Tom White has been flipping online businesses for over 13 years, ever since he bought a $50 website about natural toothache reliever that he later sold for $200. While it wasn’t much, it was enough to spark his interest in buying, renovating and selling online businesses, he wrote in Starter Story.
Which is why, in 2020, White bought wheelchair and mobility aid drop-shipping site Breeze Mobility. He purchased the site for $9,000 on the Flippa marketplace from the original founder who started the company after struggling to find mobility aids online for members of his family. The original owner had taken the business as far as he could, but didn’t have the time or skills to grow it further.
“I was drawn to the niche as the products assist people to be able to be more mobile, active, comfortable, so it felt worthwhile and something I could feel good doing,” White told They Got Acquired. The company sold mobility aids for people with a disability, older adults and those recovering from injuries. In addition to selling to individuals, it also sold to government clients, hospitals and aged-care homes.
It was his first time working with an e-commerce site, but he didn’t let that deter him. White focused his energy on using SEO (search engine optimization) to improve the site’s Google ranking and bring in more traffic via search.
With just himself and a part-time contract customer service assistant in the Philippines, his overhead was minimal, and by 2021 he was making over $30,000 a month in revenue. He accredited the company through the National Disability Scheme (NDIS), an Australian independent statutory agency that helps Australians with disabilities and their families. That accreditation opened up a new market by increasing the brand’s credibility.
Why Tom White sold drop-shipping company Breeze Mobility
White worked on the business for just a year before deciding it was time to sell; he was ready for a new challenge and had an opportunity to acquire another business. At that time, he had about 7,000 customers in the database (including those from before he owned the business) and the website was seeing about 8,000 visitors/month, he said.
He found a buyer through Australian marketplace Seek Business. He received a lot of responses and came up with an automated process to weed through all the enquiries. This included automatically sending out an NDA (non-disclosure form) and information memorandum and asking interested buyers to fill in a pre-qualifying questionnaire.
In the end, he sold for about 15x the purchase price he’d paid just a year earlier, a low 6-figure deal. He sold his business to the first person who reached out to him, a new entrepreneur named Roy Summerfield, largely because he was so enthusiastic about buying the company as his first entrepreneurial venture.
“He flew interstate to meet me… We only met in the airport before he flew home again. This really impressed me and showed me that he was serious,” White told Seek Business.
After the transaction went through, White took a four-month break to spend with his family. Then he got back at it, this time with an online business called Discount Lighting; he’s hoping to add a small showroom to complement the online store.
For business owners looking to sell, White says it’s important to think just as much about what you plan to do afterward as you do about the sale itself.
“I felt a bit lost after I sold; I enjoyed taking some time off but then wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for my next project,” White said. “I would recommend sitting down and really thinking through the after-sale time, as much as you do the sales process.”
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