the trying to sell the business is something I’d given some thought to in the in the previous year, but I’d never, you know, hired a broker, and I’d never pursued it hard enough. And then I hit a medical difficulty. That was really concerning me, and which fortunately, has been largely resolved. And that just pushed me enough to say, Okay, I really got to do something, to be able to see an end to this, in case, you know, in case it gets to a point where it’s a real problem. And so, so it was just kind of bad timing, that it worked out that way. Yeah.
Joe Valley 23:28
Right. You were ready to move on at that point? And so curious on a couple of things. First, you you talked about annual subscriptions instead of monthly? And in hindsight, do you feel as though you would have a better grasp on the business or would have been an easier transition for a buyer? If historically, you’ve done monthly subscriptions instead of annual? Like I said,
Dan Cooperstock 23:51
Our prices are quite inexpensive. So annual still make some sense, I think. But, um, but forced payments in some way or another would have, yes, historically would have been more sensible. But it was also just part of my philosophy that, you know, I mean, I think I was very aware that in many ways I was running, you know, what’s often called a lifestyle business. I got a nice life out of it. I felt like I was doing a service. And, you know, I was probably providing some employment, providing very good software for a very affordable price. And I didn’t care that much about making more money or growing the business. It just grew, which allowed me to hire more staff, but it wasn’t, it didn’t grow because I was making enormous efforts to grow it. In fact, I was always horrible at marketing. And, and so in some ways, you know, I guess I was kind of lucky that it grew. It grew as much as it did, given how horrible I was at marketing, but obviously, in many ways it sold itself which is was great, you know,
Joe Valley 25:01
you built a great product and you took care of the customers that used it. So that’s, you know, that’s the first two steps. So they’re spreading the word for you. Let’s, let’s talk about the deal structure a little bit, because you, you chose a deal structure, that is the exception rather than the rule, right? In most of the transactions that we work with, you know, there’s going to be, you know, 80 80% Cash, sometimes it’s gonna be all cash, but very, very rarely, is there an employment contract. In this case, you agree to accept part of the purchase price as an employment contract? Talk to me about the logic behind
Dan Cooperstock 25:51
that, you know, that’s not actually how I viewed the transaction. I mean, the way it was structured was a certain amount of cash, and then another certain amount paid out over the next year. And in addition, I was contracted to work for them for a decreasing amounts over the next year, but it’s not like those two pieces about the next year, were necessarily had to be viewed as being tied together.
Joe Valley 26:20
So you could have said no to working for them at a decreasing amount over the 12 months after closing,
Dan Cooperstock 26:29
you know, I don’t know that they would have accepted that deal.
Joe Valley 26:34
And is that because of the proprietary software, you think, or because of something else?
Dan Cooperstock 26:40
Um, yeah, I think, you know, they were aware that I still knew the absolute most about the software and the business, despite having three employees. And that without me, it would be very difficult, you know, without being able to, you know, slowly, you know, pick my brain and, and stuff it’d be it’d be much more difficult to, to continue the business successfully. And so that, so I guess, I guess I’m not saying that, that they would have agreed to a deal without both of those things. I’m just saying I didn’t necessarily link them in my head, like, like, when when I’m getting these monthly payments from the amount that’s paid out over the next year, I’m not necessarily thinking to myself, Oh, this is my salary for the last month I worked. Because it isn’t a salary. I’m not an employee, it’s just part of the contract, I signed with them, that I will, you know, continue to help them with the work in decreasing amounts over the next year.
Joe Valley 27:44
And what is that like for you, as the former owner of the business that made every decision was responsible for every aspect to have it to where you are now? Which is your 45 days out roughly, from when the transaction closed? How do you feel responsibility wise?
Dan Cooperstock 28:08
I feel less responsible, certainly, I think it’s inevitable that anybody in this situation is, is going to have some, you know, some some bits of conflict, because we don’t have exactly the same concepts of, of how to run a software company, etc. And especially given what I said, you know, that in many ways, I was just, I was doing it as, as an amateur, and it’s more like, they’re professionals at running a software business. So, so that’s not surprising, but, you know, over, over, over all, I’m, you know, I completely understand the decisions they’re making. And, and it’s their baby. You know, I’ve said to them many times, you know, I, you know, well, I might not have done that, but it’s your choice, it’s your call, and that’s, that’s fine, I’m happy. That’s their call.
Joe Valley 29:07
Do you feel unburdened at all with some of the daily responsibilities that are no, yeah,
Dan Cooperstock 29:11
especially those support? I mean, I’ve sort of taken on some responsibilities. Because I saw that it would be helpful, and they certainly want me to be very much part of, you know, design decisions for for further development that’s going on. And I’m, I’m happy about that. Which doesn’t mean that every idea of mine is going to be accepted or whatever. But
Joe Valley 29:39
to feel good about the decision, you feel good about the relationship. Yeah. Yeah. And now you’ve got money and more money in the bank. And there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to do whatever you want to do. And you may do you think there’s a sliver of a chance that you may say, You know what, guys, I’m enjoying this, I promise. Do you want him to keep me on a little bit? Let’s just, you know, cut the hours to XML. Do you think you would consult with them or work with them on an on a longer term basis than just?
Dan Cooperstock 30:09
Oh, yeah, that’s possible. I’ve, I’ve mentioned it to them. And we’ve all said, yeah, that’s something that we could consider, depending on, you know, many factors.
Joe Valley 30:19
Yeah, yeah. It’s 10 and a half months for now. Tell me about the, the toughest part of of going through what you’ve gone through, which is listing your business and skin and selling it? What’s that? What’s been the toughest part? Just listening to Pat, I know, he talks a lot. Yes, Pat, I’m making a Oh, no.
Dan Cooperstock 30:43
I’ll tell you, I mean, just this is just a funny thing that was just annoying, was one of the first interviews we had with interested purchasers. It was like, it was so obvious that that person had not read the package or, or barely skimmed the package. They were asking all these questions that were answered clearly in the package. And both Pat and I were really kind of pissed off about that. But that’s not that’s not where you asked, What’s What stands out? So that’s interesting. Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah, I don’t know that there’s one tough part. I mean, the fact that I wasn’t able to really have answers to all of the questions was, was, you know, I guess it was a problem for the process, in a sense. But it wasn’t anything I could exactly do anything about. I mean, I could come up with sort of various approaches for best estimate. So things like churn and retention. But that’s all they were. That’s all they could be as best estimates, because of those factors that I mentioned to you earlier. Right. So that was that was difficult. And, and because of the way our customer data was organized, actually coming up with with, you know, database queries that would give these answers. Were actually they were really complicated database queries? Yeah.
Joe Valley 32:09
Yeah, it’s a challenge when you’re running it as a lifestyle business, and people are looking for data, and that stuff that you just didn’t have to pay attention to, it can be a challenge. What what was the best part? You know, you’ve gone through it your your 45 days up, close transaction? Looking back? Any anything stand out? Hmm. Other than doing it in general?
Dan Cooperstock 32:32
Yeah, I don’t know. You’re asking questions I haven’t thought about. So, you know, I mean, I really like the guys. You know, notwithstanding the odd disagreement, I think they’re, they’re really nice, guys. I think they’re really well intentioned, I think they’re very knowledgeable. So so I’m very happy about that. And it’s interesting to be working on some some new directions. And, you know, like, I think I said, at the very beginning of this, I’m a programmer, you know, everything else is incidental. And I’m actually getting to do more programming. And I really like that, you know, I just, I just finished a big redesign of our customer, customer relationship, database kind of thing. That was a very big job that I did very quickly. And I know, I’m the only person that could have done that, because I knew at the best
Joe Valley 33:31
interest and you get to go back to what you what you love.
Dan Cooperstock 33:34
Yeah. And that’s sort of just in time for for another tech support person being added next week. So So yeah, so like, we went live on that this week. So that’s kind of exciting. You know,
Joe Valley 33:47
you’re you’ve, you’ve gone through this process, you have built a business lifestyle business, sold it. Now you’re on the other side of it. If you’re, you know, sit across the table from some younger entrepreneurs that are just starting off, is there any particular advice that you’d give them?
Dan Cooperstock 34:08
I don’t know. You know, I mean, I’ve talked to people that want to be entrepreneurs a couple of times I’ve, I’ve tried being a mentor, sort of ominous, somewhat official basis. And I don’t know, I think I ended up doing something that was very different from what a lot of people trying to be entrepreneurs tried to do. I was, you know, you know, solving my own problems, basically, is how it all started.
Joe Valley 34:35
You’re an accidental entrepreneur, that
Dan Cooperstock 34:37
accidental entrepreneur, I was working in an area that that I cared about, and I think that’s a piece of advice I would give, don’t just take anything that you think can sell. If it’s something that you care about, that’s going to really help and I
Joe Valley 34:52
think those are great words of wisdom because you and I have been through enough things as as people entrepreneurs that we’ve seen some tough times. Right? You started this back in 2007. We’ve seen some we’ve seen some tough times. And I think that when times do get tough, either personally or professionally, loving the service or products or or service that you provide, is really, really important. Right? If you’re an ex NFL football player, but you’re selling, you know, ballet shoes, it’s not going to be as passionate, right? But if you’re selling football equipment, you know, it’s, it’s what you love. So I couldn’t agree more. So that’s the advice. Find something that you are passionate about. And then focus on that great advice. Great advice. Awesome. And I’m really excited that that we were able to work with you, helping you through this transaction pad is a fantastic guy, great entrepreneur. You know, as you probably know, he’s, you know, been on Shark Tank has to deal with Robert now for his didn’t know that. You didn’t know that. Oh, you’ve got to give up. You’ve got to Google that. Okay, Pat Yates, by happy feet.com Is his website and Shark Tank put it all in there. He actually Robert actually said no, I’m out and then came back in because of Pat ash and then his personality.
Dan Cooperstock 36:27
Yeah, no, I can see that he was he was enormously helpful in the whole process was enormously helpful. I can’t imagine how I could have done this successfully. On my own. I’ve actually, I mean, I actually had explorations with one pair of guys and one other guy about buying it, you know, like last year, and it just kind of dragged on and on and it never got anywhere sort of thing. Yeah. And so just going through this process where you know, you guys have an enormous mailing list of possible interested purchasers. And, and because of like you said, the the big packet you put together with so much information, it just makes it all work. It
Joe Valley 37:07
all works. And it got you the value that you wanted, and in a situation that you’ve been yearning for. Now, you get to do some stuff that you love, which is programming again and and decide, you know what your next adventure will be?
Dan Cooperstock 37:21
I do not know.
Joe Valley 37:23
I don’t either. None of us really do. I look forward to learning about it. In a follow up recording when we have back on the podcast, maybe another year or so, and see what it’s like looking back 12 months after an exit. That’d be interesting. Sure. Excellent. Excellent. Well, Dan, congratulations on your exit. And thanks again for joining me on the Quiet Light Podcast.
Dan Cooperstock 37:44
It’s been a pleasure.
today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 And the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.