My last tweet about my 35M dog ramp business kinda went viral.

Common question I got was: where did I find the this business?

Let’s go over it + I will give you my black book with all broker’s info

👉 How to find deals
👉 What to look for and what are red flags

3 ways to find deals:

1. Brokers: I often work with QLB but there are tons of similar ones with great deals.

I made a G-sheet with all the links, the link is at bottom of thread.

Pros: Brokers will filter out the bad apples (risk is lower), data room is ready, fair valuation
Cons: Often there will be multiple bidders, so sometimes difficult to get a good deal.

There is an extra layer between you and the seller that sometimes makes negotiating more difficult.
2. Contact potential sellers: You can scrape Amazon seller information (or hire a VA to do this) and email the store owner asking if they are interested in selling.

You can do the same strategy with Shopify stores or Instagram.
Pros: You can get really good deals this way as there are no other bidders, you are dealing directly with the seller.

Cons: It's cold outreach so can take very long before you can find a deal, and often people are not ready to sell at that moment.
3. Use 'buyer-side' broker. Basically is doing #2 but will do all the work for you, typically have already a rolodex of companies that might be interested in selling.
What to look for & red flags:

Difficult to go in-depth on this topic but here are general tips:

1. I only buy sites that are older than 2 years. Need enough data and history to understand trends and seasonality.

2. What are the trends, is traffic/revenue going up, down or flat
3. Sources of traffic/revenue - if site has 90% of traffic coming from 1 source (SEO or FB ads whatever) that is risky.

Ideally, you look for the perfect pie (30% paid - 30% organic - 30% email - 10% direct or something like that)
4. Is this a 'fixer-upper' or already optimized. I like to buy sites that I can see at least 3 potential growth levers.

Seller not using FB ads, website is very old/low conversion rate, not having email flows in place, not upselling or things to increase AOV and so on.
Red Flag 1: maybe not a red flag, just a warning, every single deal the seller will 'claim' they only work 1 hour a week (often they say 10) - believe me that is not true.

Red Flag 2: you see this on Flippa often, is that all financials are the exact same month over month. Like
Seller claims revenue is exactly $6000 a month, month over month, and/or the overhead is exactly $10,000 month and so on.

Most likely the seller just put random numbers in or doesn't have their ducks in a row, both are equally as bad.
Not red flag but keep in mind, often the salary of the owner is put as an 'add-back' while calculating the EBITDA, but if the owner is doing work in the business that you would need to outsource, make sure to add that cost into your calculations. Example:
Listing claims 200k a year in EBITDA, but the owner took 60k in salary and you have to hire someone new to take over the work the prev owner was doing, your actual EBITDA would be closer to 140k (because you have to hire someone and pay 60k a year). Hope this makes sense.
Here is a link to Google Sheet with a bunch of brokers I know off or have worked with. Feel free to leave a comment in the sheet if you know of others that I should add. Also, make sure to follow @agazdecki and @quietlightinc…
And lastly a cute video for no real reason:

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More from @ramonvanmeer

12 Oct
2.5 years ago I bought a dog ramp business for $300,000.

Since then, I’ve sold $35,000,000 of dog ramps.

I’m going to explain

Why I bought it
How I scaled
Why I bought a business vs built from scratch

But ramps?

Yeah. Dog ramps. I know. Odd.

But there’s a reason behind this: dog ramps solve a very specific problem.

If you have a small or old dog that struggles to get onto your bed or couch, you immediately react when you see a dog ramp ad.

It's a very specific problem for a relatively small but targeted audience that you can explain very well in a video.

Jumping of sofa hurts dogs joints and can cause injuries and spinal issues --> surgery can cost up to 8k --> a ramp can prevent your pup from a painful surgery
Read 10 tweets

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