Gregory Elfrink is the Marketing Director of Empire Flippers, a digital marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. He joined the company in 2016 as a content manager and manages everything from content to marketing automation, to vision and goal setting, and implementation.
In this episode, Gregory gives us a rundown on the basics of buying and selling online businesses, and shares key insights on how to become profitable in this highly lucrative space.
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Hey everybody, its Joe Troyer here from Digital triggers and show me the nuggets and I'm super super excited as always to be here with another very special guest, Greg Elfrink from Empire Flippers so before we go any further Greg I got to make sure I didn't butcher your name too bad
No, you did a good job. I always think about my name is really easy to pronounce is just like in the magical creature elf and a hockey rink combined, you know, Lord of the Rings on ice skates, but some people can't seem to get it.
Awesome, man. Well, welcome officially to the show. I'm super excited to have you so for those of you guys that don't know, Greg is ultimately the Director of Marketing over at Empire Flippers and I think you guys are up some really, really cool stuff over there. I remember. In fact, like it was yesterday, man. It must have been. Going on four years ago, I think I heard about Empire Flippers. And I had a student that showed up to one of my masterminds and live events, and was like, Hey, man, I got this offer on my site. I'm about to sell it. And I just wanted to ask you for your feedback, like, what are your thoughts? And that's how I got introduced to Empire Flippers. And he had built an affiliate site. I think he got like, 39 times monthly profit. And I was like, dude, like, yes, please take that run.
Like, yes, you got to and I was I was really shocked that at the valuation that he got, because I think that you guys were really on the forefront of getting some of these better valuations and better numbers, you know, versus sites in the marketplace that everybody's familiar with, like Flippa and elsewhere, where you're lucky if you could, you know, at least at that time, I think it eight to 12 months, you know, on a decent site. So I was like, Man, that's, that's frickin amazing, and it just opened my eyes. And I remember that's how I heard about Empire Flippers.
That's awesome, man.There's all sorts of like cool stories like that I was at a conference in Chiang Mai not to derail this record right away, but you'll I'm a tangential kind of person. But I was speaking at a conference in Chiang Mai thing was to my CEO, one of the speakers and I were coming down and he told me at his Airbnb, he was in this elevator with a guy wearing EF shirts. So you just assumed the guy worked with me. He's like, so how's it like working with Greg and the guy was like, No, I'm not even going to the conference. I don't work with Greg. I'm a customer. I sold my site. I think it was an affiliate site. Like I haven't done anything in four years now. By after selling his site with us, all sorts of cool stories like that.
That's awesome, man. So gotta be cool. Being a part of the team over there at Empire Flippers. So before we get too deep into things, man, I want to make sure I kind of get your background. How'd you end up being part of the team kind of where do you come from? What's your background? Before we get too deep into things?
Yes, I got your typical internet marketer background. II'm from Alaska I used to work in the Arctic Circle as oilfield roughneck for Haliburton the evil empire as I used to call it. ahh so very far north six miles off the north coast of Alaska so so far north there isn't there isn't even land. You're driving ice because the ocean freezes you know that show ice Road Truckers, so I used to work with those guys. I hate it I hate that show. Because they're so like the show makes it seem like their job is so dangerous and hard but they are the laziest guys in the world man, I'd be like freezing my ass off covered in chemicals are like hardening. And I had to be out there like getting the hose from their truck to like transfer the fluid and everything while they're just like sitting in their warm cab and I'm wearing like refrigerator gloves with like heat warmers and theire like, ah, a these guys. I was up there on an island for several years. I've worked in North Dakota as well and then the Gulf of Mexico and the TLDR of my story was I absolutely hated my life? I was one of those guys living like the quiet desperation. never went to college always and I was kind of like scammy which we could talk about if you like, um, a lot of people would disagree with me but some some of my friends and I will see the wisdom on my words after they get their debt. Um, but yeah, so I tried to work in marketing for a long time. I always thought it was cool. I view myself as kind of like an artist I write fiction for fun and poetry and stuff like that. And marketing to me is a form of art on no one would hire me like the agencies in Alaska they're like, what is this SEO This is to new we do social media like what he told us to new SEO is like from the 90s he's like the oldest form of marketing, but they won't hire me because of that. And also like, I didn't have a degree, you know, I'm oilfield roughneck. So like, what does this guy know? Right? So I given up all hope of ever like breaking out of that cycle of this terrible cycle of buying courses and never getting anywhere with anywhere and
That was funny when I gave up hope and I just started writing PBN articles for I think was one and a half cents per word. I was making about 1000 bucks a month very fast writer. I remember one of my clients he had me write so many articles about plumbing in Ohio and then he had this one PBN was like a fiction based pvn I don't know what is money site was for but it was cool. I got to write like one 500 word article for a week on that. He found out I was still in the oil field. He's like, Fuck, man. If I was doing that, hopefully you can cuss on your sorry. oilfield guy. Like, like, man, if I realize I didn't realize you were still working that job. I'd be so burned out. If I was doing that plus writing these PBN articles as much as you do. I know you have other clients as like, Yeah, man. Just because you're burnout doesn't mean you stop paying your bills, right? Like you got to keep going. So it was when I gave up pretty much most of my hope is when I could build this gritty determination through writing those PBNs and
Just kind of built up my confidence a little bit sorry that extra thousand dollars a month at that time was significant to me to start paying off a lot of the debt I accrued and had fire in my house like all sorts of fun stuff. And so what ended up happening was I decided you know, I'm going to like approach building an affiliate site with the same kind of positive nihilism kind of that I have going on for myself. And I found Empire Flippers which I was obsessed with internet marketing so I had heard of EF before I think I might be wrong on this. I think I even watched a few webinars with you way back in the day when I was still in the oil field. I'm pretty sure because the triggers name that brand like it's always stuck in my mind is like, I know I probably bought something for this guy at one point in my life. Yeah.
But uh, anyways, uh, so I was going to build an affiliate website didn't care how long it would take gonna build it up, going to sell it on Empire Flippers and then I'm going to quit the oil job and just, you know, be debt free and make $1,000 a month as a writer in some random shit plays the song Alaska, Alaska.
That was my goal. I signed up for the list. They sent out this thing, that they're looking for a content marketer or a Content Manager. And back then we had this thing called the apprenticeship program. I applied thinking like, it'd be like 1000 other jobs where I won't even hear back. And sure enough, I got the job. So it was an interesting story. I told my oil boss that I was leaving to do marketing, and he was like, oh, man, you always want to do that. Where are you going? Like, well, they want me to fly to Vietnam. I like what? are you? Greg? You sure this is real? Like, I don't know. I guess. We'll find out when I get there.
Oh,That's awesome. So it's so funny. I see that. My team does some research before every podcast episode, and the team said that you're from Anchorage? Actually. That's where you're born?
Yeah. Yeah. It's not to a weird thing if you're from Alaska got about two thirds of the population lives there. Everyone basically lives in Anchorage.
Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes sense. It's like um, so I have some like distant relatives that that lived in Alaska. They don't anymore but in Anchorage, and some in Homer, I know. And then it's really, really weird because I just really weird because I know like, we have got a couple of successful agencies at invisible PPC. And like, we got three or four agencies, I think working with us that that are big, decent sized agencies in Anchorage. Like it's really just a small world, right like crazy, because
It is crazy. Yeah, I mean, I when I was looking at it, this was probably, I don't know, seven, eight years ago when I was trying to apply for agencies and Alaska, like most of them didn't do any sort of Internet Marketing was all TV. It's like the big the big. The edgy agency at the time it just start doing like social media marketing. It wasn't like anything crazy. You know.
Actually had a funny story. So I was going to SEO for one of these agencies like white label it thinking like, this is the ticket I'm going to get out of the oil field, right? So I break this proposal to this agency is doing the social stuff. And they're like, yeah, that sounds cool. And they're the ones that told me SEO is too new. Like it's older than social media. But uh, anyways, so they ended up like, you know, giving me this long roundabout thing and were like, Oh, no, we we decided not to go with you. I'm like, all right, fine. I even wrote them like a training manual on how to sell it like how other people could sell it. Right. I went real deep on it, right? And anyways, so three, four months later, I see an ad from them selling SEO services like you motherfucker.
so uh let's let's shift for a second and talk about Empire Flippers. I feel like everybody listening to the show watching the show should know Empire Flippers, but maybe they don't.Or maybe they don't know why you are different in the marketplace. You want to talk a little bit about Empire Flippers and what you guys are all about?
Yeah, sure. So if your audience isn't familiar with us, our elevator pitches we take the friction out of buying and selling online businesses. So that's anywhere from like an affiliate sites to an e commerce store to SAAS. There's some more esoteric business models out there that we deal with to like KDP Kindle publishing are merged by Amazon. We sold apps as well. So pretty much anything that is only online, we can help you find a buyer. And really the range is all over the place. So we sell anything from, you know, a 20,000 $20,000 SAAS, or sorry, a $20,000 affiliate site to a $2 million SaaS business that we have on in the marketplace right now. And the biggest business we sold so far is 4.1 million Amazon FBA business. And I think maybe not this year, but definitely within the next two and a half years, we're going to break that eight figure mark as well. So that's what we do we have a full on service to help you actually go and negotiate that deal with a buyer or if you are the buyer, we help you come up with a good criteria. You know, make sure the business actually matches your goals and your skill sets. Because, you know, we're not into the high pressure thing. We approach everything very consultative. If someone comes to us, like, Hey, I have no online business experience about $500,000 to invest, I want to buy the SAAS business like, Okay, well, what do you know about coding like nothing? Okay. Do you know I manage developers like No. Have you ever met someone like no like okay, well, maybe This isn't right. This is like, let's, let's look at some other stuff. Of course, we can't stop them from buying that business. And sometimes that works out really well actually. You never know right? People have the grit to succeed at, you know anything. But we do try to steer people towards the right investment that matches both their skills, goals and really their lifestyle to at the end of the day.
On another podcast recently, I heard you break down kind of a different buyer personas of people that buy and I thought that that was really cool. people that buy sites and the different personas, can you walk through kind of high level who those different types of people are? Because I think that matches up with what you just said, right? There's like you're coming in, you're brand spanking new, but you want to buy SAAS, like, that's not, that's not quite a fit. And I think I think it's important that people like sometimes people just don't even know the right questions to ask, right? So they come in and it's just like, Yes, I want that. Right, but they don't understand the ramifications of that as a decision.I think it'd be cool if you could walk us through the different buyer personas so to speak.
Yeah, recurring revenues great to the code breaks and like oh,
Yeah, so the different buyer personas we have seller personas to but seller personas tend to be a little bit more common like with what they share. buyer personas is really based off a few different things. So the most common of the mall is what we call newbie norm. They're the ones just starting off maybe they are that person with 500 K, just because they're new doesn't mean they don't have money, they often can have a lot of money. Maybe they're a real estate investor, a stockbroker, whatever it is just a high net worth individual, but they're not super skilled yet with online business. There's so just trying to figure everything out. And if you're the seller selling to someone like newbie norm, then I always advise you to be very supportive of you know, so 30 days support which is pretty normal, maybe offer 60 days support, they probably won't need it. But the point is, is to make them feel confident that you're there with them. Not that you're just like, you know, gone like smoke and mirrors the moment that you get the money, right? So those are newbie norms on that, like I said, those are very common mainly because our business or industry is growing so much. So you always are going to have more new people than the veterans typically.
Then the next one that is really common is portfolio Paul. So this would be like probably a lot of people in your audience that are pretty skilled at affiliate marketing. They're building out real brands that are monetized or affiliate sites, or Amazon FBA businesses or ecommerce stores it all, you know, doesn't matter in terms of business model, but their basic premise is I want to build a portfolio of high cash flow streams, right. And they sometimes diversify through different business models, or more likely the same business model but diversify with different brands and maybe different paid traffic or different traffic sources in general, that kind of thing.
The next one is flipper Fred and so this is where we get half of our name actually as Empire Flippers and these are the guys just like real estate flippers, right? You come in and you buy a house for, I don't know 40 K or 50 K and you do renovations and that's what
Hundred k hundred 50 k flip it right so same exact concept they come on by 100 $200,000 site from us they increase that net profit and then they sell for almost double or sometimes much more than double depending on how well they did usually over a six to 12 month period since I've been with EF I've seen the same business sold I think four times so it's pretty cool two times that this is went up significantly as well. So that's the those three are probably the most common of them all. And then there is one's called a like strategic Sally for instance. Now you'll if you use a broker like us, it's unlikely you'll find a strategic Sally because they typically won't use a broker because what they're looking for is so specific that unless the broker goes and finds the deal for them, they're often not going to find what they want on the marketplace. It does happen it's just really rare. Those that person is like say they own a jump rope business, right? ecommerce that sells jump ropes and they go and find an affiliate site all about fitness.
So there's synergy there where the sum of their parts are greater than individual however that saying goes. So. So they though they're willing to pay a higher multiple typically than other buyers because they understand the value of what that synergy can bring to them.
And then there's a investor Ivan, so investor Ivan, he is similar to portfolio Paul, typically less online business skills, but they tend to understand the model. And they'll usually have an operator who's actually running the business and they're more like the money person. So they supply the capital, and they tend to love especially ecommerce businesses, because a lot of the reasons why sellers sell ecommerce businesses because they want to take the cash out right like Amazon FBA, very capital intensive business, you're always putting more money in to get to that next margin break, right. And so an investor Ivan, can come in and just instantly deploy that cash and get that economies of scale right away that will increase their margin so they tend to love e commerce businesses, but they buy other ones as well, of course. And finally,
this guy is called Do It Yourself Dave or DIY DIY Dave. And usually this is like the second transformation of what happens to a newbie norm once they get into it and understand the business a little bit better. This is someone that is like, you know, ready to roll up their sleeves, they like to buy stuff, particularly, they have a problem that they can go and fix. You know, they really want to get into the nitty gritty of everything. So those are the different kinds of personas of everything.
Perfect. And then when you look at who's buying stuff right now in the marketplace, how do these break down? Right? Like Where do most of the sales come from? Are there any kind of takeaways on it? Who's which which of these personas is actually like really doing the bulk or is it just completely spread out?
Yeah, so buyers are a lot more diverse than sellers are. Now a lot of sellers they are they become buyers like a lot of our sellers. They become portfolio Pauls or flipper Freds especially So, you know, they sell a few businesses with us now they have the cash, they go and buy a business that is what I call wounded that they can go and fix and then they flip it or add it to their portfolio, right. So that's another section where buyers can come from but like I said earlier, man, most of them are going to be newbie Norms just because the industry is growing so fast. So there's more and more people coming into our space all the time. So that's going to be the majority of the buyers that you're probably going to be working with. And that's, that's good to know that going in because they might ask you some questions like, how does this guy not know about you know, keyword density? like who is this guy? Like, so? Yeah, you gotta be aware.
Yeah, he doesn't even know what keyword density is. Too funny. All right. Um, so earlier, you talked about college being scammy before we get too far in I'd love to get your thoughts on on that and why.
So I grew up grew up with a dad who grew up who he grew up in, you know, fairly poor family in rural Missouri before he like went on the grand adventure to move to Alaska, right? I have a saying in Alaska, you, you're either the son or daughter of an exile or you are the exile. And so my dad self imposed exile, like went on an adventure right to Alaska. Yeah. And I remember when my sister she's older than me, she graduated high school, she looked at my dad and she was like, Dad, where's my college func and my dad, like, you know, he's just, he wasn't trying to be sarcastic. He was genuinely genuine. He when he asked her, like, what is a college fund? What do you what do you what are you talking about? What is that? He just didn't know. You never heard of this thing? You know, I and she's like, are you kidding and he was like NO. And so there was no college funds. She asked, What were you doing with our dividend money because, you know, Alaskans get paid a small dividend every year for living there's like, so I took you to Disney World every year. It was the dividends Yeah.
Making 40 50 K a year right now and they're $200,000 or more in debt from college and like that is crushing right and some of them are working really noble professions and like it just is so unnecessary in my in my opinion like I just I don't get it I think college gets a pass on this like if they were like an informational marketer that didn't have this like powerful marketing machine there would be like scam videos everywhere about college but because they have this like strong cultural marketing apparatus going on for them no one questions that they just like that you spend on okay go get a degree you'll never use and then pay it off. Like I just don't get the typically I when I worked at FedEx, I was like shipping packages in this freight right. And my trainer he got like if I was the same level of seniority as that guy like I was the trainer, he would get paid more than me as if he was working there eight years longer than me because he had a four year degree and I FedEx if you have one year of college councils two years of work. His degree was in theology, it has nothing to do with logistics and yet, there it is, you know, just mind boggling to me. So that's, that's why I'm not a big fan of colleges some of is totally worth it, it is not 100% a scam, like, engineering all that stuff i think is real.
I completely agree with everything that you've said. For me, like I always, always mentally though then have a problem like my brain stops, like working out how to fix it. When I start to think about, like actual like professionals. It's like So wait, so we're going to like give a home study course to like a surgeon.Like that's a little strange, right? Like, you know, a heart surgeon, you know, a little off we're gonna send him a little operator game, right?Yeah, you can't pass you know, according to the records that we received over the internet from your operator game, you got to really shake your hand man you need to lay off
Oh, that would be so awesome if they like created like a VR thing. They actually like did that but yeah I hundred percent agree with you with with some professions it makes absolute sense medicine, law, engineering all that stuff makes absolute sense but most degrees don't in my opinion aren't really needed, you know?
Yeah, completely agree I think huge reform is needed in that space and I couldn't agree with you more. I think to sum it up, I would tell like I got two boys I got a seven year old and a five year old that's a long way away, but I would tell them unless that they're unless they're going for fun and the party and just to have a social experience. Or they're going to be like a dentist or a doctor or a surgeon like something crazy professional. That that I wouldn't suggest it. But either way college will be on their dime. Because I think it's a decision that they need to make and I think unfortunately
A lot of adults have bought into the idea and then paid for their kids to go do it and they never, they never earned the dollar they never respected the dollar. Right? They kind of pissed it away and made it unfortunately kind of a norm as well. And then you got the other side of people that didn't right then and now they went to school they, you know, brought on all this debt. I can't agree with you more, I think I think it's a shame.
I was in Bangkok treating some clients out at this, you know, club or whatever. It's like 2am or something like that in Asia, everything goes away late, right. And I remember getting this text message from a good good buddy of mine actually from college. I never went to college, but I was part of the party still right. And I remember him always think he was like on the debate team, extremely intelligent guy. Really, really nice guy. And he did become a lawyer and he texted me like, Hey, man, what are you up to? And I, you know, sent him a picture from the club, whatever. He's like, Man, you know, back in college, I used to think like, this is a novel guy. He's gonna have a rude awakening .One day, but it was me who had the rude awakening in this like sweaty office in like some some random state you know like hating everything about it.I always thought that was a really vindicating thing. I felt bad for him, was a really good guy. Like I said, good friend of mine. But yeah, those vindicating, especially after you know all the trials in the oil field and failing at this internet marketing thing where everyone thought I was crazy oil, my crew used to call me Google cash, like, how's Google game today? You know, butso, yeah.
Yeah, it's crazy. It's crazy to think about the investment in yourself and in internet marketing, you know, compared to college, right? I think it's unfortunate that most people just fail before they get their degree. Right before they make it out the other side, quote, unquote, successful right? they get their degree, right, they fall out, they lose track of it and they go get a real job, or they you know, they just lose the momentum and the the foresight that they had before.
Nothing wrong with the JMV. I'm a gainfully employed,
gainfully employed. But with meaning, like, you love what you do you can see it like you glow from what you do every day. It's not the typical path, so to speak.
for Sure, absolutely.
So you see people coming into Empire Flippers as buyers as thinking about buying a business versus building a business, is that a thought in the markets mind?
Absolutely. And when we say this all the time, so if you're looking to get started, buying a business might not be the right path for you. It could it could be the right path, but you gotta ask yourself a few questions. You know, if you have more money than you have time, then buying a business is going to significantly decrease the timeline to profitability, right? It's making profit from
literally minutes zero because you bottom businesses are already making money. Right? That we have a funny little catchphrase like how to buy money, right? You just buy these assets. One of our customers coined that, I can't claim it but he's bought a lot from us though and he always says he's like, awesome one liners, but uh, but yeah, so like, it really depends if you have more time than you have money then building is probably the right path. Because you can build up something and slowly invest into it and make it happen. And then when you do go sell it, which this is actually a pretty common story with someone who didn't have that much money to build something up, then they sell it with say they sold it for, you know, even just 50 grand nothing like huge life changing money, they probably had the most, that's probably the most capital windfall that they've ever had in their life. Right. But it's not like, you know, some of our bigger sellers are like the guy who cashed in the $4 million check from us, right? But that $50,000 now they might go out and buy a 25 k site us that other 25 k job vendors, agencies, all sorts of systems in place to boom that
And make that site go where they can sell for 100 K, right? And then they just start doing that leap frog. So it really depends on where you are both financially and from a time perspective, from financial stuff I would never recommend like, say you had $100,000 to invest. And that was your complete net worth in life. I would never invest that money, right? Like, never invest your emergency money college fund, if you're doing that thing, you know, like, I respect that if you're doing it, that's cool, you're given to kids. Uh, but But yeah, like nothing that is set aside for something else, you should never think of it like, this is my ticket, I'm going to like be able to quit my job instantly. This is all everything's going to go great. Because business always has risk. And internet businesses can be volatile. So just be aware of that if you had that. So you got $150,000 I always recommend splitting that into thirds. So 50,000 pools of three pools, and then buy a 50 k business. One, see how it goes and then buy a second one because by the time you get to that second one, you're going to know so much more that you wish you had known and you had rationalityYou're investable liquidity, enough to keep you in the game long enough to really learn something. So by the time you get to that third business you just all know what to do right?
Yep off to the races for sure. You said something that I want to back out and kind of focus on for a second here is you talked about kind of Newbie Norm turning into DIY Dave right by but in that transition by building up their their skills, but also buying something maybe first time smaller, right, getting it working and then reinvesting or selling that one. And I mean, I think something that's worth noting is just thinking about the parallel of buying websites and FBA businesses or e commerce businesses and and investing in it like we would invest in like traditional real estate, right? So you got the buy and the hold and the long term strategy and in, you know, you said, you know, kind of six to 12 month timeline, which, which flipper Fred is doing?
Yeah. These are the questions you're asking, like, how does that transition happen?
Yeah. How do you see that transition happen?
Yeah, so with newbie norm becoming like DIY Dave is really just understanding the business more like if they're a newbie, they're probably going to get into the nitty gritty. And by the time they get to their second business, if everything went well, whether they're buying or building at that point, they probably know a lot more what to do. So there they want, they're usually specialized at this point. So maybe it's SEO, they bought an affiliate website, that's the most common traffic source for a lot of his e commerce maybe it's, Facebook ads they got really good at or maybe they have an Amazon FBA business that they really understand how logistics supply chain stuff works now and that's their thing usually have like one specialization, and that's what they'll focus on. So they'll look started looking at businesses that are not doing so well in the areas that they're good at right, so that they can add value to it. Typically, the like,
level the leveling path in this MMO of ours is a you know that you go from newbie norm to do it yourself Dave and then you'll often become a flipper Fred. And then after a while flipper Fred's might become Portfolio Pauls or they might stay Flipper Fred because it can be lucrative, but they might have like a bit of a portfolio right? And eventually you keep playing this game till you get to investor Ivan status and now you have teams, you have other people maybe you've given part of equity to certain pieces of your portfolio to people that work for you. And you're really just more of the finance guy in some aspects at that point. Or maybe you become the strategic Sally you know, I usually those are the two paths and they're not always separate, right? So it just depends but that's usually like the kind of trajectory of what happens there as you get better and better and start you know, having what I call the asset flywheel. If you're familiar with the HubSpot customer wheel or right yeah, customers in the center of the funnel and it generates more and more customers. I often teach people that
You have an asset flywheel. So your first asset, you know, you saved up all the money to buy it. Like every single penny from the asset does not go in your pocket. The whole point of the asset is to start that flywheel to acquire more assets. And as you keep doing that, that's how you become you know, a portfolio, Paul, investor, Ivan, etc.
That makes perfect sense. Yeah. Earlier you said that flipper Fred is typically holding on to a website and asset and FBA site no matter what it is for six to 12 months. Can you talk about why?
Yeah, sure. A quick anecdote. There's a one who did it in like five minutes. This is like the weirdest. I've never seen it happen. I've only ever seen it happen once. But a guy buy like $100,000 affiliate site from us and he asked like, was there a lot of other people interested in this site? And he's like, Well, yeah, there was quite a few and like, Okay, well, is there anyone interested in buying for like 115 k? I'll sell it to them right now. Like, let us ask is what we did. There was one guy is like, yeah, I'll buy that. 115 K. So you may 15 K like five minutes never even had the site in his hands like technically.
So he's in it.
So he bought it and it was still like basically in transition, right? It was like, yeah.Did he just have second thoughts?
He's a flipper You know, like he hasn't ever done that again. But he like he is done that what I'm about to talk about quite a bit and just like it was a good site, he thought it was undervalued and he was right. Someone came in and bought a 415. So that was really weird week. I've never seen that happen, like I said, But anyhow, the reason why most Flippers keep it up Sorry, go ahead.
I was just gonna say that that's awesome because I think people fall in love with the businesses way too fast. Right and I know that I have as well. You know, I've bought flip sold, built and sold like multiple businesses, multiple websites and in different verticals and. And I'm guilty of it as well. And you know, holding for too long or getting too in love with something instead of like, letting the numbers speak for themselves. So I think that's super impressive, from the standpoint that he didn't fall in love with it, like literally went through the emotions of the whole thing. Right, like literally like, yeah, you know, I'll get no problem. See you later.
You bring up a really good point, by the way, that it's unrelated to this, but I think your audience is a lot of them are probably sellers would like to hear this. So one of the big issues that sellers have is they get exactly what you just said they're too emotional about the business. You know, they think like, Oh, my business is worth way more than $200,000 is the next like, billion dollar idea, you know, whatever. Right? And it like it makes sense they have, especially if it's their first business, there's a lot of emotional equity in there. It probably gave them some kind of level up in their lifestyle or freedom or whatever it was right. So they have this emotional equity in the business and buyers.
Just don't have that they don't have that emotional equity in your business, they're looking at the numbers. To them, your business is not the next billion dollar idea. It's a $200,000 idea that they're about to buy, right? So that's always important to separate. And if you are a seller, and you really believe that your business is worth more, I would never sell your business based off potential. Because what's going to happen if you say, like, Oh, no, this business worth way more because of x, y, z is going to grow, then that buyers just gonna lowball you like, Sure, okay. When it gets to a billion dollars, I will pay you, you know, the remaining amount, and I'll pay you 10 grand for now, because you're so confident in this growing, you know, they're going to cut you way down. So the best way to sell on potential is to actually talk about the mistakes and the faults, the flaws of the business that you weren't too good at, because that's what builds potential in the buyers mind because those mistakes are their opportunity, right? So that you just reminded me that I started with the tangent. To answer your question on the flip of Fred Why six to 12 months is because a business is valued based office monthly net profit over a period
of time, usually the best windows of time is six to 12 months 12 months is the best you get the best multiple for that. But you really need that time to increase the net profits. The first two months of flipper Fred is going like crazy to do everything they can, you know, they're deploying all all the money that they have to really build a site up that's on page. So like if it's an affiliate site, like on page SEO, keyword research CRO. Maybe they're building an email list with a you know, marketing automation in the background, all that stuff they want to done as soon as possible. So they can reap the rewards of that of lifting that average net profit up. Yep, six to 12 months later, they get to sell at a higher average net profit. And because now there's like, sometimes in a full new year of data of the business being profitable, they'll tend to get a better multiple than what the business actually sold for as well.
Yep. And that makes perfect sense. I had somebody asked me this question and I responded with a very similar response. And thenThey said, Yeah.
Do you have a Do you have a real example? Or could you give me an example? Right? Like, what's the difference? The tangible difference between, let's say, six and 12? Like, how do you? How can you put that into dollars? Right? Like, what would that mean? So how's your flipper, Paul, you're three months in and you're trying to build out your game plan. Right? Could you help us conceptualize maybe what that would look like? Like, oh, if I just held on to it for six more months, maybe we could get? Does that make sense? Like, what if they held out for six months longer? Right? And they did 12 months instead of six? Like, could you give us a hypothetical there? Because I think that that would really help people break it down in their heads.
Yeah, so it depends a little bit if you're building or buying on this answer. So Tackle the building one because that's a little bit simpler. And then I'll go into the more complicated one. So if you're building a site is brand new. It's three months old, or whatever. You want to sell it right. You
discount on his business in order for the investor to buy the business. So, basically is a trade off. Now why the reason why at 12 months that multiple can go up sometimes significantly is because now you have a full 12 months. So you have at least one year snapshot, a potential seasonality. These are the ups and downs especially, is especially important in e commerce where you have to think about like, you know, product forecasting with your skus it like you can get now Yeah, like it sucks if you run out of inventory around the high season, right? So you have the whole data now at least a one year to see like how that went. And obviously, as you add more years to that, that makes the track record even better. To understand the seasonality of everything. You can say, all right, year over year, I'm growing in December by this clip. So now I can order this amount of products expecting that kind of, you know, sells, so that's the reason it's just more data. Now, if you're buying a business, and you with the plan to flip it, you could do what that guy just did. Right? Yeah, the
A guy who sold a bought 100 k sold andfor 1 15. k. The reason why you would wait six months to 12 months in that scenario isn't so much because your multiple is going to jump up is really an average net profit play because that's the level you're trying to like explode more so than that historical tracker now, because you do wait 6-12 months, you have a longer historical track record, which will give you more value as well, for all the reasons I just stated earlier.
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Yeah. So you're, you're pushing the the net profit lever, and if it's too young, yeah, I mean, you just got to show the history because you're gonna take typically the, the last 12 months, right as the average, right for the multiplier
that's what we recommend.
Okay, so if you're only at six, right, and this thing's like, you know, at a peak and it's flying, right, as long as you're confident that it's going to continue going up, right, the the no brainer move should be to hang on to it unless you think it's going to crash
Yeah, exactly. If you have confidence in the business, there should be, you know, barring anything out of your control, like an Amazon update or Google update or whatever, then there should be nothing wrong with that. And the only time I'd recommend to sell when it's younger than 12 months is if you are in a position of needing money. And sometimes that doesn't have to be a negative thing, either. Like you take a discount in your business at a six month, but you have a very good system setup of how to reproduce businesses, that even selling at six months might actually be a good idea to get that capital to inject into this system and process that you build faster, right? So now like, yeah, you don't you don't get the big cash flow, but you get enough to start two to three new assets to go through your process. Now, when they get to six months, hopefully they're at the same level as the one you just sold. And you can repeat the process if you want to go quicker.
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So let's uh,let's go here. So if your friend let's Say the guy that called you up while you were at the cluin Chiang Mai, right Showboating and said, Hey, Greg, I want to invest in one of the businesses on Empire Flippers, right? What advice or guidelines would you give him? Right? What what's the the one piece of wisdom or the 80/20 or one year, kind of the thing that you think you could give him to give him the biggest impact?
Yeah, so the first thing I would do, and this is a bit self promotional, I don't mean it to be this way. But I would send them a link to a blog series I wrote on Empire Flippers back when I first started, called the popular online business model series. And that's where I cover pretty much every business model at a very high level of what we sell. And the reason why I would send that to is because most of my friends just don't understand different business models of like online business models of what exists out there. So it's purely just to get them to understand like, okay, like there's all this and now I know that I know this. This is the one I'm most interested in. Okay.
What makes sense for you from there? So that's what I usually recommend. It's usually better to start off a little bit slow so you can go a lot faster later.
Yeah, for sure. So dive in and really figure out what it is that you want make sure that that is in fact what you want before you jump off the side of the mountain and build a parachute on the way down,
Unknown Speaker 44:23
a lot of people don't get to build a parachute, that's what I was trying to say, like, let's look at a few parachute blueprints first.
And that makes perfect sense. That makes perfect sense. Alright, so on the selling side then for people that are interested in being a flipper, Fred, right, that have been in the SEO space, maybe and they're, they're following me. they're familiar with Empire Flippers, and they're interested in potentially really becoming flipper Fred and making that kind of their move in their path of of their future what advice would you give somebody? Or what tricks or, you know, advice would you give to somebody that really wants to make that transition to be flipper, Fred.
So in that case, I would definitely you like, at least sell one business with a broker, because that is going to give you a lot of experience of how that works from, you know, like, the mechanical sides of it, how buyers work, once you do that, because if you become a flipper, Fred, you're going to be buying, right. And the vast majority of deal flow is going to be with brokers, like we list between eight to 15 new businesses per week, you know, and these are pretty high quality businesses, we reject 88% of businesses that tried to get onto our marketplace. So there's a lot of opportunity out there. So that's why I recommend so at least one business with a broker first, and then understand what the buyer wants, which is soon going to be you but because you are also the seller, you understand what the seller wants, though, so there's this weird thing and I'm sure you've talked about it on your podcast.
There's like 50% net profit that you can gain from the you know, different improvements you can make well out of that 50% 20 to 25% of it will probably be really easy stuff to do. So though that's where you like have a whole system. So with a content site, like I said, on page CRo, email list, keyword research, new content, all that kind of stuff can be done or like adding display ads. This is a simple one, too. Yeah, because most a lot of affiliate sites don't even have display ads, because affiliates have this like weird, superstitious myth that it takes away earnings, which I have never seen happen. So that's a really easy win for flipper Fred's find an affiliate site with no display ads. Uh, but yeah, so you have this like structured timeline, like an onboarding stuff. So if you're running an agency, you onboard clients, you should also onboard assets with the same thing like do that 20 25% of easy changes within that first month or two months, and then you can focus on the other 25% or maybe not even at all because if you increase that 25% 6 to 12 months, you're going to make much more than what you put in. So maybe all you ever do is fix the low hanging fruit that 20,25. %
For sure, yeah, I like how you related it to like an agency. And with agencies, I always talk to them about building their solutions fast and it's just like, here's Thing number one past result number one that has the biggest result, right? Then fast Thing number two that has the biggest result. And you just order on by the thing that gets the best result and takes the least amount of time and you put that at the beginning of onboarding. So you onboard clients and they just have a quick win quick win quick win quick win. And you just, you know, ultimately would want to do the same thing for yourself. And maybe like you said, even just kind of stop it there. Because after it's kind of the law of diminishing is much harder.
I would recommend going for it if your plan is to make a really big brand, right? But if you're just a flipper, Fred probably not worth it for you. Because you have to learn a lot new skills right you so it's doable for sure. But yeah, I was actually in Sydney and Australia a few weeks ago, I was speaking at a conference that was, you know, mainly agency owners. So I talked about this and their language, just like you said, like, how do they onboarding lists and all it's like, so important. And I also told them, like, if you do this if you like, you use your agency to build your assets to treat it just like a client. So if you're an agency owner, like listening to this podcast, you want to buy an asset, you should onboard it just like a client. And I even recommend and this sounds a bit silly, but it's a mindset thing. I'd even recommend making that asset or whatever net profit and ermes to pay your agency as like an invoice item to that agency. So your account manager like oh, this is actually building money for the agency like you might be losing money personally. But your entity like your employees think like you know, it's a real client, they treat it like a real client, etc.
Yeah, 100% agree at invisible. We do all kinds of work outside of invisible selling to retail clients direct b2b. Our own projects. And then we toss over all the deals like we're an agency because we do white label fulfillment for agencies. So we'll go sell stuff direct to businesses, right? And then just toss it over. Like we're another white label partner. I'll go and I'll have my own project, you know, here at Digital triggers on the podcast. I'm like, hey, I need help with retargeting. And I'll just, you know, they just become the same back end for all of us with everything that we do. And so yeah, you got to bill it. You got to make the relationship real. And you can't be robbing Peter to pay Paul. So yeah, exactly. This kind of sounds like that a little bit, but I promise you it's not it's just purely to make you actually work on it, right? Like, it's for sure. Like anything. Like it's so much easier to do the frustrating work for the client than it is to actually build on your own like wealth, right? Like, that seems hard even though it's just the same work, right. Your mind playing tricks on you?
For sure. Well, cool, man, this has been a really, really good, I appreciate you spending almost the last hour time has frickin flew with us.
And I want to wrap it up, I want to ask you one more thing. So instead of asking you to recommend three books, which I feel like every podcast out there does are tons of them, we'll try to change it up a little bit. And so I always like to ask about books. I'm a book reader. But I don't get through near as many books as I'd like. So I always like to ask, what's the one book right that as you look at the way that you do business, the way that you interact at Empire Flippers, the thing that's made the biggest impact on on your daily life? What what would that be and why?
It's a good question. And you're asking a big literature nerd here. So I'm assuming business books,
let's say business, but yes, since this is a business podcast, but then we'll say literature after
I've got I got the answer both for business. It's technically not a business book, but I highly recommend it if you're in marketing, because it's all about psychology. It's called the believing brain by Michael Shermer. So he's like a Stanford psychologist. And he discusses like, he did all this study on belief and it is a really fascinating story. The way he writes is quite humorous as well as it's not dry at all. I guess it's like, funny scene where like, he used to go to college to study like parapsychology. Because he used to believe in paranormal like ghosts and all that stuff. And then he's like, Ah, now this does this stuff doesn't exist. So now he gets invited to these like paranormal conferences that do keynote speech speeches, where he basically says, like, you guys are big crazy. Here's why. This is the psychology behind it. And they're like, Oh, this guy's so funny. You know, like come and see this tarot card. But yeah, really great book. Pretty well researched as far as I know everything in there as well researched, but it talks about how belief is formed, why it exists, and why some beliefs are like really, really
Hard to change and how when you do change them, it's like this minute by minute thing. Well, you never realize it happens. You always just assume you had this belief, but really you dinner. It's a new belief, but it's just built up slowly over time. And I saw like core beliefs change. And if you work in a business like like me, where we have a cell cycle that might last 400 days, then you have to build trust, right? You have to slowly change that belief from you know, thinking like, you know, all these businesses are not real assets are here today gone tomorrow, I'm not gonna waste money on this scam to like, no, there's actual investors like investing with us. Here's a PE firm that just raised $100 million, about 15 million for most last year, their portfolios up by 40%. Right. So like you You that book itself has helped me so much to understand just how slow belief can be changed, especially like real core beliefs, like college. Run it, break it all back.
That's awesome. No definitely have to check that book out. I haven't heard of it. So that's a great share. And a lot of times yeah, at the end of most podcasts, we hear a lot of the same stuff. So when I hear something new I haven't heard of, let alone read. It's like, All right, great. Yep, that's on the list now.
Alright, so we got to ask since I brought it up. Non business book then.
Uh, yeah, so I'm a big fiction nerd. I write fiction for fun. Uh, if your fans are big literary nerds, I highly recommend the book blood meridian by Cormac McCarthy is my favorite book. extremely dark. So if you don't like dark stuff, probably should avoid it. He's the same guy who wrote No Country for Old Men and the road. Okay, so obviously became a famous movie blood meridian would never have a movie. I'd be very surprised if it would, because it was just so dark. Like I don't think anyone would ever take it. But the main villain this guy named the judge he's considered according to a larger literary review.magazines like the 43rd I think most influential fiction character ever created. And it's just a really good really good book. It's a Western basically like a horror western.
Ah, got me interested.
It's hard to read, which is really, really good.
Alright man, thanks so much Greg for stopping by. I really appreciate it for people that are interested in connecting with you outside of the podcast. Where can we link up to find you on social inside the show notes?
I would normally say Facebook but Facebook just recently banned me because I tried to I posted like three hiring posts in there. And now they're like, they logged me out like all your accounts hacked. And I tried to log back in and they're like, oh, verify your identity with this phone number because this old Vietnamese phone number that you have access to anymore. So it's basically like God so I don't have Facebook at the moment. But you can connect with me on LinkedIn I'm on there. Just type in I think my vanity URLs like LinkedIn slash i n slash Greg, the writer or something like that.or just Gregory l Frankie I pretty sure I'm the only one on there. it's a real last name so you can find me there feel free to send me a connection request to say you heard me from this podcast and, or you can just shoot me an email, my email is Greg@empireflippers.com Very easy to get ahold of. If you're, if I can be a bit promotional, if you're a seller, you want to see, if you want to see what your business might be worth, we've created a free valuation tool. So you can go to empireflipper.scom/valuation- tool, and you'll get to or just valuation tool.io and you'll see our automated tool, and that's based off real sales data. So you'll get a pretty good ballpark estimate of what your business is worth. And I love that I don't have to talk to anyone. So
definitely, we'll link that up in the show notes. And thanks so much for coming on, man. I'm sure people are gonna love this episode.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me, man. I appreciate it. And hopefully your audience got value.
Yeah, man, and I'm sure we'll meet again one day, so thanks so much, Greg. All right, buddy. Bye
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