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Some of the most popular episodes we’ve aired have been with guests who have experienced the buying or selling process firsthand. Today’s guest has acquired several businesses and is genuinely good at the acquisition process. In part one of a two-part series, Chuck is talking to Mike Nunez about his various acquisitions and his 9 super secret to tips to being a great buyer.
Mike has been in the online marketing space since 1999. After gaining experience in affiliate marketing, he launched Affiliate Manager with his brother while he continued to work full time for Google. More recently, Mike has purchased several e-commerce businesses from Quiet Light. We’ll hear about how Mike is becoming one of our top buyers, how he’s realizing his dreams, and that one last goal he may just reach.
- What it means to be a good buyer.
- What values the seller looks for aside from the monetary value.
- Ways to put the seller at ease by focusing on what is important to them.
- The importance of having a plan in your approach to the seller.
- How to accept and value of the previous owner’s advice during the transition.
- Why you should avoid poor positioned questions when working with the seller.
- The buyer needs to find what he wants – the fit has to be right for the buyer too.
- Finding the component that will help make the business yours and not focus solely on the money piece.
- The relationship of trust in your broker is also a key factor in being a good buyer or seller.
Mark: Some of the most popular podcasts that we’ve put out here at Quiet Light Brokerage are the episodes where we get the chance to interview either a seller or a buyer on their background or their journey of going through a buying an online business. And Chuck I know you had a good friend of ours, a good friend of Quiet Light Brokerage’s and a previous podcast guest as well, Mike Nuñez on because he’s acquired a couple of businesses from us and more specifically from you in the recent months. How did that discussion go?
Chuck: Yeah it went great. Mike is what I would consider probably one of our best buyers. The way he’s able to get on a phone call and just talk to people, and sometimes I use the word tactics throughout the call. I don’t feel like when he’s doing it he’s being tactical, I feel like he’s just a very genuinely friendly guy who is just really good. His experience is that he’s been in internet marketing for 20 years I’ve been in it for 24 so he’s almost up there with me.
Mark: He worked at Google so he’s got that on you.
Chuck: Yeah, he worked at Google for four years in the paid search department. So he talks a lot about on this one so I ended up having to split this up into two podcasts because it was just going so long. So the first one we talked about his nine super-secret tips to being a great buyer and there was a lot of really actionable stuff in there that I think everybody is going to be able to get a lot out of.
Mark: Guys that’s awesome and you talk about the difference between tactics and just being a good guy and look they can blend together, right? I mean Mike isn’t the type of conniving guy saying here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to say this phrase and that phrase to make sure somebody absolutely loves me and then I’m going to be able to get an additional 20% off. That’s not the way he works. He is just generally a good guy. He helps a lot. He’s got that help first mentality. We preach this all the time and Joe is the one that coined a lot of these phrases which is nice buyers tend to do better. And it’s just really, really true that sometimes we need tips on how to do it. This is why Dale Carnegie wrote the famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People just to give us some actionable tips to be like how do you actually encounter people in a business environment in a way that will benefit you. And if you read the book you find out that a lot of it is; well it starts with that right disposition and who you are. And Mike is a good person. I love that you broke this out into nine tips. Are you able to give me any preview of any of the nine tips or do you not remember them offhand?
Chuck: Yeah. So one of the questions is around positioning the way you ask questions I think it’s a really good tip. I won’t get into all the details but you’ll see it in the video.
Mark: Okay, so not just going out there and hammering people with questions in a very kind of combatant way but I’m sure Mike has a very unique approach to that.
Chuck: Well, Mark I just said I’m not going to get into the details. Don’t try to pressure me.
Mark: Alright. You know what I was talking to Joe the other day and he’s like do you listen to the podcasts, Mark? And I said no, I don’t because I hear enough of you Joe I don’t want to hear more of you and he records all the episodes. So he said your intros are getting to be too long so let’s cut it out. Let’s get to it.
Chuck: Hey everybody today on the call we have Mike Nuñez. Welcome, Mike.
Mike: Thank you, Chuck, it’s great to be here.
Chuck: So people may have heard your name before because we mentioned you quite frequently on the podcast. And the reason we mentioned you so frequently is because you’re what I would consider my number one buyer. I think probably one of Quiet Light’s top buyers and not from a monetary perspective. You do purchase a lot of businesses, you purchase a lot of large businesses from us but more so just from your personality; the way you interact with clients on phone calls like whenever I’m telling somebody how to be a good buyer I’m always in my head thinking what does Mike do and then I’m telling them what Mike does in order to be a good buyer. Because we’re friends and I know you outside of Quiet Light but like I really do mean that. Like you are really a great buyer and you’re easy to talk to. And if anybody’s watching the video today they’re going to notice that you look somewhat like a sports commentator with that headset on and you’ve got a suit and tie and the suit and tie isn’t the normal way I see Mike but one of the businesses he purchased was a custom-tailored suit business so I guess he’s got to rep that brand now.
Mike: That’s right.
Chuck: But maybe you could tell everybody a little bit about yourself.
Mike: Oh great. I’m happy to. And first, let me say thank you. That was super just kind of you to say. I always whenever I have any of these phone calls I just take an approach of what I want to hear and recognizing that these business owners have been working on this; their babies, right? And you just have to be careful as you ask questions because we all want to know where the opportunity is and I’m sure we’ll talk much more about that here but we want to know where the opportunity is and the way that you find that is by asking questions. But it’s a very fine line between asking questions and becoming insulting and so you just have to walk that fine line. But there’s absolutely a way to do it and there’s a way to lead these sellers into that and realizing that you’re both kind of on the same team. But again; well I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves or at least I am so I’ll tell you a little bit about me to start this off. I’ve been in online marketing since 1999, I was in college at the time and I know that dates myself a little bit. The first job was in lead generation, online marketing. I moved in to travel doing affiliate marketing and travel. I eventually launched my own affiliate marketing business along with my brother that’s still going today so its AffiliateManager.com. Last year we merged with a company called Rhino Fish to create the performance company which is our page search division. Overall that marketing company is about 22 people. We have 3 former Googlers myself included on that staff. So we’re quite good at both affiliate marketing and paid search. I like to say so. We also have two other businesses or I have two other businesses; one is an outdoor equipment seller that I purchased from Quiet Light, another is a custom made to measure suit company that I purchased from Quiet Light as well. So overall I’m about 20 years down it hurts to say experience in online marketing and business and online businesses in general and it’s been a really fun journey. I always like to say Chuck my dream used to be I want to be able to work from anywhere and now I’m there. The new dream is that I want to not have to work. So someday I’ll realize that second dream.
Chuck: I don’t like to hear that because I think the term not working would be not buying additional businesses and you’re one short away from a special goal that I; I told him if you bought a certain number that I would buy him a specific thing. So he’s just shy of that goal.
Mike: Yeah it’s just without getting into too many details like we’re talking about less than what is it 4% on millions of dollars that I’m short.
Chuck: But I set this goal early on, right? So it’s your fault that you haven’t reached it. If you have just paid a little bit more in that last acquisition you would have hit that goal.
Mike: We need to round up Chuck. That’s what I’m saying. We need to just round up and I should hit that threshold.
Chuck: I’ll remember that on the next acquisition. We’ll just round up.
Mike: Right. Yeah. Only when it’s in my favor, please.
Chuck: So part of the reason I wanted to have you on the call today was one just to talk about maybe some tips or just maybe even not tips but just discussing what it is to be a good buyer. But then also from your perspective what it is you’re looking at when you’re looking to buy businesses. I know you have a specific criteria that you’re looking for and your criteria is different than other people’s. And I wanted to also maybe talk about some lessons you’ve learned along the way. So I guess to kick it off maybe let’s just dive in a little bit about being a good buyer. So I would start off just by saying that you know I talked to a lot of people; constantly I’m on the phone and people are always asking me what it is to be a good buyer? And some people I talked to think that in order to be a good buyer it’s about being aggressive in trying to negotiate. And maybe they’re not thinking that as being a good buyer but they want to try to get the best deal by doing that and they’ll say negative things about people’s businesses. And you take a very different approach than that. So I think you already addressed it a little bit but maybe you want to dive into maybe the approach you take to negotiating and to speaking with others.
Mike: Sure. I think it’s important context to say both of the businesses that I’ve purchased from you Chuck and Quiet Light had multiple offers, were very much generating a lot of interest and so there were multiple potential buyers. And I don’t want to say we were the lowest offer. I don’t think we were. I know in both cases we weren’t the highest offer either.
Chuck: Yeah just maybe to add a little context before you dive into further, one of the; I think actually both of them said I wanted to sell to Mike. So they’re talking to multiple people and they said get Mike up to this number I want to sell to him. Even though that number was lower than what some of the other potential buyers were offering.
Chuck: So I think that speaks a lot to you.
Mike: Thank you again, Chuck. But I would say that therein lies the quote-unquote the secret which is money is valuable, right? They want money. If you’re nowhere near what they’re asking or if you’re nowhere near what their magic number is, the rest of this conversation goes away. Let’s put that aside. I think Quiet Light does an incredible job overall of valuing companies fairly and appropriately. And you know that walking in. So if you know that walking in okay this is a fairly and appropriately valued business now it’s a matter of percentage points maybe either way and in either direction of that. The purpose of the call, at least the initial call is to identify; one of the purposes of the call is to identify what value is this seller seeking beyond the dollars because the dollars are going to fall within a certain range. So a good example for the suit business is the seller really cared about his people. He really cared about his co-workers that he’s had for the last however many years; almost 10 years that have put in their blood, their sweat, their tears into this. And he wanted to know that they were going to be okay. And I think actually in the ranking of why I won the business even though I had a lower offer than other people had, that’s probably number one is just feeling comfortable about that the new owner is going to come in and take care of the people that were there. And I made no promises. Let me say that. I didn’t say I promise I’m not going to let anybody go or I promise; I said no, I promise I’m going to be fair and appropriate with everybody and evaluate everybody based on performance. And he was confident knowing that he had hired stellar people. And it was part of what was so attractive about the business is he had incredible people that were already working there so it made it even more attractive for us. So I think that was number one for him. Second I think there was a sense of patriotism maybe. So this is a European company. It was based in Europe. It’s in a European country. And this European country is kind of known for textiles and for creating things and such. And so I think one of the other buyers; and again there’s multiple people in here that you’re kind of competing against and so you got to think of like a pros and cons checklist and I’m being compared to each one of these other potential buyers in their pros and cons checklist. One of the other potential buyers wanted to move the production out of Europe and into China. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s where their connections are if that’s where their factories are and such; great. That’s where they want to move their production, good for them. However this particular seller wanted to keep production because of his pride for his country, because of his desire to benefit his country, he wanted to keep production in his home country. I didn’t have any alternative contacts in China or in any other potential production areas and so I felt like that was important to them and so I made it known. And I think a lot of, and I think it’s the second thing is kind of just listening on the calls. Maybe that’s super-secret number two is listening and hearing what’s important to them and asking that question okay let’s move money aside what’s important to you in the future of this company? And another good example of that is potential branding or taking care of the customers. I know this may sound a little bit cliché but this is their baby, right? They’ve grown this baby. They’ve watched this baby grow. They’ve poured their love, their sweat, their tears, their hours. The seller of the custom suit company is an example. I remember him saying like I can’t remember the last time I took a vacation. He just poured everything he possibly had into this company. And so when you’re that invested overall they just kind of feel a comfort level that the new owner is going to come in and do right by what they’ve built. They just don’t want to see it go away and it’s they’ve already got their cash at that point and they still care. And I will say one positive side effect and please know that this is partly or mostly; not even partly, mostly because of the owner and this is one of the criteria; we can talk more about this later, but one of the criteria that I look at is an owner that cares and they’re selling for potentially a different reason other than they don’t care about the business anymore. I think those are the ones that kind of phone it in afterwards. The two owners of the businesses that I’ve purchased are still very much invested. One of them still works full time in the company and works as hard today as when he owned it. And I am very appreciative for that. Same thing for the custom suit company, he chimes in all the time. Like hey, this is how we did things, this is how we did it. It’s so helpful in the transition of a company to have the context of somebody who built this business from the ground up. And I think the super-secret number three there is when somebody is on your side, let them be. Both of their intentions aren’t to harm the business in any way. They want to see it grow. And even though in both instances there’s been times where we didn’t quite agree on how to take things to the next level, we absolutely welcomed their feedback and sometimes they were right. Sometimes we were right. Kind of checking your pride and moving it to the side for a second when you’re good at something and allowing them to tell you, yes I know you’re good at this, let me tell you how what you’re doing applies specifically to the business that you’re purchasing from me. It’s a really important lesson in the growth of the business which might be a good segway Chuck if it’s okay with you to start talking about the lessons learned for some of the businesses or did you want more on…?
Chuck: Before we move on you mentioned that both of the owners of the businesses were kind of still somewhat involved in the company. Is that something you’re specifically looking for or was that just a happenstance of you buying a good quality business that had an owner that actually cared about the business?
Mike: So in neither instance was it a requirement beforehand that the owner would stay on with the business post-acquisition. The first acquisition, the owner requested it. They said hey I see the plan and I didn’t intend to call out these super-secrets but let’s call it the super-secret number four is have a plan. Don’t just walk in and say hey I’d like to buy your business. In that instance, I just so happened to be in London and as I’m trying to buy this business the owner of the business lived in an island off of the coast of Morocco. I had a free weekend while I was in London and I flew over and met with him and his wonderful wife and they were gracious. They took me to dinner. I insisted but they wouldn’t let me treat for dinner. I think they were just thankful that I flew to go visit them and talk about the business; so just again that personal connection there. So while it wasn’t a requirement that they stay with the business post-acquisition I’m always open to it if they’re open to it. And I started talking about the plan; having the plan and being able to approach them. In both instances they got excited. One of them and I’ll try to talk vague because I don’t want to say anything about either one of them that they wouldn’t want me to share. But one of them said when I said why are you selling it they said well I’m almost running out of ideas. Like I don’t know what the next thing to do is. I don’t know where to take this next and how to make it grow. And so for me, it’s a choice of whether we stay at the level that we are now and continue happily down that path. Or do I allow my baby to grow by giving it to somebody who’s going to take it to that next level? And so to be able to show them okay not only can we take it to next level here’s how; yes, you recognize we have the experience before this on how to get this to that next level but here let me lay out the plan in front of you. And all throughout the while of reviewing the business and going to the website I have a checklist and I’ll go over some of the points with you later today, here’s all the opportunities that we think that we can have. And based off of those opportunities that’s how we create the plan. And then we plug that into our for lack of a better word, our company acquisition algorithm to say okay is this worthwhile? And based off of the competitive advantages that we have with this business can we offer a little more? Do we need to offer a little less? Like where do we think that we’re going to fit into this overall picture? So I feel like I didn’t fully answer your question. The answer is no we don’t require the owners to stay on post-acquisition. We are completely open to it. We prefer it. In both instances, they’re both quite engaged overall. And just to reiterate the point maybe super-secret number five is if somebody wants to be on your side let them be. And in this instance, both the previous owners want to be on our side. They want to give us the feedback. We 100% remain open to receiving that feedback even if it’s counter to what we want to achieve we’ll at least receive it. I have a philosophy that you’re not entitled to have a point if you can’t justify it. And so if they come to me and say hey I think you’re doing this incorrectly or I don’t think you’re doing this right. I tell myself okay, here’s an expert that’s owned this business for a long time, they feel strongly enough to come to me and say I think you’re doing this incorrectly. I feel strongly that I’m doing it this way. But feeling trolling isn’t good enough. I need to go pull data, go look at numbers, go say why are we doing it this way. And then I go back to them and say okay here’s the reason why we’re doing this way and they can poke holes in it or say no you know what that looks good. I wish I would have known that when I had the business. So I think that answers your question, Chuck.
Chuck: Yeah I think so. And maybe secret; what number are we on, number six?
Mike: I think we’re on number six now.
Chuck: Okay, so I would say super-secret number six, what you kind of just alluded to and what you didn’t is you know when in school like high school or whatever and the teacher is like oh there’s no such thing as a dumb question. There 100% is such a thing as a dumb question when you’re talking to a seller. I would say super-secret number six is be prepared when you get on a call, be dedicated to the call that you’re on, don’t be in a car with a lot of background noise. Be at a desk, be in one place, do some research, if there’s an interview to watch, watch the interview with the seller, read the package, ask intelligent questions about the business. It’s okay to ask something that’s already been addressed in the package if you want some additional information but show that you’ve actually researched the business because constantly when I’m talking to my sellers and we get off a phone call they’re like that guy is not serious, don’t connect me with him again. They want to know that you’re serious and a way to show that you’re serious is to have done some research ahead of time and ask intelligent questions about the business. And that’s something that you definitely do.
Mike: Thanks, Chuck. And I think that goes with having a plan. Like I don’t have the time, I know you don’t have the time, I don’t have the time, I’m sure the sellers don’t have the time to just sit there and answer questions that for somebody who clearly isn’t prepared for the call it’s a horrible signal to the seller that you’re not serious about this that even if you do have the cash, even if all other things fall into place you’re not going to be an organized person handling their business moving forward. So it’s just an awful signal to send upfront. And I think one of the other things that you said; I don’t want to say that there’s bad questions, there’s unprepared questions.
Chuck: There are bad questions. I’ve had them on my calls.
Chuck: And I know you’re; Mike again this gets back to Mike being a super nice guy and doesn’t want to; there are dumb questions and I’ve had many of them on my calls.
Mike: I’m still going to stay that there’s poorly positioned questions. And one of them might be hey Chuck I feel like this is a really dumb question and so forgive me for asking what’s going to seem like a dumb question but it’s just weighing on me and I need to ask it. That’s a well-positioned dumb question. Another really good example of that is starting a call. I have a big belief and maybe this might be in one of the other super- secrets but we’ll call it super-secret number seven, are we on seven now? So super-secret number seven, figure out what they want and give it to them. And again part of that is money but that’s the beauty of working with a broker especially Quiet Light, that part’s already figured out. That’s almost done. They’ve declared that this is the multiple that they want now it’s up to you to figure out does that fit within your company acquisition algorithm. Can I afford this based off of all of these criteria? And again I’ll go through some of those in a little bit. Move that aside and now figure out what do they want. Do they want to stay on with the business? Do they want to hand it over to somebody who’s going to keep the work within their country or somebody who isn’t going to start selling poorly made products to their customer base that they’ve built up over time? Figure out what they want and give it to them. It’s the best negotiation technique. If you walk into a call or a negotiation and you’re trying to think how can I squeeze every dime out of this person on the other side of this phone call; I mean good luck to you, you may win or you may not. I have the philosophy of; I took a course from the Wharton School of Business one time and we talked about negotiation and one of the things we talked about was the difference between an average hitter in baseball and a Hall of Fame hitter in baseball is one in nine hits. If you can get one more hit in nine at-bats, that’s the difference between average and Hall of Fame. The same thing with negotiation, if you can get one more hit in nine at-bats it’s potentially a huge difference in the overall success that you’re going to have. So same thing here, and so I approach the call as hey let’s figure this out together and I’m listening the entire time trying to figure out what’s important to the person on the other side of the call. Also, another; super-secret number eight is going to be disarming the call. It doesn’t have to be this contentious conversation where I’m battling you for information. That’s not the case. I start out almost every call and you can attest to this Chuck, and by the way, I’ve purchased a couple. I’ve probably had maybe less than 10 but several phone calls with people. Some of them after the call I decide this is not the right fit for me. I can’t give them what they want so I just walk away and I go on to the next business. Other ones I’ve made offers for and maybe somebody else was giving something that they wanted and I didn’t get that. But the two that I’ve got I’m very happy with thus far. But when I start the call I say hey I need to ask some questions and some of these questions might come across the wrong way. They may seem offensive or it may seem like I’m trying to prod or I’m trying to poke, all I’m looking for is opportunity. What opportunity exists in your business? And I’m trying to use it to go justify pulling this money out of other places and spending it and handing it over to you. So I’m looking for your help in bridging that gap here. And so when you position it that way and say help me get there it’s amazing how they almost start to fall over themselves to tell you all of the potential opportunities in the business beyond what they’ve already written into the marketing package. And I’ll even call that out. I’ve read the marketing package. I see that you see that this is an opportunity, this is an opportunity, this is an opportunity, based off of some research that I’ve done I think that this might be an opportunity. Is there a reason why you haven’t attacked that market? Is there a reason why you haven’t advertised on this channel? Is there a reason why this or this or that? And after you’ve position that I’m looking for opportunity, I want to make this happen, help me get there, usually they’re quite open and willing to volunteer that information. So I’ll call that super-secret number eight.
Chuck: Yup, number eight. I can see the headline of this interview now; eight super-secrets of Mike Nuñez. We’ve got to get it to like 9 or 10 maybe. So yeah I think that those are some really good tactics. And I hate to use the word tactic because I don’t feel like it’s a tactic. I guess it is but like that’s just your normal personality and maybe some people don’t have it. But I think one of the major takeaways there is don’t be super aggressive with a seller. Like the businesses we sell at Quiet Light, they’re generally speaking super high quality with owners that care. It’s not we generally; like sometimes we do but often it’s not people that are just starting a business to flip, to flip, to flip. These are people who started a business because it’s something they’re passionate about and they’re ready to move on for one reason or another and they want to pass on the torch to somebody who cares. And when you come in aggressive and if you try to beat down their business or things like that, that doesn’t work. Maybe if you’re working on a 100 million dollar deal and you got to like get in there and be super aggressive like that doesn’t work with what we’re doing at all.
Mike: I just have to add to that Chuck because I think it’s like if it works you should be worried. If it works it’s probably not the right business. Like that’s not; feel free to take this out Chuck if I shouldn’t or can’t talk about this but in the last offer I made I did not get the business. I made an offer but in our call, I recognized that what they were looking for was a quick close and a short close. They wanted to make sure that it closed. They wanted to do it quickly. And that was beyond the dollars and it was very fairly priced already, beyond the dollars that’s what was important to them. And so for the caller just to give you an example of how much I personally trust after physically spending millions of dollars with Quiet Light already I made an offer, all cash so that they knew that this was going to close. I offered close at your convenience. And third I offered no due diligence. Now I wouldn’t recommend that for everybody and all things.
Chuck: I don’t recommend that either. Do not offer to close. This is a certain special deal with a person that is a known entity that was trusted. You should always do your due diligence. Don’t listen to Mike. Don’t rely on us to do due diligence. It is your job to do the due diligence.
Mike: 100% that was my decision that I was aware of this company, the numbers were small enough where even if this was a complete disaster it wouldn’t be a disaster for me. But it was a complete cash offer, it was a complete quick close and I offer that with the hope that that was the value that they were looking for that was not a cash value that would allow them to choose me because they had; I mean I don’t even know how many Chuck.
Chuck: There were nine offers on the deal and you were; because of that they wanted to sell that component to you but the other offer was just so much; it was more money, the guy was willing to do a quick close as well so it just beats you out. They wanted to sell it to you. The other guy was just; it was a better offer with the other person.
Mike: Understood. And so I got close right with the untangible non-monetary aspects of the offer.; it got me super close, right? I almost got that extra hit and that nine tenth bat. So just a good example of listening to what they want, trying to give it to them, and it’s going to save you dollars in the long run. And the fact that they were considering me sounds like even though my offer was lower; yet again that seems to be the MO here overall. And by the way, I made a full price offer so it wasn’t even like I made an under offer. I made a full price offer but somebody beat the full price offer and I’m still under consideration.
Chuck: And just to let maybe another super-secret number nine; this isn’t Mike’s this is mine so I think that’s like two of the nine. Listen to the broker. If I’m telling you something there’s a reason I’m telling you it. Like when I say this is going to sell for at or above asking, it’s probably going to sell for at or above asking. I’m not just trying to increase the price, right? I do represent the seller and I’m trying to do my best to get as much value for the seller but I’m not going to do that by lying. I’m going, to be honest. There’s things I can’t say to you. If you say well what’s the other asking price is or what’s the other offers, I can’t tell you that but I will try to lead you in the direction of making an offer that’s going to be accepted. Don’t think that we’re just; if I tell you there’s multiple offers, there are multiple offers. I’m not just B-S-ing you. And we get it all the time where I tell people there’s multiple offers put your best highest final offer in and then yeah okay asking price and I’m like put your best offer like I’m just telling you and then it goes for above asking and then the person is mad oh why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve put a higher offer. And it’s like I did tell you; I told you to put your best offer in. Like I don’t want you to stretch, I don’t want you to put an offer that makes you uncomfortable but you need to put your best offer in if you want to win this business.
Mike: So I just want to say to that people have been kind of beat down and trained to not be trusting especially to brokerages. And at the risk of sounding like a Quiet Light commercial, it’s just not the case with Quiet Light. And is it okay with you if I tell the story of how I found Quiet Light and why I just trust you guys implicitly?
Chuck: I’m not sure of the story but please do tell it.
Mike: I’ve had the affiliate manager and the performance company; the affiliate managed business overall since 2002. I started it with my brother and we built up the business. And in 2015 my brother passed away. He passed away fairly unexpectedly. And I was working at Google at the time and I had a decision to make; do I leave Google and come back to Affiliate Manager or do I sell the company? And so through some mutual contacts, I was referred over to Mark and Joe. This was before Chuck was there so I totally would’ve went to Chuck. But I went to Mark and Joe and just talked about the business and they asked me just great questions and they asked me for the P&L and they asked me what does the growth rate look like over the last few years. And we had been growing at like a 50%; no I’m sorry 100% rate year over year. We had doubled every year for the previous three years from ’13, ’14, and ‘15. And this is in January 2016 that I’m talking to Mark and Joe. And they even though this would have been a multimillion-dollar deal to sell that company; and I’m sure they do many, many multimillion-dollar deals which makes it easier to; I don’t want to say turn it away but to give this advice.
Chuck: So I will stop you there before I was with Quiet Light which was I’ve been about three years they weren’t doing a lot of multimillion-dollar deals. So at that time a million, two, or three million dollars was a lot. It’s just been in the last few years that we’ve really got up to where we’re selling some of these really large businesses.
Mike: So that makes it even more impressive, right? And I just remember this phone call with Mark and Joe so clearly where they said Mike when you sell this we’d love to be the brokerage for you. This is the wrong decision to sell right now. If you keep growing at this rate you will get what you want. Because of that conversation; I talked to other brokers who are ready to list my business or promising me the world and because of that especially now knowing that it would have been a very high multimillion-dollar deal for them and that they weren’t doing as many at that time, for them to turn away that commission just gave me a level of trust with them that this is the company that I’m going to do business with. I am not comparing myself to Warren Buffett, Chuck. Not in the least. But one thing that he does that I love is he makes things easy and he; I don’t want to say he takes shortcuts but he has built-in shortcuts. He can go from looking at a potential deal to executing a deal very quickly. And I don’t know how he does it but my interpretation of how he does it is he identifies businesses and companies that he feels confident and he trusts. And so to me the implicit trust that I get from working with Quiet Light is a shortcut. To me, it gets me from here to this point. My comfort level right off the bat knowing that Quiet Light is not going to take a company that’s shady or take a company that doesn’t have solid P&L numbers or things of that effect, it’s just such a comfort level. And if my comfort level was at a 90 pre these two deals because of what Mark and Joe did when they told me go continue to grow your business. It’s at 100 now that I’ve actually purchased two companies and both of them are better than what I had expected. Now granted I’ll take some credit for that that I’ve done the due diligence on it; I hired Centurica actually for both due diligences. We did the due diligence and we got into the company. Both of them feel; were over a year in on the first one, we’re almost a year on the second one and both are solid. Both are growing. We just ran the numbers and after a little bit of a rocky start with the suit one because of some of the changes that we were making and that’s what happens but we are now; November is our biggest month and we were up 30%. If you shift to include cyber Monday because everybody is obviously one of our biggest days.
Chuck: How long have you owned that company?
Mike: Since April of this year. So to go from there we beat our biggest day previously in the company not once, not twice, but three times by over 25%. So to beat your previous biggest day which was Black Friday; I’m sorry Cyber Monday last year, we beat it Black Friday this year, we beat it the Sunday after Black Friday this year, and we beat it again on Cyber Monday this year. So we literally doubled Black Friday. So it’s been amazing. And again if my comfort level was a 90, it’s 100 because of that. Like I’m not walking into a business that’s a money pit or that has craters I didn’t expect or potholes that I didn’t expect. So I think that’s just super important overall.
Chuck: Awesome. So we’re running a little long on this call, we’ve got a ton to talk about. So would you be interested in having this become a two-part segment where we’ll end it here and then we’ll keep going but we’ll put that as a part two, to be continued?
Mike: Yeah. But in case people are watching this on video just know that we cut it into two parts. I didn’t wear the same suit on two different days.
Chuck: We’ll make a quick wardrobe change.
Mike: Okay, I’ll go change my jacket.
Mike: But that’s fine. Yes, I’m happy to do that.
Chuck: Alright. So, everybody, Mike Nuñez thank you for the interview today. And for everybody watching stay tuned. Next, we will discuss some of the lessons you’ve learned and what you’re looking for when you purchase a business. So, for now, bye everybody and thank you, Mike, for joining us.
Mike: Thanks for having me.
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