February Reflections

🙌🏼 Helping

I enjoy reading the r/ecommerce posts on Reddit and sometimes reply to share my experiences or advice. A few weeks ago, I did something different and offered to help someone via an hour-long call.

Jesse runs a print-on-demand business that generates $1 million in revenue, but is breaking even. This is a problem I love to tackle and by the end of the call we identified seven opportunities to cut costs and increase profitability.

I also helped out a long-time friend this month who’s starting a new business.

Adam has a unique opportunity in a rapidly growing space. He’s created beautiful branding, figured out sourcing and packaging, and has already lined up customers wanting to buy more inventory than he can produce in the next month.

I created a cashflow forecast for Adam, taking into account production time, profit margins, and deposits required, which allowed him to adjust variables and see how quickly he could scale the business and what the capital needs would be.

It was an incredibly fun project and it felt good to help out a friend.

📚 Reading

I love the February 11th issue of Tentatively Titled. It’s written by my friend Lori and in this issue she explores the significance we place on names, sharing the thoughts and emotions that went into naming her first child and naming her newsletter.

Whenever I have an idea for a business, my mind immediately starts searching for a name. The name gives it form and allows me to look at the concept from different angles. For me, having a name is even helpful just to evaluate and possibly abandon the idea.

For the past month I’ve been thinking about what I might name a company where I help people with the financial side of their business. I even dreamt about it last night, but I think watching Yellowstone before bed had an impact because the name I came up in my dream with was Cash Cow.

🤔 Learning

I like doing things myself. Part of that is some underlying issue of not wanting to inconvenience other people and part of it is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something myself.

Searching for a business to buy is a time-consuming and fragmented process. Unlike buying a home, there is no MLS for businesses.

There are some aggregators that pull listings from the thousands of broker websites, but often brokers will match up a prospective buyer and seller based on existing relationships without listing a business publicly.

My friend Andrew suggested I hire someone to scrape business broker data from the internet and then email thousands of brokers with my target statement to get on their radar.

I loved this idea and went to Upwork post the job. But as I started writing out the requirements of what I needed, the thought crossed my mind that I might be able to do this quicker myself with less back-and-forth.

That turned out to be correct. In under an hour, I found a tool called WebScraper.io and learned how to use the free version to scrape all the contact data from the International Business Brokers Association’s website.

I now have the names, email addresses, and phone numbers for 2,669 business brokers in the US and I’ll be creating an email campaign to contact them all.

😉 My Ask

If you know anyone selling a B2B service business or anyone who wants help on the financial side of their business, get us connected.

Until next month…

- Matt

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