In addition to being the co-founder of Kingmakers, Hayden Miyamoto is the founder of No Hat Digital and co-founder of Wired Investors. He has built and scaled several six and seven-figure businesses and has deep experience developing systems to scale websites.
Covered In This Episode
- Hayden’s life in Mexico and his family.
- The growth of Kingmakers over the last few months.
- Platform risk.
- Understanding key man/personality risk.
- Understanding monetization risk.
- Understanding Google risk.
- Getting SERP usurped.
- A word about Google answer boxes.
- Risk mitigation through growth departments.
- Risk mitigation through using Google rankings to dominate other traffic sources.
- Risk mitigation through diversifying across multiple assets.
- Risk mitigation through the deal structure.
- Parting advice for people looking to buy a website.
Kylon: Welcome to the Kingmakers podcast. Kingmakers is an accelerator for business buyers. We help entrepreneurs acquire their ideal business and provide them with the tools to succeed post-acquisition.
I’m your host Kylon Gienger. Join us as we explore and unlock the secrets to successful business acquisition, growth, and exiting strategies.
Hey guys, so if you’re enjoying the podcast and you wanna take the next step in your business buying journey, there’s a couple of different ways that you can do this.
First, check out our business buying workshop. The Kingmakers workshop will give you a backstage pass to a private equity firm that acquires and operates six plus new businesses per year. This is an opportunity for you to peek behind the curtain and understand the entire process of finding, buying, and growing an online business. The workshop is limited to a small amount of serious business buyers so you can count on it being intimate and you can plan on spending plenty of one-on-one time with some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the M&A space. So go to kingmakers.co/workshop. Again, that’s kingmakers.co/workshop to get more information and to apply.
Second, if you are serious about buying a business. I would love to have a quick chat with you and see how we can help. Go to kingmakers.co/call. Tell us a little more about yourself. And then you can schedule a free consultation call and we’ll see what we can do. Again, that’s kingmakers.co/call. Talk to you soon.
Kylon: Hello business buyers and welcome to another Kingmakers episode. Get excited because today on the show we have our co-founder Hayden Miyamoto who you probably remember back from episode one.
In addition to being the co-founder of Kingmakers, Hayden is the founder of No Hat Digital and co-founder of Wired Investors. He’s built and scaled several six and seven figure businesses and has deep experience developing systems to scale these web assets. Hayden, man, it’s good to have you back.
Hayden: Thanks, good to be back.
Kylon: So how’s life going on down there in Mexico.
Hayden: Yeah, everything’s good. Rainy season just started which is good because we had a very dry season and there were a lot of forest fires everywhere. The people in Mexico City couldn’t even leave their houses because of the pollution
Kylon: Oh, geez.
Hayden: Everyone’s welcoming the rain.
Kylon: Yeah, I bet. Well, how long does rainy season typically last there?
Hayden: Usually starts around June and ends in like September/October. So it’s a decent amount of time.
Kylon: And what are we talking about here? I mean I’m up close to Seattle where it does rain a lot but I don’t feel like it rains super super heavy. We’re talking like more heavy rain down there or just sort of light and consistent?
Hayden: Yeah I wouldn’t call it monsoon but it’s probably close to that. It rains like clockwork so like every day around this time you know, say anytime between… let’s say two and four PM it starts raining. It rains really really hard for like two or three hours and then it doesn’t rain again until…usually it rains overnight. I live in the middle of a forest. And It gets pretty nuts sometimes.
So yeah it’ll be like the sky’s just gonna turn orange and then like trees were flying everywhere. And last rainy season, all of a sudden like raining really really hard and all of a sudden my son just said what’s that whistling sound? Apparently it rained so hard that it filled up where our gas tank was and the gas hose had let loose and so there was just gas everywhere and we had to like run out.
Kylon: Oh my god.
Hayden: Very exciting. Life in Mexico.
Kylon: Yeah life in the mountains man that’s fantastic. And then you we were kind of talking about some of your plans for the weekend. Let’s get a little bit of a peek into the life of of Hayden when he’s not scaling six and seven figure businesses.
Hayden: Oh it’s really exciting times I’m going to Costco tomorrow. Yeah, play basketball with the family on Sunday. My daughter’s graduating Primaria here which is I guess sort of like elementary school so she’s got this graduation thing planned and she’s going to three days of camp and stuff. So got to prepare for that. Yeah, it’s a normal weekend.
Kylon: You do spend a lot of time with your family, I know. And do you have any kind of traditions or things that you guys do regularly on like a weekly basis to sort of keep relationships strong and stuff like that?
Hayden: We’re going into a parenting episode. Yeah, basically so the kids go to school. They start early and I wake up at six thirty in the morning, bring them to school either usually back here at home by around two thirty and pretty much my work day is generally done or maybe I’ll work again later at night. So usually just hang out with the kids and the wife for like four/five hours. In terms of traditions, not really… We always eat together. I play video games with the kids all the time.
Kylon: It’s awesome.
Hayden: We can dig into that another episode maybe.
Kylon: Yeah we just got to get a little bit of a peek into the life of a Kingmakers co-founder here. but that’s great man, since the last that we had you and Deven on the show that was back in February, which was not long after we launched the current model of Kingmakers and so it’s been a few months now. We would be curious…let’s talk about a little bit of what’s happened since then for our listeners. We’ve done quite a bit and you know things are growing pretty significantly.
Hayden: For sure it has been a very busy time. I guess we signed up our first partners probably in February-ish. We now have I think around thirteen partners with a few more onboarding in June. We’re kind of controlling the onboarding so it’s not overwhelming.
You know, initially, our goal was to find our partners’ deals within three to four months. After about four months—maybe five months, it gets to the point where we’ve actually issued an LOI. And out of these six partners we brought in in the first quarter, it looks like we have four LOIs issued or being in the process of being issued. So I think we’re pretty much on track there. Probably the biggest things…we focus on systems a lot and the biggest areas that we really scaled is being in the deal flow side so I think we probably started out sending maybe a thousand emails a week type of thing for our outbound deal flow and we’re we’re now sending I think last week we sent fifteen thousand. So everyone’s inbox is going up.
And then we also now have broker partners who are getting us exclusive deal flow. So like on the deal flow side I think we scaled that really well and that’s been a large focus. And we built up a diligence calculator that make screening deals a lot more efficient, which I think you’re probably gonna share at some point in the future.
Hosted our first workshop. I think there were over twenty people there. Basically, me and Deven chatting a lot in San Francisco. That was fun. Yeah I mean it’s been crazy.
Kylon: Yeah, San Francisco was a fantastic time by the way and we do have… if you go to kingmakers.co/workshop, we have new dates up for the next workshop coming up here in September and if you join our email list too, you might see some emails come through with videos from that workshop as well. It was a lot of fun. I think it was a great time to sort of enjoy the community with a lot of our partners and perspective partners that a lot of them have now become partners. We had fun too. We went to Alcatraz and went on like a hike and stuff. But if you’re listening and really interested in getting into the space. We’d love to see you on the next one.
But speaking of that, one of the topics that we spent a good two hours covering (probably) at the workshop were the different types of risk associated with these online businesses. And we know that on the show we talk quite frequently about all the positive aspects of owning these assets and it’s true that you can make a lot of money. You can enjoy a lot of freedom. You can own a really great business without having to go through all the blood sweat and tears that it takes to build one from the ground up. But at Kingmakers, part of our DNA is defaulting to transparency and like everything in life worth doing there are definitely risks associated with going down this path and we don’t want to just ignore those. So today that’s what we want to talk about and I will say like you heard Spencer Hawes mentioned back in episode five that if you don’t have much experience in the space one of the best things you can do is partner with somebody who does, which is a lot of the reasons why Kingmakers exists. And yes there are risks but we understand, the team at Kingmakers…we understand on a deep and experiential level what those risks are and how to mitigate them as much as possible and also how to pull those levers for growth. And so with that said, Hayden I want to let you kind of walk us through some of these risks and talk about how we think about them and also touch on how we think about growth as well.
Hayden: Sure. There are lots of different types of risk. When I think about risk, it’s generally all about identifying the risk during the diligence of a deal. And then either not choosing to do a deal because of its risks or choosing to structure a deal in a way that mitigates its inherent risks. So I’ll walk through what some of those risks are and interrupt me if you have any more sort of specific questions.
And again this kind of depends greatly on the type of business you’re buying. So at Kingmakers, we specialize in buying more media publishers and buying SaaS businesses. Like those are the two areas we have a lot of deep experience in buying.
Things like FBA e-commerce businesses, service businesses—those types of things we don’t focus on as much. They might be something that we’d be interested in buying as a tuck-in acquisition to an existing business or even you know bootstrapping some of those aspects on top of businesses we buy but it’s not part of the things that we currently perform diligence on so I’m just gonna start with that.
Platform risk is one large area of risk that exists mainly in SaaS businesses (that’s software as a service). They can also be niche based as in like a niche itself may have an inherent risk. But basically a platform risk in SaaS is when a business is built on top of another platform that may change its rules in the future. In the worst case this could be based on a business that has inherently scraping data against the rules of the platform and you know it requires descaping that data for it to continue the business, right? And so that’s obviously a large platform risk.
And another example might be API’s. So you know we bought businesses that have worked with Facebook’s API and after the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook really really started shifting off a lot of their requirements and that was a real pain for us. We overcame it but it required a lot of development. Hours. And it made the service a little less stable for that for a good few months.
So yeah basically you need to understand the risks. Structure your deal accordingly and mitigate the risk. One example—like the first deal Wired Investors ever did I was Long Tail Pro, which had an inherent platform risk associated with Google’s keyword tool. And actually we identified that risk pretty early on in the process and realized, hey if you know the severity of the risk is literally like it’s extreme, right? If Google were to substantially change their keyword tool, our tool would become much less useful. So the first thing we did is we realized, we need to first create a cache. And we need to basically find external data providers. And actually within probably under six months of us buying the business, Google did the change that we were worried about. And if it weren’t for the mitigation that we did, the business would’ve dropped to zero. Like it literally would die. And probably I wouldn’t be here today because we wouldn’t have done a second deal (it’s my guess). But because we did mitigate it, you know we built a cloud version of the tool within the first three months of buying the business. We cached everything. We found external data providers. It still ended up negatively affecting the business in the sense that we have to move to the cloud a version before really it was perfectly ready. So it was probably about three to six months of you know just hiccups. But thankfully, we had mitigated that risk and the business is healthy again.
Another large risk is keyman risk. Keyman risk can be people who hold important vendor relationships or sales relationships. Usually this is the owner of the business or it can be sometimes like personality risks of a business that’s branded around somebody’s personal name. I’ve structured deals in both of these cases successfully. But again it’s very important to understand where the risk is and structure it accordingly. So having things like earn outs, having a plan where a celebrity owner continues to volunteer content to the site for a twelve month period. Having an actual plan in place to transition ownership over time and not just all of a sudden send an email saying, hey, I’m the new owner of the site, right?
All of those things are things that you need to identify during diligence and things that you need to structure into your offer.
Kylon: So we kind of did that with a Wired deal. Maybe go into that a bit and how that kind of worked.
Hayden: Which deal are you referring to?
Kylon: S. B. O.
Hayden: S.B.O, that was slightly different just because the actual owner—it was a fake persona in that instance. So it wasn’t really an issue. We changed the fake persona to another fake persona simply because basically their fake persona have the wrong demographic in mind. But in that instance, it wasn’t actually an issue. With NoHatDigital, I basically took my face off of that for period back in twenty fourteen—sort of had a partner run it for me. And that was a very successful transition. I literally didn’t post for probably over a year/two years—something like that. And that business actually did much better with the new face. And it was basically probably like a four month transition that began with an interview with one of my most successful students to having ask me anything what’s on the site and then that person have been running the courses so.
Kylon: Gotcha. Awesome
Hayden: Another risk is monetization. So when you have a single…let’s use affiliate as an example… When you have a single affiliate whose CPA offer is a lot higher than the industry average or you know it’s based on volumes. For example, you have a CPA that’s paying you two hundred dollars per sign up but it’s only paying you two hundred dollars per sign up because in the past you were sending two thousand sign ups a month but today you’re only sending twelve hundred. And so you could suddenly get your affiliate manager and say, hey you know I noticed a decline we have to lower your CPA back to a hundred and sixty. Right? So this has happened in the past. Usually we actually kind of turn this on its head and whenever we buy a business we immediately got on the phone with the affiliate managers and basically say, you know we wanna hire a CPA or we’re going to be investing a bunch of money in it and probably buying other sites in the space and we generally always get about a twenty percent uptick by doing that. But it’s happened the other way around where you know we bought a business and they basically decreased our CPA shortly after buying it. Generally this is not super super extreme risk in the sense that the severity might be say revenue declining by ten to twenty percent.
There are other variables that can also change like payment terms could change and that can affect the business. Payment terms can drastically affect the cash for the business. I remember us looking at a business a couple years ago in the droid space and that was one where we knew Amazon at the time—you know they hinted it but they hadn’t released any information but they had said that they were gonna change their affiliate program to instead of being based on paying you a payout by your total sales. They were going to adjust their payment based on the category of the items sold. And in some categories, what basically while we were doing diligence on the deal, Amazon actually released the categories and their amounts. And the biggest decline was in toys and droids. Drones rather were considered toys so that business literally took a like sixty five percent nose dive, right? In that situation, basically you just have to move off of Amazon. You have to find other affiliates, but that’s not something you know—we decided not to do the deal because you don’t wanna start the deal with that stress.
You know we also had a deal where regulation was about to hit that industry and it was still a little uncertain as to how things would hit it so we still decided to do the deal but there were a significant sort of contingencies around that regulation.
And in this case, it was FBA. In terms of—you know there’s also a platform risk in the form of Google traffic risk. And Google traffic—so this is…most of the businesses we buy get their traffic from Google and this is my background over the last probably twelve years plus being sort of in SEO. Basically, Google risks, we can probably combine it into two different areas of risk.
So one is sort of algorithm updates or penalties and these updates they tend to happen a few times a year. I would say if you buy a good site, right…if you buy a site that has strong content, that has clean backlinks, it’s old/it’s not young you’re probably equally likely to actually get an increase from Google algorithm shifts as you are decrease. But let’s say that there’s like a maybe ten percent chance per year. This is kind of a way I quantify it. For you to have up to a plus or minus thirty percent tank or increase based on just algorithm updates.
But when you get more specific about say what’s the chance of my rankings dropping for a specific keyword. So I currently rank for the word buy a website as an example and what’s the chance of you know someone else just outranking me there especially now that the SERPs or the search engine results pages are so clouded with these Google features. It really matters that you’re like the top three spots not so much a matter that you’re in the top ten anymore and I would say your your likelihood of traffic on any given page dropping by over fifty percent is probably equal to about one to two percent per month and that’s assuming content is not being updated. So if you just buy and hold and there’s probably over a fifty percent chance that within three years your traffic will dip by fifty percent, which is a large risk. I would say that’s probably if you do no updates to the content whatsoever and it’s in a competitive space it might be more than two percent. If you do updates and you’re in a non-competitive space, it’s probably close to zero and this is part of our our diligence sort of formula is we take a look at where all the traffic is coming to and is it being distributed across a strong number of landing pages and then basically based on that, what is our our risk of of traffic dropping over time.
Kylon: Yeah makes sense and talk a little bit about what you mean by updating content.
Hayden: So SEO used to be thought of as you know you do it once and then forget about it. But really SEO over the past few years has become a lot more iterative. So you publish content and then you update and improve upon that content regularly. So that’s you know one of the divisions that we have set up that applies to all our sites and our partner sites—basically identifies what is the pillar content on these sites and how do we just consistently improve upon them. And in doing so, just having fresh content generally makes your rankings go up. You’ll generally get certain features on the service that will increase your click through rate as well and then as you’re adding more content to pages over time you also just get more and more long tail traffic from it as well. So yeah it’s very important. Anyone who has a site and is listening to this I highly recommend you set up a process to continually add content to your existing sort of money pages.
In terms of diligence on that risk, I would say try to make sure that no individual page is generating over twenty percent of your revenue. If it is and you want to add in some kind of earn out to mitigate around it and make sure you add more money pages and make those new money pages like large backlinking focuses. Obviously update your top content often. Also, answer boxes is I think over sixty percent of informational searches now contain an answer box and that number is still going up so it’s really important that you make sure that the site you’re buying doesn’t hold substantive answer boxes because the possibility of you losing that is probably ten times the possibility of losing a ranking. I’d say it’s probably close to ten to twenty percent per month. So make sure that when you do your diligence to make sure you’re not getting traffic from an answer box because that traffic is likely to decline up to seventy five percent within a year.
Kylon: An answer box is basically when you’re typing something in Google and it’s the top result and it’s kind of you click the drop down and there’s a little bit of text, right?
Hayden: Yeah and there’s usually like six steps, right? It’s often done in steps. It’s originally designed for people who were supposed to do voice search so that you can actually get a voice response.
Kylon: Oh, interesting.
Hayden: And then finally, I always say that the best risk mitigation is I treat this business as a numbers game. Look at more deals. Do the deal flow and sourcing to get as many deals to look at. Do diligence on all those deals and you will find a gem. That being said you may find a great deal that you want to do and you need to mitigate around that risk. So you can apply all the stuff I talked about here to mitigate on the risk but then secondly you can counter any risk by trying to grow the deal.
And so for Wired as an example, I would say probably six or seven deals and we realized, okay I think our bread and butter are these publisher deals partially because we can create divisions or departments with actual procedure that will predictably grow these deals without requiring great talent. You know SaaS businesses you really kind of need a really really smart GM who’s willing to just play with different things until it grows. Whereas with these publisher businesses it’s literally just let’s go through this process and you know use this bag of tricks or this track within our bag and we know that this has probably a fifty percent chance of growing this business by twenty to thirty percent. And then we just had four or five departments each with that sort of fifty percent chance of growing this thing by twenty or thirty percent. And that generally meant that the majority of the deals that we bought ended up growing and somewhere between fifty and a hundred percent in some cases more.
Kylon: And what are those departments?
Hayden: So it was because of most of our traffic comes from Google, we had a backlinking department. We had an onpage SEO department. We had a content department. So that’s all SEO based. We had a CRO department and CRO is conversion rate optimization that applies to all deals including SaaS. And those were sort of the four main departments. We also had an email marketing department and with Kingmakers we have the exact same departments plus a couple more sort of smaller bags of tricks and we’re working directly with basically contractor partners that we used and have been using for three or four years now.
Kylon: Which if you don’t mind going into those, I think that would be interesting. Just high level, what those departments are and how we think about constantly adding to this bag of tricks as we just continue to learn new stuff. I mean most of our team is on the phone for several hours a week just with sellers of various businesses that we’re betting for our partner buyers. And so we’re like constantly exposed to different ways of doing things in different models and stuff and so maybe talk a little bit about that.
Hayden: Yeah so do you mean talk about the existing departments or talk about future departments?
Kylon: Future departments.
Hayden: Okay. So we always have basically we have two people who are kind of both sort of are in the role who work directly with me to prove out or do basically these minimum viable product versions of new departments we find. This is actually how we generally find or build up these departments in the past. So usually it’ll start with someone usually me doing diligence on a business and realizing that hey this business has something in it on how it was generating traffic or how it’s monetizing that I actually think could apply to the majority of the businesses we buy. And so once you’ve sort of discovered that, I would work with the person. We have a weekly call and basically I would try to prove this out usually manually and fail as fast as possible. And a lot of the time it fails a lot of time it succeeds. When it does succeed it’s then up to us to sort of actually turn this into proper procedure and start applying it to multiple deals.
Right now we’re probably looking at about three to four different spaces some of which we’ve actually found partners to work basically with our partners and actually not charge up front but have some kind of revenue share. And a couple of which where we’re kind of building out the procedure ourselves and we’ll be looking to find basically an agency partner that can fulfill that procedure cheaply.
Kylon: Yeah, awesome. And part of that too is they’re generating ROI focused reports even prior to the acquisition too, right?
Hayden: Yeah so I mean that’s one of the things that when we work with providers I actually often prefer not to work with people who already have a business but rather to people who are much more procedure oriented and good managers and good hires. And basically I designed reporting around it and it’s always ROI based. So like our content group that we work with basically designs all of the content around ROI publishes our ROI on every cohort of content published on a monthly basis and basically tries to improve upon her processes. And you know it’s great because it keeps them super super accountable. And it is very easy for our partners to see whether or not something is generating return and you know most agencies you work with will not want to do that.
Any other questions on the on the growth side?
Kylon: None, let’s move on to the different types of risk mitigation.
Hayden: So aside from growing deals, aside from structuring deals around risk mitigation, you can basically diversify across multiple assets. You can use Google rankings to dominate other traffic sources, which is something we’ve been looking into quite a bit. I guess I’ll dig into that a bit more with some examples. So you buy a business that has Google rankings. It’s getting a bunch of traffic. The most basic might be email. So if you are getting—let’s call it a hundred thousand visitors per month and we were to then set up—the CRO department sets up strong content upgrades to email, you can probably get (depending on how your traffic is distributed, but let’s say you have a single page that gets fifty thousand visitors per month—you could probably with content upgrade) get somewhere between five and fifteen percent opt-in rate on that page. So let’s assume ten percent for simplicity’s sake. You would basically be getting five thousand emails a month as long as your Google rankings exist.
So one of things that we always did as soon as we bought a deal because most people don’t do in marketing while is we would basically start up a strong sort of opt-in with content upgrade and then basically put that into an auto responder. And we would probably in many cases we would see the ability to replace the revenue of the deal from Google with revenue from email—promoting affiliate offers or for promoting your own products if that’s something that you wanted to do within eighteen months. That’s kind of been our goal and it always depends on whether you’re creating your own product. It depends on the niche, etcetera. But generally speaking it was always under two years.
And another way you can do that is let’s say with FBA, which is fulfillment by Amazon—which is basically you know you order a product from China and sell it on Amazon. Amazon’s algorithms similar to Google are based on things like conversion rate to the page, their based on the number of sales, and the sales are based on the percentage of reviews—that type of thing. And if you own a publisher and you bootstrap a product that that publisher is basically promoting, you can effectively kind of spike the tip jar for Amazon. So if you’re a publisher that’s getting again say fifty thousand visitors a month and it’s around a product type term like best kayak reviews or something like that. And you basically design a kayak or design a kayak paddle and you send all that traffic from your page to your product, that product is going to have a high conversion rate. It’s gonna start getting sales. You can also grab your email list and you can discount the product in your email list up to forty nine percent or something and still basically game it in such a way that you’re now going to rank organically for kayak paddles on Amazon itself. And so you’re using those Google rankings to dominate Amazon and now your risk is being mitigated across two traffic jams.
And then a third example of using Google rankings to dominate the traffic sources would be… For example, Facebook ads. So if you have an affiliate—that’s something we’re working on right now actually. Sort of in the R&D department. If you have an affiliate product that allows you to post back your sales into a tracking pixel, you can basically have Facebook generate a lookalike audience for you for free without having to invest all that money into paper click. And then from there, you can have a really really efficient paperclip campaign on Facebook. And again you’re mitigating across your traffic risk now across two channels which would be Facebook PPC and Google.
Kylon: That’s nuts.
Hayden: And there are countless ways that you can do this but these are sort of the ones were playing with right now or we have partners we’re working on.
Kylon: I love it. When you talk about diversifying across multiple assets, maybe go into that a little bit.
Hayden: Yes so basically, the more businesses you buy, the more you’re mitigating your risk or diversifying your risk. So that was really one of the focuses of Wired and why we bought so many things so quickly. We realized it was very strong mitigation. Generally speaking, you don’t want to buy too much too quickly because it might be hard for you to actually manage it, but we do recommend that everyone we work with treats this like a portfolio and not I want to do one business and be done with it but I wanna do one business you know sort of sink my teeth into it get a feel for it and then do business two and then do business three.
Kylon: And when you’re talking about building a portfolio, what are your thoughts around when to buy sort of complementary businesses and when to diversify across different niches and stuff like that.
Hayden: I think it it depends. It’s always better to be strategic with your purchase. It may not always be available. And so I would recommend that people diversify even if it’s a separate niche as long as they’re financially able to do so. I still think that’s a smarter move than just holding one thing or even holding one thing and waiting forever to try to find that perfect number two purchase that makes number one by default fifty percent more valuable. That being said, a hundred percent, you should be putting the effort into trying to find tuck-in acquisitions.
Kylon: Gotcha and then there’s deal structure as well which you alluded to a couple times already for instance you’re talking about an earn out but maybe go into that a little bit and maybe talk about without giving URLs away how we’re currently structuring some deals. And maybe go into to depth a little bit about that earn out and how exactly that can be structured as well.
Hayden: Earn outs or holdbacks (whatever you wanna kinda classify them) are usually the way you would structure deals around risk and we’ve definitely done several deals there. Generally speaking, an earn out will be basically it’s contingent on something and affectively you pay the earn out only if that contingency holds. So it could be contingent on traffic, it could be contingent on revenue, it could be contingent on a key person continuing to work, it could be contingent on a contract not expiring or a key vendor not leaving. Generally speaking people prefer to keep earn outs to twelve months maximum. That being said, we structured several deals with earn outs over two or three years.
Kylon: And in your experience is this something that sellers are generally pretty open to or is it quite a turn off?
Hayden: They’re open it. No one likes it, obviously. It depends on how eager they are to sell. I would say because we’re doing a lot of our own sort of exclusive deal flow and there’s not competing bids, people are open to it. When you get into a situation where there are competing bids, people are much less open to it because they know that if they just wait, they’re likely to receive an all cash offer.
Kylon: Gotcha, awesome. Cool, well we’re about at the thirty minute mark here and so thanks for going over all that I think that’s gonna be very helpful for people. Before we let you go, do you have any parting advice for listeners who maybe haven’t bought a business yet but are considering or maybe they have. In regards to just risk mitigation and growth, do you have any parting advice there?
Hayden: Do your homework. Definitely, you know I would say if you’re just starting out in the space, you should go on to Flippa. Go look at a whole bunch of deals and you should just basically design your own little calculator on how you think you should sort of score deals. And don’t do your first deal until you’ve at least scored a dozen deals in different spaces so that you can understand better the risks associated with what you’re buying. And it doesn’t matter if that deal is you know a business that’s for sale for ten thousand dollars or ten million dollars. Generally the risks are going to be very similar. That would be my advice. And obviously, if this is your first time doing it you should (if you can) partner with someone who’s done it before.
Well folks, you are the average of the five people you hang around the most and today you’ve been hanging out with Hayden and Kylon learning how to build your business empire. For more information or to get in touch, head over to kingmakers.co and always remember to build beyond business.
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