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EP 038 – Why To Never Buy A Website Based On Multiple Alone With Thomas Smale

Everybody dreams of living their perfect lifestyle—one where you’re earning money and doing what you want at the same time. Unfortunately, some circumstances make that dream a little hard to achieve, especially with most 9 to 5 jobs.

In today’s episode, I will be talking to Thomas Smale, a big-time online entrepreneur with 20 years of experience. Thomas is one of the founders of FE International who has a very impressive background on website buying. He has been able to sell over 700 businesses in 10 years.

Here are some of the things we’ll be talking about:

  • What are the common mistakes Thomas sees in first-time buyers?
  • Why does Thomas stick to content, affiliate, and SaaS sites?
  • What are two ways you would grow a content business?
  • What would you recommend as the best online business model for a first-time buyer? Why?
  • In a seller’s market, what type of buyers does Thomas push sellers to? What are the ideal qualities of a more preferred buyer?
  • What are the differences in buying sites that cost $40k-$200k to buying sites worth $300k-$50 million?
  • For listeners who want to reach a point where they are buying million-dollar businesses—what do they need to do, and how does the journey look?
  • What are the top 5 things in Thomas’ journey that he thinks most people who buy sites would benefit from?
  • With the knowledge that Thomas has right now, what advice would he give himself when he just started?

Episode Highlights:

0:00 – Introduction and episode overview
2:28 – What drew Thomas to the world of buying sites? How did he start buying and selling sites?
3:54 – The story of how FE International started and how it got bigger
8:22 – The difference between buying bigger businesses and buying smaller businesses—the processes you need to understand.
12:09 – It’s important to focus on buying a business that you know something about.
12:24 – The litmus test in buying a business—are you willing to make personal sacrifices to pick up that business?
13:06 – Don’t buy something just because your friend said it’s a good niche.
13:32 – Jaryd’s suggestion on what you’re supposed to do when buying a business.
15:22 – What do you need to do to cope with high-level problems you get when you buy bigger businesses?
16:30 – Why it’s essential to have an understanding of everything that’s happening in the business.
17:40 – The importance of being involved in your own business.
19:40 – One main advantage of buying a bigger business is…?
20:22 – Advantages of buying a smaller business
22:47 – Common mistakes of buyers who are buying businesses at the $20k-$250k range
24:30 – The things you need to consider when buying a business—a combination of skills and interests.
26:10 – Make the effort to build a relationship with the company you want to work with.
26:58 – Find a conference that is relevant to your niche, speak to relevant people.
30:37 – Thomas advises on what to look for when you’re trying to buy a business.
32:17 – Never change your goal; always change your strategy.
37:08 – When you’re a first-time buyer, don’t focus on the price. Focus on buying a good business.
38:13 – It’s better to buy a good business at a fair price, rather than buy a fair business at a good price.
38:48 – Is it risky to acquire businesses with high multiple? What usually happens with those deals?
40:23 – Opportunities often come in the guise of problems.
41:29 – Jaryd and Thomas are not just for selling businesses and making money. So what is their real reason for being in the business?
42:13 – You’ll realize that brokers are in business for long-term goals. They want to build relationships to establish trust.
44:24 – Long term value is what makes Thomas happy. But what does long term value mean for him?

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Guest Info:

thomas smale

Thomas Smale, the founder of FE International, is a serial business entrepreneur and expert. He has gone from building and selling small online companies worth $20k-$50k to selling big online companies that cost around $50 million. For more than 10 years now, he has been able to sell over 700 businesses. Their company, FE International, has even been awarded as Deal Maker of the Year for years 2015 and 2016. Thomas believes that building relationships is the core of a business.

To get in touch with Thomas, you may visit their website, FE International.

For Jaryd’s free resources, whether it be for evaluating a website, or doing your due diligence, get them by clicking here. Don’t hesitate! Join us and be a part of our Buying Online Businesses community.

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