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E-Commerce Acquisition: Novadab’s Journey
The purchase process for first-time e-commerce buyers is rarely stress-free. Today’s guest is here to take us through his acquisition from inception to completion. He openly talks about the vetting, the financing, the due diligence process, and the seller/buyer relationship. We also discuss the wins and losses, and how they played off on each other in the six to eight months after the purchase.
Finding himself near the end of his career, Rocky Cleborne was looking for something else. As an almost-retiree from the automobile industry, he decided to purchase his first business. Rocky reviewed numerous businesses and performed extensive vettings of fourteen of them before finally deciding on an e-commerce jewelry business. As we’ve mentioned before, surrounding yourself with smart, experienced people and being the right type of person yourself are often the keys to successful acquisitions. The highest offer is not always necessarily the one that wins the bid for the business.
- The vetting process Rocky went through before deciding on Novadab.
- How many offers he made out of the 14 businesses he considered buying.
- How using Centurica services helped Rocky through the process.
- The SBA lending process and how much Rocky had to come up with in his deal.
- Rocky’s business model and where his e-commerce products are being sold (hint, it’s not all Amazon).
- Mistakes he made in the early days of the transition to e-commerce and sourcing.
- The customer experience Novadab provides for their 12,000 orders each month.
- Rocky’s email marketing strategy.
- The business’s growth percentage since the purchase.
- How he’s formed a partnership with a surprising partner and how that partnership is fueling growth both in Novadab and beyond.
- The losses and wins Rocky experienced during the transition process.
Mark: Joe over the past several years I have sat down and had coffee with people who are looking to buy their 1st online business and we talk a lot about what does that process like. How do you go about finding that right opportunity? How do you vet that opportunity? And then even afterwards what does it look like after you do the acquisition and are spending the 1st several months in there what you would be expecting as far as wins and losses. I love it when we have the opportunity to bring somebody on who has gone through this process and they’re totally an open book willing to share what they did. You had Rocky on who you sold a business to to talk just about that.
Joe: Yeah and actually I wasn’t the broker. I had Rocky make offers on several of my listings and he wasn’t the winning bid or the chosen one and eventually he bought one from Amanda and he openly talks about that process of buying the business, the successes that he’s had, the financing that he did, some of his big wins and some of his big losses, and how they sort of played off on each other in the six to eight months after he bought the business.
Mark: Well, it’s great. Now we also have a really exciting announcement here. We had somebody guess one of the movie quotes from the intro Mike K. right? It was Mike K.
Joe: Come on now.
Mark: I can’t pronounce his last name. I’m sorry Mike. Chris, our producer is in here with me; what’s his name, Chris?
Mark: Koregnept. Alright, so Mike Koregnept Big Short from the very first intro that we ran. Thank you, Mike, for doing that and hey guys if you’re listening and you know the quote send us an e-mail. C’mon send it over. Let us know where it’s from and if you use Google tell us; be honest because that’s the only way I can ever guess any of these movie intros. I’m not going to at game at all.
Joe: Let’s do one more thing though Mike I want you to call me, leave me a voicemail message with the proper pronunciation of your last name and we’ll air in on one of the upcoming episodes.
Mark: That’s a really good idea. So let’s get back over to the actual topic let’s talk about Rocky and the process that he used to acquire his business.
Joe: I’m recording; you can see that in the corner. Hey folks, it’s Joe from Quiet Light Brokerage and this is another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast and yes you heard me say I’m recording right at the beginning because I have Rocky on the line with me. Rocky pronounce your last name for me; go ahead.
Rocky: It’s Cleborne.
Joe: Cleborne; so easy, spelled funny but so easy. Rocky and I have talked twice in the last week because yes I recorded the best podcast ever last Tuesday with Rocky but I didn’t actually do what Rocky?
Rocky: Hit the record button.
Joe: Exactly! So we’re back at it. In the podcast world, everybody has a story of at least one time forgetting to hit record and it happened to us last week. So I’m glad you’re back; glad you had time but I think it’s appropriate that we didn’t do it two minutes after I realized when we were wrapping up that I forgot to hit record. Okay, enough babbling. Rocky Cleborne tell us about yourself; who are you what’s your background?
Rocky: Well, my name is Rocky Cleborne and after I graduated from college I ended up starting some businesses that I turned around and then sold. I got into the automobile business in the late ’90s and became a general manager of a number of large automobile dealerships; some of which were selling over 600 cars a month. I’ve been doing that for over 20 years and then decided that I wanted to retire but knew that I didn’t want to just sit around and do nothing because that’s not who I am and so I decided that I would buy a business. At first, I looked at brick and mortar businesses and then I said I wanted to be more cutting edge than that and decided that I would look at e-commerce businesses. I did some vetting and some research. I came across Quiet Light Brokerage and the rest is history as they say.
Joe: So you are an almost retiree that is in the automobile industry which is about as old school as it gets and you do what? You buy an e-commerce business and it’s not only that but it’s a jewelry e-commerce business.
Rocky: Yes indeed and the company is called Novadab and I wanted to end up getting a business that had higher margins and that the jewelry business definitely has and I wanted to be able to end up operating the business with my daughter and so she has joined me in this venture and we really, really enjoy it very, very much.
Joe: Well, good. So I want to take your life experience in terms of being in business and talk a little bit about the search process that you went through, the vetting process because I know you looked at a lot of deals; we looked at a few together, and then your financing; how you decided to pay for this business and talk a little bit about some of the wins and losses you’ve had along the way. But before I do that folks I want to say that you’ve heard me say it, you’ve heard Mark say it in the past that who you are as a buyer and how you behave as a buyer makes a huge difference in terms of getting the deal done not just with the broker. Well we’re here to help both sides of the transaction no matter what and sometimes it does matter in terms of the likability of you the buyer because if we’re in a multiple offer situation our client; the seller is going to say who do you like, what do you think, who are we going to get through due diligence with and all the way to closing, and they’re going to say who do you think would be better to work with after closing in transition and training? And Rocky is that type of guy. You struck me … well, what you bought this last fall, in fall of 2018 and we’ve talked a few times before that and then lo and behold I hear you’re under LOI and under contract with a deal that Amanda had and excited about it. I even got an e-mail from her and from the lender Stephen Speer about what a great guy you were; so good for you and folks this is what it takes some time. So again, alright Rocky tell us about your vetting process. How long did it take you to find Novadab and how many deals did you look at, and how many deals did you make an offer on? And I know you’re going to come up with ballpark numbers because you probably looked at more than you can remember.
Rocky: Well, that’s true I did look at quite a number of them actually. I started the process February of last year and I looked at quite a few businesses. As a matter of fact, I did do some research and found out that I had actually in-depth researched over 14 businesses that I was trying to end up purchasing. I utilized a company called Centurica with Chris Yates. I actually did quite a bit of study for me because I learned early in life that you want to surround yourself with people that are knowledgeable of the businesses that you’re looking to try to purchase and also know what you don’t know and I certainly … and I was very, very glad to end up having Chris being part of this search process as well as helping me do the analysis because two heads are better than one and he provided me some great insight and as a matter of fact prevented me from … or didn’t prevent me but certainly lend some insight as to why I wouldn’t want to purchase certain businesses out there. So we did some due diligence together. I ultimately landed on Novadab and then through that same process and through a podcast I was introduced to Stephen Speer and Stephen really again if you want to surround yourself with really, really smart people that are hardworking and I give it back to you all at Quiet Light and also Stephen Speer and Chris Yates in guiding me to a purchase that ultimately I’ve been very, very happy with and have enjoyed as I say operating with my daughter.
Joe: So you started in February 2018, when did you close on Novadab?
Rocky: August 23rd.
Joe: August 23rd, so just about eight months … no six months.
Rocky: Six months.
Joe: I always … I actually did this today, I talked to a buyer today and I said look man trying to find that perfect business is like looking for a needle in a haystack inside of a giant big ass haystack and he said absolutely. He’s looked over 53 cases; he looked at 53 of our listings in the last I think probably 12 months, so a lot more than you’ve probably looked at. How many of the businesses that you looked at did you … you said you looked at 14 in depth; how many of those did you make offers on?
Rocky: I actually only made offers on five of them and one of them actually was one of your offers where I was reaching for that brass rain if you will but because I hadn’t been in the e-commerce business previously we felt that it wasn’t something that we could end up doing and securing the financing ultimately with Stephen. So while I reached for it and wanted to try to do it I’m certainly glad that we ended up where we did in purchasing Novadab.
Joe: Good. Alright so quickly and I don’t mean to plug Centurica, we don’t get any referral fees. They’re not an advertiser but what I’ve talked about historically with Centurica is that once you’re under a Letter Of Intent they will help you with due diligence. We give a great deal of information on our listings but no matter what you’re going to want to dig deep. You’re going to want to look at bank statements, vendor invoices, Amazon statements, credit card statements, all of that in due diligence and when you do an SBA deal like you did Rocky with Stephen at First Home Bank and they’ve got a 3rd party valuation team, they’ve got an underwriting team, and they’re going to dig in and vet the business as well. So you’ve got lots of people that are helping but one of the things that Centurica did for you just to make sure if I understand it is that they didn’t just help you with due diligence once under LOI, they helped you with the search process as well and it made sense in advance of making the offer and going under a Letter Of Intent; correct?
Rocky: Yes, indeed they did. In fact, Chris and I took a look at a number of different businesses together and looked at the attributes, the positive things about the different businesses and how they might indeed tie into my skill set or not necessarily tie into my skill set. And by doing that he really helped guide me to purchasing a business that fit my skill set that I could then expand upon and ultimately grow the way that we actually have grown the business over the last six months. So he was involved from day one with the search for a business and really provided me that hand holding that when you’re investing the kind of money that you invest in these businesses really gives you somebody to lean on and obtain incurred information.
Joe: Cool. I want to get into the growth but let’s hold off on that just for a moment because I do want to learn there. Stephen Speer of Bank United another great one that they’re working with is Bruce Marks at Radius Bank for those listening. And if anyone listening has an amazing SBA lender please shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] and make an introduction; the more the merrier. Bruce and Stephen though are top notch. I don’t think you’d go wrong with them at all. Okay in regards to the SBA lending process we’re not going to talk about the purchase price of the business here but generally, depending on the deal size the lenders are looking for something from 10 to 25% equity infusion and that can come from the buyer and the seller or from just the buyer. Rocky in purchasing this business how much percentage of the overall deal did you have to come up with?
Rocky: I ended up coming out with approximately 20% of the overall deal including the inventory and there were some reasons behind that that I did not want to end up pledging my home is a security with the SBA which they looked to try to do and so in exchange for that I put up some additional equity in order to not have my home secure. And it was really quite interesting, the sellers also took back a note for 15% of the total deal and it was interesting in that when we did the interview as you mentioned previously on this podcast how important it really is to end up building a relationship with the seller. Everybody thinks that when they’re a buyer that they’re in the driver’s seat and when you have as much demand for e-commerce businesses particularly the good e-commerce businesses that you really want to buy; you’re the one that’s being interviewed as a buyer to end up buying that business and you really should treat it as an interview because you are being interviewed by the seller. They’ve taken a lot of their hard work and really it’s their baby if you will and they’ve owned it and brought it to where it is and now they’re turning around and trusting you with it so you want to end up making a good impression and certainly during that interview process you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward. What ultimately happened for me is that I … like many others faced a situation where there were multiple offers on the business; mine was not the highest of offers, in fact, mine was about $50,000 less than the next offer.
Rocky: He took my offer and it’s great because the two of us are still talking with each other on a regular basis and in fact, we’ve formed another business that we could talk about later.
Joe: Good for you, you found another business together in your retirement years.
Rocky: Yes indeed.
Joe: Crazy Rocky that’s what I’m going to call you from now on. It’s interesting being likable on those calls gets you … obviously, you got the deal $50,000 less than the highest bidder but also a 15% seller note. That’s not standard. I think the highest I’ve seen and I’ve done a fair amount of SBA deals is 10% so good for you. This total 35% equity infusion is interesting; 20% from you, 15% seller note for the seller and it’s news to me that the equity infusion that you brought to the table scratched the requirement by the lender to have your house as collateral on the business so that’s fantastic, good news there. Let’s talk about—
Rocky: That was thanks to Stephen as well. He did the negotiation for me with that as well.
Joe: That’s terrific. Let’s talk about the transition and training period here. You’ve got a physical product business, the business model itself is not your standard typical e-commerce business where you’re selling on let’s say a Shopify store and Amazon you’re also selling on I don’t want to call them daily deal sites, how would you classify Zoot Wulily; hold on let’s just talk about my mispronunciation. I said Zoot and Wulily, I meant Woot and Zulily and Groupon, things of that nature. Okay enough, we can make fun of me all day long; it’ll be a long podcast. Tell us about the model where your products are being sold so that everybody understands the business model itself.
Rocky: Sure our biggest partner happens to be Groupon, and Zulily is our 2nd biggest partner. We only do at this point about 10% of our business on Amazon, the rest are on deal sites as you mentioned. We have a company called MobStub that we do business with, OpenSky and some of Walmart of course and some of the other platforms that really are great opportunities for growth for us but our … what’s called a preferred vendor on both Zulily and on Groupon and it works out very, very well for all of us.
Joe: We don’t have enough conversation about deal sites like Groupon, Zulily, Woot; all of them and I think the key … tell me if I’m wrong and expand on if I’m right but the key to success on deal sites like that is SKU counts and new SKUs and being able to present new products on a regular basis. Is that right; is that what sets you apart and allows you to do business with them on a regular basis?
Rocky: Very much so; they are looking for new products to list on their sites and what we do is we try to do three new products a week on each on the Groupon site as an example. And by doing that we can end up growing along with them and they can present fresh products to their customers on a regular basis. So we vet the products out, we put them on their site, and ultimately we get orders from their customers of course and it helps us grow our business on our home site because they’ll order their initial product from say Groupon or Zulily but because we send our product out branded with branded boxes or bags they then could come to our website and we really have done quite a bit of growth through our website and our e-mails because of those different vending platforms.
Joe: That’s fantastic. So in this situation are you using a 3PL or are you fulfilling orders yourself?
Rocky: We fulfill our orders ourselves. I’ve got a wonderful team of people here in New Hampshire. In fact, we moved the business from Texas to New Hampshire over the Labor Day weekend and did not miss any orders that were placed with those portals that were wired to ship within a certain period of time. And the women that fulfill our orders here do an awesome, awesome job and we’re very, very glad to end up being able to provide not only jobs for them but also we take real care in presenting our product to our customers. And because we have control of it we really feel as though it gets into the hands of our customers in a timely fashion and also with it having looking its best.
Joe: Did the company come with any outsourced VA’s that transferred with the business or did you take it over with your daughter?
Rocky: Well, my daughter and I took it over and she does the day to day operations but we ended up having a wonderful team in India. As a matter of fact, we’re going through some of the mistakes that I made in why that team ended up being so very important to our ultimate success. When I bought the business we had just about 510 SKUs, during the last quarter of the year I increased those number of SKUs from 510 to over 800.
Rocky: And it was … I thought pretty easy; you just go out, you source the product, you bring it in, you just get some pictures, put it online, put some marketing behind it and you’re all good to go.
Joe: Simple; I mean its e-commerce, that’s all it takes right?
Rocky: That’s all it takes.
Joe: So I’m sensing we’re going to have a valuable lesson come out of this.
Rocky: Yes very much a valuable lesson but out of a few mistakes comes your biggest opportunities as well and what happened was I would go out and I would source all of this product and be bringing it in and bringing in and it was a little bit overwhelming to our people at the warehouse as far as stocking it in; having the SKUs. You have to create those SKUs, you have to end up picturing them, get them on the website, and so our team in India provided us with all of that necessary grunt work I’ll call it to be able to assign SKUs, to be able to get our pictures taken, to be able to help us with the marketing of the product, and ultimately our customer satisfaction as well because with this size of business that we have we ship about 12,000 orders on average a month.
Joe: 12,000 orders a month; that’s amazing.
Rocky: Yeah and in doing that we certainly have customers that we want to make sure that are taken care of and so we have four customer service people in India, we have a graphics designer, we have a website developer, and a number of other people that help us really execute the plan. We couldn’t be where we are today and have experienced the growth we’ve experienced without their help.
Joe: Rocky, you’re in 12,000 I mean that’s 400 orders a day are you capturing e-mail addresses for every single one of those customers?
Rocky: Almost all of them.
Joe: Are you’re doing any e-mail marketing?
Rocky: Absolutely we have about 125,000 e-mail addresses at this time and we e-mail market every single day; Monday thru Sunday.
Joe: What software are you using?
Rocky: We’re using Mailchimp.
Joe: Mailchimp; you need to go to EcomCrew.com and listen to Mike Jackness talk about his e-mail campaigns that he does on one of his businesses. I actually just sold up listings of business of Mike’s and it’s that business that he talks about. He goes all around the world speaking about it. He doesn’t use Mailchimp, he uses Klaviyo and the getting 400 new email addresses a day 12,000 a month is gold to somebody with the skill set to be able to send additional e-mails. And with the volume of SKUs you have I would think that that’s a growth opportunity; a huge one for you. Not that I know anything about it, Mike knows everything about it. So EcomCrew.com for anybody listening that wants to do e-mail marketing and Klaviyo as well I think you should check it out. So I know you love listening to the Quiet Light Podcast but I’m going to point you over to EcomCrew too. Let’s talk briefly about your growth, I mean 12,000 orders a month is great; how many orders a month was it doing when you bought the business eight months ago?
Rocky: We’ve actually experienced about 60% growth overall.
Joe: 60% growth and you used to run automobile dealerships; you had no … other than e-commerce websites for the auto dealerships, did you have any e-commerce business experience?
Rocky: No, actually I do not.
Joe: What is fueling that growth other than your wisdom and your brilliance Rocky? What is happening here; how are you doing this? Let’s just say it’s your daughter man because she’s going to listen to this.
Rocky: Yes; absolutely. It goes back to realistically I was able to purchase a business where the gentleman who sold me the business is still actively helping me run the business. And so that really helps quite a bit. It goes back to the relationship that he and I built when he was selling the business to me.
Joe: Is he being paid for that beyond the sale of the business and the transition and training period? Is it a consulting deal or he’s just a really nice guy?
Rocky: No, he is a nice guy; I will say that he’s not being paid to end up doing the consulting work. What happened was we ended up forming because of my mistakes of adding these 300 SKUs at the end of the year we formed some businesses; two businesses together and so he wants to end up helping me continue to run Novadab and the growth of Novadab and in turn the two of us are helping each other grow these two new businesses.
Joe: I think this is a 1st where we sold a business and then the buyer of the business starts another business with the guy who sold it. I think that’s fantastic. And it goes to the relationships and being likable and connecting. I guess it’s not always going to happen for sure and sometimes people just want an exit. They want an exit; they want to be done. They go through that initial transition and training period which the standard folks is up to 40 hours over the 1st 90 days. And if you don’t have a seller note like Rocky did there’s something called a hold back; a certain percentage of the funds just reside in Escrow and then are released in 90 days after that transition and training period is over. Alright well, let’s … you’ve grown it 60% is that what you said?
Rocky: In the last quarter of the year, we grew at 60%; the 1st quarter of this year, year over year growth was 40%.
Joe: Wow, unbelievable. Alright so … but those 300 and something SKUs that you added; the big win big loss, what was the loss and what was the win?
Rocky: The loss was definitely that I overwhelmed the team. Again it’s just to add that many SKUs in such a short period of time during the peak quarter if you will; a mistake on my part and it definitely was too much too fast. And while they were very, very helpful in trying to get them launched we actually didn’t get them up quickly as what we would want to. At the same time three of the SKUs that we didn’t end up launching I know it’s not a great percentage but three of the SKUs ended up selling over 20,000 pieces during the month of December. So it really provided some real good growth to us and the other SKUs some of them are working some of them are not but you have to try. And ultimately we’re going to end up having most of those SKUs work and retire some of the older SKUs. You have to refresh your product up on a regular basis. I just try to do it all too quickly that’s all.
Joe: Oh that’s alright, that’s just part of the learning process at least you know it’s a product line that doesn’t go bad and you can sell through them, discount them, and maybe retire a few but that’s pretty awesome. The big win; let’s talk about what you’re doing with the guy who sold you the business. You have started two new businesses together, what are they?
Rocky: We started two new businesses; the 1st one is called Profinac and it stands for Professional Financial Accountants.
Joe: Okay, I just have to say that sounds like prophylactic; how did you pick that name?
Rocky: You and my wife said the same thing actually.
Joe: She’s a brilliant woman let me tell you that right now.
Rocky: I will have to say that’s part of why we’re partners. I did not pick that name, Ashish picked that name for me or for us but the reason it stands for as I say Professional Financial Accountants and so we ran with that and see we’re having an impression on everybody just as this [inaudible 00:30:44.2].
Joe: It’s now unforgettable to the thousands that are listening. So Professional Financial Accountants, you are doing online bookkeeping for e-commerce businesses?
Rocky: Yes, we do online bookkeeping for e-commerce businesses. We also do sales tax management. We end up doing payroll services for people as well, income statements. We’ll do anything that they need to in order to offload what I feel that many e-commerce and really small businesses don’t want to end up doing. They get so bogged down in being a business operator they don’t end up being a business owner and so by taking off the real necessary, you have to keep score somehow and if this way somebody else can do it it ends up being or allowing you to end up focusing on the growth of the business.
Joe: And there’s … in my experience I mean growth is important if and when … you know what it’s really when; when you decide to sell the business and it may be 15 years from now, it may be passing it on to a family member but they’re still going to want financials when you decide the business you’ve got to have good clean financials. You can’t co-mingle it with other brands and things that you want to keep. You’re just going to get less value for the business and the time to start planning that exit even if it’s in 10 years is now by getting good clean financials. So I think the prophylactic company, the Profinac is a great business. I’m sorry I won’t do that again. What’s the other … is it Profinac.com I assume?
Rocky: Yes, it is.
Joe: Alright. We’ll put that in the show notes.
Rocky: Okay. I appreciate that. The other thing is that’s what you and Stephen taught me as far as the businesses were concerned in the sense of being able to provide a clean settled financial so that when you end up wanting to sell your business you have those financials that can end up getting that SBA approval ultimately.
Joe: Let me ask the question because I think it’s probably on some folks mind in the event they need these types of services and are doing it a little bit themselves right now are you using Xero or QuickBooks?
Rocky: We will use both.
Rocky: Yes. We’ll do either one for them. The team is well versed in both. We feel though that Xero will end up providing them with much more in depth information.
Joe: I agree; I hear that a lot. The one thing that I wish the developers of Xero would do is allow a Profit & Loss statement to be run with a longer date range than just 12 months. When someone sends us the Xero reports we have to merge all of the years together in order to get to a running P&L which we always want to present with Quick Books; it’s easy. And also the Xero folks they’re not US based, I don’t think because all of the dates are reversed of what we do here in the States which is the reverse of everybody else in the world I’m sure.
Rocky: Yeah very, very true. They’re an e-commerce based platform and they were founded on the e-commerce platform or in the cloud if you will, that’s one reason why we feel that it provides us with a lot of [inaudible 00:34:10.3] that way.
Joe: Good, what’s the 2nd business that you’re starting with your new business partner?
Rocky: It’s called Supportab and that is S-U-P-P-O-R-T-A-B.com.
Joe: Only one T?
Rocky: Only one T. We don’t know how to spell either.
Joe: It’s giving you support to your abs; that’s what this one does. Okay, what does Supportab do?
Rocky: Supportab basically provides again a lot of the necessary support that an e-commerce business needs. This is going back to my big mistake of introducing those 300 SKUs. I needed to end up having a team; a website developer, for example, customer satisfaction people, graphics designer, marketing person. That’s what we provide to people that are in the e-commerce world. And what we do that’s a little bit different than some of the other businesses out there is that we have it all and we call it omni channel instead of multichannel. And omni channel basically is the integration of all of those different facets under one roof where your customer satisfaction team or your customer service team, your website developing team, your graphics team are all working together and that way they communicate with each other and interact with each other as far as what the overall goal of the company is. Whereas if you do it multi-channel you might go out and hire a bookkeeper, you might go out and hire customer service people but they never talk to each other so they don’t get that common feel of the business going forward. We have it all under one roof and we also provide the supervision and management of that team. So we interview the companies and we ask them what their goals are and then we then convey that and manage the team towards those goals, talk with the owner of the company on a regular basis, and then we make sure that we’re doing what it is they want to end up doing and more to achieve their goals.
Joe: Based upon my experience in doing thousands of valuations I would say it’s a very needed service because a lot of people that sell their business sell because they’re just pulled in too many different directions, feel like they’re going nowhere, and just need to cash out and get some emotional satisfaction because they’re not getting any. Because they’re working in the business instead of on the business, so Supportab; support one T ab.com sounds great. But Rocky you don’t have any e-commerce experience, you’re an experienced business person who’s been managing a very difficult niche in the automotive world for 20 plus years now you’ve got Novadab so I guess that brings that life experience to starting these two new companies which are essentially service agencies which are definitely needed. What about your business partner before Novadab, what kind of e-commerce world experience does he have?
Rocky: Well, he founded Novadab and certainly brought it to fruition and then before that he works for AT&T for a period of time in website development and was doing a lot of computer work himself. So that’s one of my partner’s—
Joe: So he’s mature, he’s not in his early 20’s that started his 1st business sold and is doing more business with you? He’s got some real world experience behind him as well.
Rocky: Very much so and the other partner that we have is actually his brother who is located in India and is heads of the operation over in India for us so that we have someone who has experienced … he worked for Pfizer for a period of time and did marketing for them and spends the time building our team in India and sourcing all of our employees that we end up hiring in that area.
Joe: Wow. Is he and his brother originally from the States or born in India and relocated to the States?
Rocky: They were born in India and Ashish came over here. He came over here to go to college, graduated from college and wanted to stay for a period of time and has now located in Austin is where he is.
Joe: Oh, that’s great. That’s great to have a direct contact there that is an owner of the business, a relative of one of the owners of the business as well so it’s fantastic. Well, Rocky, this is a great story; we’re running out of time here. I appreciate you coming back on and actually allowing the team to record this one. Thank you very much for your humor in that regard and your time. I’m very impressed that you’ve taken this and grown it to the level you have in such a short period of time just for your daughter’s sake. He’s given you all of the credit in case you’re listening; Rocky is just showing up every day. I’m kidding of course. The next time we have you on I want another update maybe in another 12 months we can get you back on, maybe have a daughter on as well what do you think?
Rocky: That would be awesome. I couldn’t do it without her that’s for sure. She takes care of the day to day operations and allows me to end up working these other businesses and really without the team that I have I wouldn’t be where I am so I really appreciate all of their hard work without a doubt.
Joe: And we appreciate the type of person you are, the type of buyer you are, and the fact that everything has gone so smoothly. I’m so glad to hear for your success. Thank you for coming on the podcast and I look forward to doing an update with you sometime in the future.
Rocky: Thanks very much for having me, Joe. It’s been a real, real lot of fun.
Joe: Take care, you too.
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