Freedom Flipping Podcast Ep 22 – Mark Daoust from Quietlight Brokerage

On this episode, I talk with Mark Daoust from Quietlight Brokerage.

We discussed…

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Mark started his first website in 2004 as an SEO play as a resource for website owners and online marketers to share information and publish blog posts.

It soon turned into an email play leveraging a second site to build a list of over 200k subs (with almost 1k new subs a day) monetized through ads in the newsletter. He sold it in 2005 through an online broker.

The next year he started Quietlight Brokerage then in 2012 the person who bought contacted him wanting to sell which they did.

Then the new buyer after a few months contacted Mark saying he didn’t understand or enjoy web businesses and was prepared to sell at a discount as revenue had dipped so Mark personally bought it, operated for a couple of years and then re-sold!

How’s that for flipping 🙂

Now Mark’s focus is on growing Quietlight and is on for $50MM in acquisitions this year with a focus on ecommerce and SaaS. There are still a lot more buyers out there than sellers right now. They don’t have minimum site prices but do have a minimum commission of $25k.

On the buyer side they have always had people who have the ability to do 8 figure deals such as private equity, family funds and syndicates who are looking for good deals.

These people are typically looking for businesses that have bottom line EBITDA of over $1m.

The buyer pool is somewhat limited to SBA lending limits with loans up to $5MM. With sites above $5MM there is still good competition from more than qualified buyers.

With EBITDA’s of more than $1MM the multiples tend to go up. Below $1MM an annual profit multiple of 2.5x is normal. With much larger sites of $10-20MM the multiples range from 4x to even up to 6x in the private equity territory.

Mark mentioned how a good exit plan is actually a good growth plan, and this has certainly been the case for me – every time I go through the process of selling a business I find way more opportunities I could leverage.

He discusses how websites can show up on the equity side of a balance sheet as goodwill (due to the FBA loan on the flip side) and can even be a line item.

Mentioned on this episode

Life After Business By Ryan Tansom (who was on the Quietlight Podcast episode How to Plan a Strategic Exit)

How to Buy Multiple Businesses – Without Going Insane

Enterpreneurs Organization

Before The Exit book by Dan Andrews

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Thanks to AHREFS for sponsoring this episode.