Jock Purtle is the CEO of digitalexits.com, a full service website brokerage. They help online business owners find a buyer when they want to exit their company.
He personally exited his online business in 2013 and is on track to facilitate over 20 deals in 2015, ranging from $100,000 to $10,000,000.
How did you get started?
I worked in my father’s valuation company from a young age. This is where I honed the skills of valuing businesses. I then became personally interested in the internet and online marketing and this led me to acquire my first online business.
What inspired you to start this business?
There was a gap in the market that I saw and took advantage of that. At the time, there were only a handful of companies that assisted in the sale of those products.
How do you make money?
We generate revenue by taking a commission when we successfully sell our clients’ businesses.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We were profitable within the first few months. There isn’t generally a high amount of fixed costs in a brokerage business; therefore, it is quite a high margin business because we are providing high level consulting services.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
The first year was slow in terms of new clients. I think the first two years of business are generally very slow in every industry, especially if you are bootstrapping the business.
I don’t think there was any doubt that it would work because we choose a market where there was already other competitors. I think the main thing is the speed at which the business grew. This was the main challenge.
How did you get your first customer?
I think the first customer that we got was a referral from a friend of ours who knew that we had started in the brokering business.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We have had a lot of success with content marketing.
Is there a trend in your industry that particularly excites you right now?
The fact that online business is growing at such a rapid rate.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
We had to fire a few staff members. That is never an enjoyable experience.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Consistency and persistence.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time we close a deal is a very satisfying moment in business. I also think the larger the commission cheque that we cut is also another most satisfying moment in business. However, I think the all-time record goes to the time when I was 13 and used the profits from my ventures to buy my first laptop computer.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are in growth mode at the moment. We are growing our team. Optimising our processes and streamlining our business. I’m most excited about hitting our revenue targets for this year.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how would you like to be contacted?
Yes, quite happy to. They can contact me through jockpurtle.com.