Episode Length: 36 minutes

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From a young age, Donald Spann wanted to become an entrepreneur because he wanted two simple things: time freedom and financial stability.

Thanks to an over seven-figure exit from Vicky Virtual Receptionists, he achieved this goal.

But getting there was full of twists and turns. Listen to learn how a random Reddit thread, a cleaning business and a spinoff company led to this life-changing sale.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • [2:50]: Why Don is hesitant to share the sale price of his business
  • [6:49]: The different businesses Don experimented with after dropping out of college
  • [8:44]: How a Reddit post led Don to launch a company in a niche he knew nothing about
  • [11:34]: The competitive advantage any new local service-based business can lean into
  • [14:46]: How Don launched his virtual assistant company, Vicky Virtual Receptionists
  • [20:55] The value add that differentiated Don’s call center business
  • [24:05]: One of the biggest challenges Don faced in building Vicky Virtual
  • [26:12]: How the acquisition of Vicky Virtual came about unexpectedly
  • [29:16]: What Don experienced when the money from his acquisition actually hit his bank account
  • [31:52]: How Don’s hearing impairment affected how he thinks about business

Thanks, Don, for coming on the show. You can connect with him at CallCenterCash.com.

Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, Chicago Partners, a team of financial advisors who specialize in wealth management. Get their support at ChicagoPartnersLLC.com.

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Inside the sale of Vicky Virtual Receptionists

The project that led Donald Spann to a deal worth over seven figures wasn’t sparked by some wild vision. Instead, a pain point inspired his multimillion-dollar idea.

In 2014, Spann owned a handful of businesses. One of them was Companion Maids, a Chicago cleaning service. He and his team were tired of spending so much time answering phones. He researched call centers but found that none specialized in cleaning centers. And by talking with other cleaning business owners, he discovered they shared his frustration.

“My research in finding a vendor quickly turned into reverse engineering it to provide the solution to myself,” Spann told the They Got Acquired podcast. “That’s essentially how Vicky Virtual was born.”

In October 2014, he recruited another cleaning business owner, Micah Horner, as his co-founder. Their value-add: Unlike a traditional answering service, they’d offer premium services more like what you’d get with an in-house receptionist. The representatives would do tasks like answering questions, scheduling appointments and making outbound calls. Moreover, the service would be exclusively for cleaning businesses.

They launched Jan. 1, 2015. Within a week, they already had 10 clients.

By 2016, Vicky Virtual Receptionists was generating about $20,000 in monthly revenue. Spann sold his other businesses to focus on Vicky Virtual. By 2018, the company was earning 7 figures of annual revenue and had over 1,000 clients. The sweet part: Spann was only working 10 hours a week.

How Donald Spann sold Vicky Virtual Receptionists — to a friend

Spann never planned to sell Vicky Virtual. But he mentioned to a friend and fellow business member — who was also a Vicky Virtual client — that he might be willing to sell in the right situation. The friend, Thomas Buxton, was intrigued. Spann screenshotted him a few images of the company’s revenue, and a few months later, he came back with an offer.

“I had a number in my head, and he came back about 10% higher than that,” Spann said. “In my head, I knew that I didn’t shop this and maybe my valuation was wrong, but I’m still happy. Just for the sake of it, I came in at 20% higher, and he said yes to that.”

Though Spann can’t share the exact sale price, he says it was “over seven figures.” The price was a multiple between 3x-6x of revenue; the company’s annual revenue was in the seven-figure range.

Now, Spann is teaching other entrepreneurs to build virtual call centers through his course, Call Center Cash.

Spann has never chased big, abstract concepts in any of his businesses. Instead, he looks at what’s out there and tries to do it better.

“My approach for any business to this day is trying to find things that just make sense, rather than novel, crazy ideas,” he said.