Tropii Company

Tropii Company

Tropii Company is a South Florida based business that sells high quality straw sun hats with unique designs under the brim. The hats have been UV tested and rated at 50+.

In South Florida, everyone includes a sun hat in their beach accessories or even while working around in the yard. They are highly sought after and with the right owner this business can go very far.
Tropii Company is currently stocked in 28 stores throughout the South Florida region as well as being sold online.

Tropii has been widely successful on their eCommerce platform (Shopify) having sold out of their most popular designs. They have been the featured product at festivals such as SunFest and multiple sporting events where they have been able to do up to $7,500 in sales over a single event. In a very short amount of time they were able to grow our Instagram page to over 1,200 followers with the majority of sales coming through organic social media.

Tropii Company’s average order value is $43.

Tell us a little about you, why did you start Tropii Company?

Starting back in early 2018, we purchased the company from a friend who originally started the company with just two designs and was ready to sell so that he could move across country.  We saw a huge opportunity in what he had created. We took his two designs and quickly added five new ones. We signed with a manufacturer based in China and almost immediately began selling online and at festivals.

When we first started out, we had over 2,000 hats in inventory as part of the purchase. With no money for marketing or development, we were able to make $4,500 in just two days at a festival and prove that this concept had wings. From there we further developed the line, sometimes using our social media network to crowdsource design concepts so that we have proof of concept before going into production.

We’ve also recognized over the past year that there is a huge opportunity for collaborations on the designs with local charities, athletic events or teams, or even social media influencers. Schools and clubs need these sorts of hats for their festival gatherings in the summers and would love to have custom designs made for them. We’ve even  run programs with a local sea life conservation organization that was incredibly successful.

While there are of course other companies that sell straw hats, there are few and far between that are making them as fashionable, custom, and appealing as Tropii Company is, giving us a huge edge on a large market.

Where are the majority of your customers coming from?

Instagram. We don’t pay for any advertising, so all of our traffic is purely organic – be it through instagram or real life events. Instagram’s Shopify integrated analytics tell us that 92% of our sales are coming straight from that platform, purely through organic posts or our customers sharing images, hashtags, and links to our site. There would be a huge opportunity for a new owner with a better understanding of Facebook advertising to retarget to our organic following.

Offline, we have found great success any time that we set up our booth at a festival, typically generating the longest line of any other product on the premises. We have had no problem getting Crossfit athletes, judges, and other festival participants to wear our hats at the event, showcasing the product essentially free of cost to us outside of the cost of the product itself.

Where are the Tropii Company hats manufactured?

Manufacturing is one of the most difficult parts of the process. Finding the right manufacturer that you feel comfortable with and can communicate with is important. We found one in China after interviewing with several and for anyone who is coming in to take over and purchase the business, everything is already in place. If you like the designs, you can keep them, if you want new ones, go for it. We’ll put you in touch with the manufacturers and help guide you through the process to be sure that everything runs smoothly.

We’re really excited to answer questions and make sure that whomever takes over is fully clued in on how the process works so that they can run with it.

How much time is spent on the business?

Currently, we’re only spending about 10-12 hours each week between fulfilling orders, visiting shops for potential B2B sales and creating content. Content is probably the biggest time consumer as it takes a lot more time than you might imagine to build a portfolio of high quality images and videos. As the majority of our sales at the moment are coming through Instagram, it has been important for us to be sure we have high quality content to help drive traffic.

The other time consuming factor is order fulfillment, but if someone wanted to take this company and drive it towards a drop shipping model, it can be handled pretty much through automation.

Who would be best to take over this business?

This business would be perfect for a college aged buyer looking for a first step into the world of eCommercce and fashion or for someone who is a people person with the time to network and create more B2B sales. It’s also perfect for people who are awesome at social media and love being outdoors. With the right time given to the business the social media could flourish!

People absolutely love these hats and it’s a little sad that we have to let it go but it taught us a lot about starting and running a business. We’ve made so many contacts and met amazing people. It’s crazy to see the result of our work. We walk on the beach and see a hat or we show up to events and people know the brand. It’ll make a great business that can totally be expanded with the right effort put into it.

The business has plenty of growth opportunities:

  • Unlimited opportunity to grow the wholesale side of the business. We already have many contacts here in Florida who have sold our products in their stores and they would like to continue selling.
  • Unlimited potential to collaborate with other companies and brands. We have had an incredible amount of interest in making custom hats for other companies and organizations. This would be a new revenue stream!
  • Selling from a tent and booth at large events such as music festivals, CrossFit competitions, and pretty much any other event that is outdoors and offers spots for vendors to sell. This is a great way to get exposure and make a good amount of money in one day. On average we made $3000 – $4500 per day at any event. We are including all the booth equipment.
WPschoolpress.com

WPschoolpress.com

WPSchoolPress is a WordPress plugin for School Management.

Approved on WordPress.org since January 2019, the plugin is available on a freemium model, the users need to pay on wpschoolpress.com for the add-ons that enhance the plugin features. 

  • Plugin downloaded 30,000+ times ~100 new ones per day
  • Database with 22k+ user contacts
  • Global customer base – users from 132 countries 
  • Niche market with little competitors

Add-ons
Currently, there are 5 Add-Ons that can be purchased individually $30 each and a Bundle pack of $135 for all of them.

  • 31% of the sales go on the purchase of the Bundle option
  • The most sold after the bundle is the “Import Export” add-on
  • Users purchase a lifetime license to use the add-ons and included is one year of product updates
  • After 12 months, users need to purchase again to get the updates for another year

Two more Add-ons are in the development process

  • Payments Add-On – Test stage. once launched, it will be sold for $50 and the bundle price will increase to $150.
  • Grade card Add-On – 1st version, 70% completed.

Tell us a little about you, how did you develop WPSchoolPress?

After building my web agency, JD SoftTech both in Boston, USA, and Ahmedabad, India, I wanted to find a way to help other agencies.So, we took our team of highly qualified website developers and web designers and launched UnlimitedWP, a white-label WordPress partner for growing agencies.

Along the way of building our web agency which has morphed into UnlimitedWP, we also worked on creating and supporting our in-house software products. One of which is WPSchoolPress, a plugin in for WordPress CMS which has 60% of the market share. Our plugin adds an entire school management system into the website’s backend.

What has been the evolution of this site since launch? 

The plugin and its website were originally established in 2015 by a different person with the strategy to only offer a paid version. The website quickly ranked on the top of Google searches and got a decent number of visitors. As the previous owner had a full-time job and thought they were not able to take full advantage of the plugin’s popularity it got in a short time, they decided to sell it in 2017. 

Due to work commitment, we did not do anything on the plug-in for one year. During that time we received up to 10 emails per day from people showing their interest in the plugin.

In 2018 we decided offering the plug-in for free and then paid add-ons to expand its functionality. We spent 6 months with extensive work and testing on the plugin, updating to the required WordPress standard to add it to their WordPress.org repository; our aim was to get a large number of downloads, so WordPress websites could install our plugin with one click. The updates involved stability and a more modern design.

On Jan 1st, 2019, we finally got the free version of the plugin released on WordPress.org. We immediately got success getting ~50 daily downloads. The next step was to create paid add-ons. Since June 2019 we released 5. Currently we have nearly completed 2 more add-ons to be released in early 2020. 

Along the way, we have collected over 22,000 emails from people who download our free version. 

The third phase of our strategy is monetizing from our large community base and start marketing to grow revenue to even higher numbers.

This plugin has been a side project for our agency. Our cost to run this plugin was $450 per month (the salary of one person in India) to develop, manage, and communicate with users. The person who was doing this has just left to study aboard and now we need to hire another person. Meanwhile, as one of our other software products has seen great success and we are considering selling this plugin to focus 100% on that product. We believe that WPSchoolPress is very near to unleash its full potential and make hefty cash without much effort to run the business. 

What is the business model? What are the current revenue streams?

We offer a free school management system plug-in on our website WPSchoolPress for WordPress CMS. It offers full functionality to a WordPress website back-end for a school to run their operations. 

We offer paid add-ons to expand the features and functionality, e.g. bulk import/export, SMS, assign one student to multiple classes, front-end student self-registration form, etc. 

These add-ons can either be purchased individually or together with a bundle. We issue an API key that user needs to add to their website in order for the add-on to work. Users get free updates to their purchased add-on for the period of one year. After that, they are free to use the add-on, but they need to pay again if they like new updates. The API key system we have in place ensures that add-on copy can be used only on one website.

Our goal is to reach out to as many people as possible with the free version. Though add-on sale has started recently, 4% of the active plug-in users are coming back to purchase add-ons. 33% of those users are going for the bundle pack.     

What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current Form?

  • Emails – normally customization or some partnership requests. 
  • Respond to the support system added on the backend of the website where paid users can raise a ticket if they have a question.
  • Get back to users via the live chat installed on the site. 
  • Whenever there is a WordPress update, checking plug-in for updates, normally there is none. Once or twice a year there may be small changes requiring a few hours of work.

Can you list a few opportunities to Grow for a prospective buyer?

  1. Start using the large list of 22,000 contacts to market paid add-ons.

     

  2. Run a poll among the contact list to see what other features are mostly needed to create paid add-on for it. Typical add-on development takes 1-2 months. But then that add-on is sold forever.

     

  3. There is a lot of interest in the FB page. Just active posting there can help to make community big.

     

  4. There are many people who reached out to us and offer to help as they are interested in the potential of the plug-in and they have experience in the educational field.

     

  5. Half of our traffic is from other web agencies/developers who are building a school management system on behalf of the schools. A school hiring a web developer to build website and web developer using WPSchoolPress. There is a great opportunity in building a relationship with this developer to even promote more. It is very common in the WordPress ecosystem for a plug-in to offer “developer license” which basically grants multiple website use of the paid add-on license. The market rate for such a developer license for WPSchoolPress will be $300-$500. We do want to offer this, but we were planning to do it in 2020. Many premium plug-ins like WPSchoolPress have this option, we just haven’t launched it. All the work needed for that is already done.

     

  6. WordPress is a very large community and helping one at that. There are many WordPress high traffic blogs and they would love to write about a plug-in that is helping schools. This can have a significant impact on the traffic and hence increasing download rates.
     
  7. Customization work: We receive very regular customization requests. I would say over 200 in 2019. From that data, we know what the most requested customization work is. We have created a list of 10 items. We were going to create an add-on so plugin users can customize those areas. The next owner should do it, it will be a big hit and you can expect a lot of people to use the plugin. Meaning they will need other add-ons too and unlimitedly 30% of people decide to go with a bundle pack of $130.
    Apart from this add-on for customization. The new owner can also offer another deep customization for a one-time project cost. In fact, we have done it last year.

     

  8. Payment integration add-on: We are building an add-on to integrate WPSchoolPress with WooCommerce. This one is a big one as we have received tons and tons of requests to add a payment system in the plugin. We thought it would be better to connect the school’s classes as products in WooCommerce. That way people can use any payment gateway they like as oppose us building integration with different payment gateways. WooCommerce works with 100’s of payment gateway around the world. Given our World exposure, this will allow all schools to collect payments from the parents. Nearly all work is completed with integration. On the final testing before launching that much-awaited add-on, we found one scenario that needs some work. We haven’t been able to work on it yet, so we did not launch the add-on yet.

     

  9. Results add-on: With this add-on, schools will be able to generate results/grade cards for the student. It will auto-populate exam scores from students’ data. Initial work on the add-on just completed in Nov. We have not begun testing yet.

     

  10. We do have other 5 new paid add-on ideas prepared. Such as online examination, LMS extension, customization add-on, etc.

     

  11. Offer to build a website along with the plug-in – The schools who are looking for the plug-in is also looking for website many times. We wanted to take highly rates premium WordPress theme like Astra theme along with a page builder like Beaver Builder and integrate WPSchoolPress plug-in deeply in it. This way we can sell a packaged hosted website with the entire school management system pre-built in it on a monthly subscription-based to schools. We already have heavy traffic and a web presence that it would be a good product to sell it.  To build something like that would take 1-2 months. With monthly subscription-based, a new owner can build a good side business using the same plug-in. It does not have to be a monthly subscription; it can be sold as package priced – of course, it will be over $1,000 with maintenance fees.

     

  12. Not all of our traffic and users are schools. We have so many users who are not schools but have a similar structure as schools. For example, gyms like to use it to create gym classes and have their gym members sign up on those classes. Schedule, attendance, grade report, etc. can be managed on it. Coaching institutions are also interested as they have similar structures as schools. Other teaching programs like yoga classes, certification courses, language centers, and much more similar businesses can also us our plug-in and infect they do. We can create a landing page on the website for different industries. Given Google ranking, we can rank high for keywords like WordPress yoga class management plug-in, gym management WordPress plug-in, etc to get additional traffic and downloads.

     

  13. Learning management system: Our plug-in is a school management plug-in, but we can do an add-on to add a learning management system (LMS). LMS are highly popular as they are needed for many industries. It is basically adding a page for each class to add assignments, notes, material to download, notes, discussions etc by the students who are on those classes. This is asked by many of our users and highly needed add-on to release down the line. 

How have you marketed the product and where are your customers originating from?

We have not done any direct marketing yet. Here is what we did so far,

  • 2018 we revamped plugin both in terms of code and design. This was the preparation to submit the plugin in WordPress.org plugin directory. We were going for the fermium model-free plugin and then paid add-ons to extend features. The plugin was approved in Jan 2019. 
  • We created an online demo and ask to enter an email to see it. I would say about 50% of people who downloaded the free plugin, come to the website first to see the demo. From there we have collected 22,000 contacts (we recently cleaned the list to make sure they are all real users).
  • For marketing, this list is huge and nicely organized in the marketing system (we use Mautic, a popular open-source software installed on our server ready to be used). We may have sent 5 emails to users so far. We really haven’t started to monetize from the list we have.
  • We have created a YouTube channel and uploaded I think about 10 videos that get decent views from users. This an area to be worked more to get more users in the WPSchoolPress community.
  • We rank on the first page with on-page SEO we had done a while ago on the website for all relevant keywords which bring a lot of organic traffic daily.
  • We are not active on the FB page where we should have been.
  • We did create a blog on our site and posted two blogs in the last 2 months.

How does the business currently acquire customers and what is your breakdown for marketing costs?

We have just been fortunate to get first-page rank, high interest in the plugin in general, high download rate, low competition. So far, we have just been banking on that as our primary focus was not marketing but keep building more add-ons. We were getting a high download rate, so we wanted to focus on building add-ons in the last 6 months rather than any marketing. And meanwhile, grow the community around our plugin so down the line, we sell our add-ons to them.

Apart from building new add-ons, none of the things cost anything to us to acquire new customers. The first-page rank brings us free traffic and users. Also, plugin being free in WordPress.org means it attracts additional thousands of views each day. It also helps that we are the only plug-in in the entire WordPress.org plugin directory. Early entry in the market is clearly paying off. More and more schools are going to want to digitalize their operations and we stand to rip the benefit of it. Therefore, it was more imperative for us to build paid add-on to expand the feature set of plugins than to market as anyways we were having more than decent incoming free traffic. 

What marketing channels are most profitable for the business?

  1. Organic traffic
  2. WordPress.org plug-in directory

How many people does it take to run this business?

Just one person with WordPress development experience can easily manage the entire business.

9 Steps to Build a Membership Site from Scratch

9 Steps to Build a Membership Site from Scratch

Membership sites are quickly becoming this year’s biggest trend. It’s not hard to see why: membership sites can provide a steady stream of reliable income, and allow you to leverage online communities to build a lucrative and sustainable business.

As with most online business ideas, though, making a successful membership site can be difficult. In this guide, we’ll break down the process, from the most basic services you need to the art of building a community around your site. As you’ll see, the key with membership sites is to start small, but then continually grow your subscriber base. 

1. Set Up and Plan Your Site

First, and pretty obviously, you are going to need to set up your website. There are a number of options out there but take our advice: go for WordPress. Not only are WordPress sites easy to use, but the platform also has a huge (and hugely helpful) user community.

Best of all, though, there are several free WordPress membership plugins, such as the s2Member framework, which makes it easy to manage your membership site on a shoestring budget and integrates with most major project management tools.

SEO in website structure

Image source blog.markgrowth.com

2. Set Up Your Membership Structure

Once your site (and the S2member plugin) is up and running, you need to decide on your membership structure. Most of the successful membership sites have made use of a number of different “levels” of membership, and so you should too.

The process of setting up levels of membership is pretty easy in WordPress. But you should also develop a plan as to what kind of content is going to be available to each level. This kind of business strategy planning guides you through the development of your site.

3. Set Up Your Payment Structure

Alongside your membership structure, you should also set up your payment structure. Again, WordPress and s2Member make doing this fairly easy, but you should also think carefully about how you are going to take payment from your members. 

By far the easiest method, at least at this early stage, is to use PayPal. You can set up recurring payments for your various levels of membership, which ensures that your income stays steady.

4. Start Building Traffic

Now that everything is in place, you can start building your user base. At this stage, you can use standard marketing techniques like email and content marketing, and you can check our guide on how to build an email list from scratch if you are unsure how to do that.

At this point, though, you may encounter a problem that is particularly difficult to overcome for membership sites. How do you build a community around your site, and build trust with your customers, before they sign up for your content?

5. Introductory Offers

Introductory offers are key to overcoming this difficulty, which is one of the biggest challenges to growth for online businesses

There are two ways that you can implement introductory offers. One approach is simply to offer a free trial to your members, for 1 week or 1 month, which gives them a preview of the value you can provide for them. The other approach is to build a free level of membership into your site. Just make sure that you are encouraging your free members to upgrade.

6. Link Building

As you start to attract members, you also need to start building incoming traffic to your site. There are a few ways to do this, but one of the most powerful is to focus on inbound marketing – ie, naturally acquiring backlinks. If you can write articles for high-traffic sites in your sector, readers of this second site visit yours and your site is going to shoot up the Google rankings.

If you have the funds, you can of course use some other methods. Facebook and Google Adwords ads can be an effective way of building up your membership list, just make sure that you target them tightly at your target market.

Link, Hyperlinks, Web Page, Presence, Seo

Image source Pixabay

7. Create a Community

Now we are getting into the more complex processes that go along with running a successful membership site. One of the most effective forms of marketing is to build a large and active user community around your site. If you can inspire trust in large numbers of members and can encourage them to say this online, you are going to see exponential growth in your membership rates.

Building a community relies on several key processes. First and foremost, you need to stay at the top of your field. Make sure all your content is well-informed and provides genuine value to your target audience. You should then actively ask your members to share their experiences with others and to help each other out. Ultimately, the goal here is to build your membership site into a genuinely elite community, and then charge people to become a part of it.

With building a community, it is vital to make sure you establish trust. The best way to establish trust is to make sure your site is secure and consumers can literally trust you with their data. To make sure your site is secure from hackers, choose a top-tier VPN service. A quality VPN works to mask your location to any potential cyber threat, in turn protecting your community’s info and data.

8. Build Partnerships

A good way to build and protect your online reputation, and to build the community around your membership site, is to make partnerships with other key players in your sector. Doing this can also reduce the burden of continually producing new content, and make sure that your site presents a range of voices.

9. Keep Your Members Happy

Hopefully, if you’ve worked through all these steps, you are well on your way to having a successful membership site. 

Don’t stop there, though. You should ensure that you are taking steps, on an everyday basis, to keep your members happy. This can include free upgrades on their level of membership, or simply recognition that they have been a member for a long time. If you show your members that you appreciate them, they return the favor by recommending your site to their colleagues and ultimately make your site more lucrative. 

Uthena.com

Uthena.com

Uthena.com is an eLearning marketplace that brings together the best features of Udemy, Skillshare,
and Fiverr into one platform for online courses, private label rights, memberships, and services where
instructors enjoy full control over pricing and access to affiliate commissions!

With just ten months since inception, Uthena is generating a monthly revenue of $2.8k+ on average and
has a base of 22k+ users that signed up. Moreover, there are 74 approved instructors and 18,575 videos
uploaded on the platform.

Why did you start Uthena.com Jerry?


Here is the summary: I have created over 100 online courses which have sold for millions of dollars online with Udemy being the number one place my courses have sold. In 2016, Udemy took down my profile despite me not having any policy existing policy violations which eliminated almost all of my income. I struggled for years to get back on me feet with me own self-hosting and using other platforms like Skillshare. One day I realized there was no website offering the best of what Udemy provides (a marketplace) and the benefits of self-hosting (freedom overpricing, control over content). My vision in launching Uthena has been to provide a complimentary platform where online instructors get the best of Udemy and self-hosting in one place for free without fear of being banned and the ability to earn as an affiliate with full control over students and pricing.

How does this business make money? What are the current revenue streams?

Uthena.com makes money by selling online courses, bundles of online courses, services, Private Label Rights (PLR), memberships, and services. I set out to prove all of this was possible on one marketplace and have sold everything from $9 courses to $2000+ coaching on Uthena.com within the first year. Most existing revenue comes in from social media, direct traffic, and google organic search via the hundreds of videos I uploaded this year to YouTube and Facebook offering free course previews which then sell courses on Uthena combined with word out of mouth marketing.

Who are your customers?

Uthena.com makes money by selling online courses, bundles of online courses, services, Private Label Rights (PLR), memberships, and services. I set out to prove all of this was possible on one marketplace and have sold everything from $9 courses to $2000+ coaching on Uthena.com within the first year. Most existing revenue comes in from social media, direct traffic, and google organic search via the hundreds of videos I uploaded this year to YouTube and Facebook offering free course previews which then sell courses on Uthena combined with word out of mouth marketing.

Which product is most popular?

Our top seller has been our “Ethical Hacking Forever Bundle” as seen at https://uthena.com/bundles/hackingforever which was sold almost entirely by uploading free previews of our hacking courses onto YouTube which then say to take the full course on Uthena.

How much time does this take as an owner-operated business?

To maintain Uthena only requires about 5 hours a week to just review new instructor applications and provide customer service. Where I have been focusing most of the year is growing Uthena which takes as much time as one can invest. For growth, at least 40 hours a week is ideal to edit landing pages, test new courses in ads, render several video lectures into one long preview video for YouTube, upload/publish to YouTube, test ads for individual YouTube videos, analyze data to see what is working the best, and share free coupon links to attract new students.

Considering this is a business with such potential, why are you selling it now?

As a husband, father of two young children, YouTuber, online course creator, live streamer, podcaster, blogger, author, speaker, and member of recovery, I thought I would make a great startup founder especially after years of requests from followers online to make my own Udemy. In February 2019, I launched Uthena in honor of the goddess Athena and began splitting my time between being a content creator and startup founder. Some months I made everything about Uthena while others I focused more on courses and YouTube. The result has been a high level of stress, a constant feeling that I cannot work enough, and daily disappointment with the results everywhere. With many morning meditations praying for peace, I finally saw a way out by making a decision to either be a content creator or a startup founder. While I have a gift for speaking, teaching, and creating videos, I have had the humbling realization that I am merely an ordinary startup founder which is not what Uthena needs to reach its full potential as an education platform standing alongside Udemy and Skillshare. Selling Uthena is the only way I can completely let go and focus on what doing what I do best while allowing a buyer with more experience, more capital, and a bigger team to take over.

What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current Form? Can you list a few opportunities to Grow for a prospective buyer??

When Uthena sells, I am available for 20 hours to provide a lot of ideas for how Uthena can rapidly grow and ongoing consulting at a discounted rate to advise on the growth opportunities I see and have not had time/resources to implement. Sales will keep coming in indefinitely for Uthena even with no additional marketing necessary because I invested so much time and energy into content marketing for Uthena this year by uploading YouTube videos and having them transcribed to blog posts on my website. Approving new instructors and courses along with providing great customer service is the minimum necessary to continue growing and making more sales. For rapid growth, testing courses with Facebook, Google, and YouTube ads will reveal a few hot topic courses that can be sold at a profit consistently. Uploading free previews to YouTube will help increase the baseline of organic traffic and sales indefinitely. Direct outreach to Udemy instructors will make getting more courses easier. Making outstanding email campaigns to existing buyers and students will help increase the lifetime value of every account. Transcribing lectures into blog posts on Uthena will help get more organic search traffic leading to sales and will be especially powerful when combined with sharing free coupons to courses. One completely dedicated owner or a small team can easily get Uthena up to $10K/month within a year and be on the way to getting the same level of funding from investors that Udemy and Skillshare have raised.

Which niche is hot and unique within Uthena?

The Private Label Rights and franchise marketplace for video courses is getting a high amount of attention with a relatively low effort on my part to promote it. With platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, LearnDash, Kajabi, and LifterLMS making the creation of one’s eLearning platform so easy, there is a rapidly increasing demand for PLR courses where a buyer can purchase the rights to sell a course on their own website. We have received several inquiries asking about a Uthena franchise for $10,000 despite me having only mentioned this in one or two videos. With a focus on the PLR marketplace on Uthena, explosive growth is possible especially when combined with franchising and course bundles.

Drive Business Value and Growth with Online Visibility with Anna Lebedeva SEMrush

Drive Business Value and Growth with Online Visibility with Anna Lebedeva SEMrush

Anna Lebedeva is the Head of Growth Marketing at SEMrush. Her areas of interest are SEO strategies, brand awareness, start-up investment, public relations, and influencers trends. As an author, Anna has been featured in The Next Web, and contributed to Search Engine Journal, Foundr, Business 2 Community, PR Daily, Spin Sucks, and more.

Anna presented at The Exit the importance of online visibility and invest in the appropriate strategies to drive business growth and value to customers. Also, she shared an impressive marketing strategy case study where a dental services company increased its traffic by almost 5,000% and revenue by 100%.

“Even with a budget, it is so difficult to get found in a crowded market, you have limited online space and thousands of companies that will love to take this place and be present”

Mechanism to promote Growth

Marketing is the tool to drive business and promote growth. Companies invest an important part of their gross revenue, between 5% and 20%, on marketing initiatives throughout different channels.

The challenges of a Crowded Market and the Attention Economy

Elements such as limited online space, a large number of competitors, and a new scarce commodity called human attention make the allocation of resources in marketing a real challenge. With the right strategies, businesses can maximize their marketing efforts efficiency and target the proper audience at the right place with the optimal frequency.

Marketing is an Investment, not an Expense

To achieve the greatest return on investment, you must invest wisely by focusing marketing activities for your ideal customers via the right channels.

Customer Context and Efficient Brand Presence

It is vital to find the relevant online environment, understand the needs and search intent of consumers. To achieve this, marketers must have a clear vision about:
• Business type and the limits of the industry
• Search intent of target users
• Channels and sources customers use to find information
• Optimal offer according to intention and behavior

Case Study – UK-based Dental Service

Smileworks, changing their marketing strategy, achieved a revenue growth of 100% and multiplied their customer base becoming the leading dental practice. Their starting point was a 10% of revenue spent in marketing with paid ads with good coverage and leads but from an audience who was not genuinely interested or not ready to pay for their services. The actions they executed can be summarized in:
• Identified the needs of their audience and the relevant keywords with high consumer interest
• Changed the approach with an optimized site with users and search engines in mind to drive intent and get loyal followers
• Created useful content with most commonly asked questions to educate and show their expertise
As a result, Smileworks experienced an unprecedented turnabout in revenue, trust, and visibility, even reducing the advertising spending.

Deal Structures and Financing with Olivia Kim from Guidant Financial

Deal Structures and Financing with Olivia Kim from Guidant Financial

Olivia Kim is a small business financing expert and has now been at Guidant Financial for 5 years. She has led her External Financing team for a majority of that time and primarily specializes in consulting clients on SBA loans when it comes to business financing solutions. She has successfully helped numerous clients get funded through SBA, with loan amounts ranging from as low as $50,000 to as high as $3 Million, so she knows a thing or two about this stuff! Today, she will go over what sellers can expect if they have buyers going through this process.

Quote: “Tax returns are key. I can not emphasize this enough.”

Who is Guidant Financial?

What is an SBA loan and what are the rules around SBA loans?

SBA loans are small business loans that are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. They are government backed product so there are a lot of rules and regulations.

SBA Rules

• Must be U.S. based business
• Loan range is $25K – $5m
• Business cannot be passive

Borrower Rules

• Borrowers must bring in a minimum of 10% Equity Injection
• Borrower must be a U.S. Citizen, or have a green card
• Borrower cannot have caused loss to the government

By injecting a minimum of 10% cash into the business it shows lenders that the borrower is committed by having some skin in the game.

What are the SBA benefits for Sellers?

• Borrowers must meet certain standards to qualify for the SBA loan. This saves the seller from wasting time with unqualified borrowers.
• The application process doesn’t require much initial work from the seller.
• Fees associated with the SBA loan is the buyer’s responsibility.
• Seller gets paid upfront for purchase price.

How to pre-qualify your business for an SBA loan?

There is great value to getting an SBA pre-qualification letter. Highly recommend this.

Pre-qualifying Your Business

• Getting a Pre-Qualification letter from a lender can increase chances of selling your business.
• Lenders will need financial information to issue a Pre-Qual letter. Tax Returns are key, or Profit & Loss statements, Balance Sheets, and etc.
• Getting a Pre-Qual letter doesn’t mean an automatic approval. The buyer also needs to look good and qualitfy.
• You can go the extra mile and get a Certified Appraisal to get an accurate reading of what your business is worth.

It’s important to note that getting a pre-qualification letter doesn’t automatically mean that the deal is done, but it can really help speed up the process.

Common Questions

What is a typical deal structure?

For business acquisitions, the average Equity Injection the Buyer is responsible for is 20%. The maximum loan amount is $5m.

SBA are typically 10 year terms loans.

What are other important criteria to get a loan approved?

• Access to financial information on the business. Tax Returns are key.
• The business must have adequate historical cash flow, and no signs of significant losses year over year.
• Satisfactory personal credit score & histories for all guarantors of the loan – this being the buyer(s).
• No recent bankruptcies, foreclosures, or misdemeanors & felony charges.

Quote “No lender is going to go in blind to approve a loan without seeing how the business itself is doing.”

SBA are a very powerful tool for both buyers and sellers. It helps buyers achieve their dreams and sellers move forward with their next business venture.

If you would like to find out more about SBA loans and connect with Olivia you can do so using the details below:

Connect with us at:

[email protected]
guidantfinancial.com
888-472-4455