Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

How One Buyer Grew His Business 300% in 6 Months

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Often times, when someone buys a business they start spinning in many different directions, when the best thing they could do is tap into the knowledge and advice of the previous owner. The previous owner has lived that business day in and day out. It’s important to follow their growth plan if they have one. Ideally, every new owner wants to implement new growth plans, but the best paths to growth are often those that are already open.

Today, Joe is talking with Kent Renner who is a client that bought an Amazon FBA business and website through us. This is a customer success story. He’d never say it, but Kent is actually that “the smartest guy” in the room, regardless of the room. And he says the smartest thing he has done to help the business grow is to implement the growth plans that the previous owner suggested.

He added new SKUs and variations and followed the existing paths to growth outlined in the Business Summary. Because of this and Kent’s capital infusion to expand the total SKU count, the business is on track to grow 300% in 2017. And he only bought the business in March of 2017!

Episode Highlights:

  • Kent is an impressive guy who made it to the top levels in his role at a publicly traded company, working 50 to 70 hours a week.
  • Now he works at home with his Amazon business and his life has completely changed.
  • He still works hard and smart, but now he is building a sellable asset that is 100% his own.
  • Kent started as a CPA and auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers and eventually ended up as Chief Accounting Officer at XPO Logistics before taking the self-employment leap.
  • Kent wanted a business capable of growing that he would enjoy working on. The more he looked at this particular business the more he liked it.
  • The business Kent bought was well branded with excellent reviews and it had many clear paths to growth.
  • As part of the transition process, they developed a SKU rollout plan.
  • The way the seller and Joe presented the business made it clear for buyers to see the paths to growth.
  • The importance of the clear paths to growth was essential to his purchasing decision.
  • There were no access issues between the seller, Kent, and Quiet Light during the selling process, which instilled confidence.
  • Kent and the Seller developed a transition plan with key objectives and priorities, and then Kent flew to Hong Kong and executed the transition processes and met with suppliers.  
  • Kent had fully documented processes by the time he left Hong Kong and he would recommend that for any buyer and seller.
  • These things can be done in advance, but they also need to be done during the transition process to make sure that they are accurate.
  • The important advice of not changing a lot of things too quickly and not breaking the site was critical and helped toward the path of 300% growth.
  • Staying in compliance with Amazon rules is always top of mind.
  • Kent is working a lot while learning the business. There are maintenance hours at about 24 hours a week, but Kent works longer to get new SKUs introduced and meet his own goals and objectives.
  • He has expanded into the rest of Europe and sells in the UK and US.
  • He is also looking into other selling opportunities outside of Amazon.
  • It’s Kent’s goal to have a multi-channel business on other platforms and his own website, knowing this brings more value.
  • Driving traffic is more expensive, but you get a higher return when you own the customers.
  • Kent expanded from 17 to 30 SKUs in the US and his revenue has tripled. It is his goal to get to 5X in 3 years.
  • The growth is based on the process the seller setup plus Kent’s expansion process.
  • Kent has some contractors and uses great online communities as a resource, but he is running the whole show without a staff.
  • Getting comfortable with patents, trademarks, and traveling to meet the seller, were all part of his buying process.
  • Attorneys are important, but keep in mind that they work for you. Trust your instinct and your relationship with the seller.
  • Kent is pleased with the business and the way the transition went. The seller wanted him to succeed and Kent was impressed with his level of detail.

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