E-Commerce Acquisition: Novadab’s Journey

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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.

Episode Highlights:

  • 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.

Transcription:

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?

Chris: Koregnept.

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’

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