Want To Sell Your Agency? Here’s How I Did It 💰

ryan-stewart-sell-agency

I sold a majority stake in my marketing agency (WEBRIS) to I’m From The Future on 1/5/2018.

In this post, I’m going to talk about key things I learned during the acquisition process.

NOTE: I am not claiming to be an expert on building or selling agencies. I am writing this because, well, it’s an interesting topic within our industry. Every agency owner at one point has wanted to get out, I hope my story helps you.

I am taking an active role in the acquiring agency. If you still want to work together, we can. You can inquire about agency services here on WEBRIS or I’m From The Future.

 


 

Agreement terms

It’s important to understand, there’s no right or wrong way to exit your agency. You have a valuable asset, you’re able to dictate the terms based on what you want.

For me, it wasn’t about cash – it was about freedom (more on that later). For now, let’s review the terms of my agency’s buyout.

 

1. That WEBRIS merges into IFTF.

IFTF owns and manages all current and future clients of WEBRIS agency. The deal applies to the agency only – the WEBRIS Tools and Trainings are treated as a separate, solely WEBRIS owned entities.

 

2. That I’m joining the new agency as a salaried, equity partner.

I owned 100% of WEBRIS – that equity transfers into the larger umbrella of IFTF management. I now own a stake in IFTF + salary from the company.

 

3. That my role will change 

At WEBRIS, I did everything – sales, marketing, project management, client management, client calls, day to day oversight…literally, everything.

The main reason for my wanting this merger was to pull myself out of the day to day grind. To me, this was more important than a cash buyout. 

My day to day responsibilities are drastically reduced. My role no longer involves campaign execution and client management. Instead, I’ll be working on what I do best – creating content, sales, speaking, training staff, building processes and automating inefficiencies within the agency.

 

NOTE: The WEBRIS staff is amazing. While I did everything, they did too – WEBRIS would be nothing without their hard work. Cesar, Evelyn, Maria, Viviana, Noah, Yury, Toufiq, Boni, Pierre, Donna – THANK YOU!!!

 

4. That I keep all cash on hand

We had a lot of cash, post tax, that I was sitting on. When you throw this large sum of cash into my salary + equity deal, it looks like a traditional buyout.

 

5. That I will help make IFTF a $100m agency.

I’m an equity owner in IFTF – I believe in our staff, talent and capabilities. I am going to work like an animal to take this agency to the next level.

 


 

If you're looking to sell your agency...
I don’t have a blueprint on how to sell your agency, unfortunately it’s not that simple. I can, however, give you my thoughts after going through the process.

 


 

1. Do you really want to sell or are you just overwhelmed?

Running an agency is stressful – we all go through it.

But when you learn to manage the headaches, agencies are amazing businesses to own.

  • The need for agency services is exploding, there’s plenty of money to be made.
  • Once you’ve systematized your service, profit margins are high.
  • Large, lump sum, up front cash payments.

I thought long and hard about if I really wanted to sell or if the stress of the business just got to me.

Ultimately, I decided to sell because the terms were perfect for me. They kept me as an equity owner, freed up my time and dropped some cash in my pocket.

 


 

2. Would a buyer be interested in your agency?

From a buyer’s perspective, they could want to acquire you for a number of reasons. It’s important to understand the value your agency would bring to a buyer.

  • Your book of business. You would add value to the acquiring companies top line immediately. This is why it’s imperative you use contracts, “month to month” agreements are farts in the wind.

  • Your offshore solutions. Having an offshore team that can deliver top quality work for a fraction of the price will immediately increase margins for the acquirer (a large reason why Publicis paid $3.7B for SapientNitro).

  • Your top notch staff. It’s hard to find good talent – if you have it, it could be worth buying.

  • Your unique capabilities. We hack together a lot of tools that provided a ton of value to our purchaser.

  • Your systems and processes. Having your service streamlined and automated would help another agency’s internal operations immensely (this is a large reason why we were acquired).

  • Your brand and assets. A large social following, proprietary data, tools, lead flow – these are all enticing to buyers.

If you’re serious about selling, my advice is to start thinking about ways to tweak your business to make it more attractive to a buyer.

 


 

3. Get a legitimate valuation of your agency

There’s a number of valuation methods available, but for agencies, the earnings multiplier method is best.

This method calculates the value based on a “multiple” of your agency’s earnings.

I’ve seen some people claiming there’s a standard industry multiple based on revenue and profits (i.e. if EBITDA is 40%, value = 10 x revenue. If EBITDA is 10%, value = 2 x revenue).

This isn’t the case – there is no standard. The multiple needs to be determined and agreed on by both parties.

That’s why agency valuations are so damn subjective. There’s always  variance in multipliers (e.g. 1, 3, 5, 10 or more) based on the opinion of the person calculating value.

The difference between a multiple of 1 and 3 can be millions of dollars.

There’s a number of inputs that can swing the multiple one way or another:

  • Top line revenue. Your history of growth and future projections – CAGR is a common valuation metric.

  • Book of business. The signed agreements you have and the breakdown of revenue. If most of your revenue is coming from a few clients, your value will decrease.

  • Client churn rate. After agreements end, the percentage of clients you resign to new agreements.

  • Inbound lead flow. The number of qualified leads you receive each month (and growth rate).

  • Profitability. Incredibly important – a $10m agency with 2% EBITDA isn’t a good sign. However, unless you’re grossly mismanaged, profits are easier to increase than revenue (for acquiring agency – mainly through layoffs). For that reason, I believe top line is more important than bottom line.

  • Debt. Obviously, being in debt will decrease your value. In all honesty, you shouldn’t have debt as an agency (aside from minor credit cards). You get paid up front at a price you dictate – manage your cash.

  • Brand and Goodwill. Often over inflated by the seller, undervalued by the buyer – it matters and should accounted for your valuation.

 


 

4. How I valued my agency

Let’s walk through my valuation process…

a. Full list of clients

A Google Sheets file containing:

  • Client name (past, current and prospective)
  • Retainer amount
  • Agreement start / end dates
client-list

While these are not official financial statements, I started here for a few reasons:

  • To build concrete 3 month projections based on what was in our sales pipeline.
  • To calculate average contract length.
  • To understand our churn rate (i.e. the number of clients that don’t resign when an agreement ends).
  • To show the prospective buyer the types of clients we worked with.
  • To show good faith to the prospective buyer that we were open and transparent.

 

b. Export of financial statements

For tax reasons, we keep our books on cash based accounting.

Cash based accounting only counts when money hits your bank account. Accrual based accounting counts before revenue is realized, i.e. when an invoice is sent and never paid

For the valuation process, we redid our books to account on accrual basis.

At any given point in a year, we had over $100,000 in open invoices – cash based accounting would not show these open invoices on your books.  this should be included in your valuation (it will drive it up, greatly).

We used Quickbooks for accounting – we simply exported history of data into Google Sheets and organized revenue by month.

For visual purposes, we plotted that into a simple bar chart (see below, revenue data removed).

total growth rate

 

c. Projecting value based on growth

Our agency was growing fast (172% year over year, 2 years straight) – we wanted to based our valuation on this.

However, growth can fluctuate based on client lifecycles, payment delays and other external factors. It’s important to look at a number of metrics to help accurately quantify your agency’s growth:

  • Average month over month growth. Calculate each month’s growth rate (current month / previous month – 1), averaged across your agency’s history.
month over month growth
  • 3 month rolling growth rate. The average growth rate of 3 month intervals (helps to level out inconsistency’s).
rolling 3 month growth rate
  • Year over year growth rate.
year over year growth rate

With these numbers in hand, it was simple to calculate the next 3 years worth of revenue.

Current Rev x YOY Growth Rate = Projected Revenue

This gave me a solid base to stand on as a minimum valuation (i.e. concrete without multiple added in).

 

d. Finalizing our valuation multiple

As mentioned above, agency’s generally add in “multiples” to beef up valuations. For me, I added in a number of factors.

  • Brand value. I looked at items like branded search volume, email list, social followings (10k YouTube subs, Facebook Page, etc)
  • Website traffic + leads. Using a similar growth rate calculation, I added in a multiple based on incoming website traffic and inbound lead flow.
  • Processes + automations. We have standardized SOPs and trainings for everything we do. We’ve also built automation tools on top of our processes to make our service run like a product.

I came up with a final multiple of 2.5 (on top of my growth rate).

 


 

5. Read the paperwork yourself!

I hate giving cliche tips, but this is important.

I received 3 legal documents from the sale:

The documents were perfectly written from a legal point of view, but did not contain some specific items discussed between Nick and myself.

This was not Nick’s fault, nor his attorney’s. His attorney was not present throughout our discussions – there were a number of “boilerplate” items in the documents that were left alone.

My attorney never would have caught these details, as he wasn’t present during Nick and my negotiations.

If I hadn’t sat down and read the documents myself, I would’ve signed away things I didn’t want to.

Small verbiage can have a huge impact on your sale – don’t rely on your attorney to do it for you.

 


 

6. Find the right buyer for you

Sounds cliche, but I had several talks with investors / buyers, none of whom I was comfortable with.

My name is tied to my agency and I plan to be in this industry for a long time. I couldn’t afford to sell to someone who would run my reputation into the ground.

The only option for me was to find someone who would further the quality of WEBRIS’ brand and work.

Selling to Nick Eubanks, the CEO / founder of IFTF, was a no brainer. Our values, thought processes and visions for future aligned – that was incredibly important to me.

I don’t say this lightly, Nick is one of a few people I consider better than at me at all of this. If anything, this move will improve my reputation in the industry and open more doors.

Don’t be short sighted – understand the long term impacts of selling your agency and the ripple effect on your future ability to generate income.

 


 

7. Find the right deal for you

Our deal was not your traditional buyout – we sculpted it to fit both of our needs.

We chose not to go with a lump sum buyout because I valued my time more than money.

While I loved the work I did at WEBRIS, it became a job. I answered to clients, day and night – as much as I worked, I could never get ahead.

This deal allowed me to pull out of the day to day grind while remaining an owner. Ultimately, this deal paid me in time.

Time to spend on new projects.

Time to spend creating.

Time to spend traveling and enjoying the success of something I busted my ass (PROUDLY) to build.

 

Ryan Stewart SEO
I’m sitting in Medellin writing this post right now. I’m in in a cafe, enjoying fresh coffee while working on my book [FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM].

More importantly, I finally realized the value of my time.

I saw image this in a Tweet the other day and thought it was incredibly relevant…

TLDR; Managers focuses on team and day to day problems. Executives focus on industry and company problems.

 

managers vs executive

 

I’ve realized my role at WEBRIS was as a manager, not an executive. I tried to put everything on my back – managing campaigns, client calls, sales, marketing…it got us to over $1M, but it wouldn’t get us to $100M.

This deal lets me focus my time on being an executive.

I’m excited for the future. IFTF is a great agency, with a great team – we’re going to make a lot of noise in this industry.

PLEASE leave me any thoughts or comments below, I’m happy to engage with you on this subject. Also, feel free to Tweet at me.

I sold a majority stake in my marketing agency (WEBRIS) to I’m From The Future on 1/5/2018.

In this post, I’m going to talk about key things I learned during the acquisition process.

NOTE: I am not claiming to be an expert on building or selling agencies. I am writing this because, well, it’s an interesting topic within our industry. Every agency owner at one point has wanted to get out, I hope my story helps you.

I am taking an active role in the acquiring agency. If you still want to work together, we can. You can inquire about agency services here on WEBRIS or I’m From The Future.

 


 

Agreement terms

It’s important to understand, there’s no right or wrong way to exit your agency. You have a valuable asset, you’re able to dictate the terms based on what you want.

For me, it wasn’t about cash – it was about freedom (more on that later). For now, let’s review the terms of my agency’s buyout.

 

1. That WEBRIS merges into IFTF.

IFTF owns and manages all current and future clients of WEBRIS agency. The deal applies to the agency only – the WEBRIS Tools and Trainings are treated as a separate, solely WEBRIS owned entities.

 

2. That I’m joining the new agency as a salaried, equity partner.

I owned 100% of WEBRIS – that equity transfers into the larger umbrella of IFTF management. I now own a stake in IFTF + salary from the company.

 

3. That my role will change 

At WEBRIS, I did everything – sales, marketing, project management, client management, client calls, day to day oversight…literally, everything.

The main reason for my wanting this merger was to pull myself out of the day to day grind. To me, this was more important than a cash buyout. 

My day to day responsibilities are drastically reduced. My role no longer involves campaign execution and client management. Instead, I’ll be working on what I do best – creating content, sales, speaking, training staff, building processes and automating inefficiencies within the agency.

 

NOTE: The WEBRIS staff is amazing. While I did everything, they did too – WEBRIS would be nothing without their hard work. Cesar, Evelyn, Maria, Viviana, Noah, Yury, Toufiq, Boni, Pierre, Donna – THANK YOU!!!

 

4. That I keep all cash on hand

We had a lot of cash, post tax, that I was sitting on. When you throw this large sum of cash into my salary + equity deal, it looks like a traditional buyout.

 

5. That I will help make IFTF a $100m agency.

I’m an equity owner in IFTF – I believe in our staff, talent and capabilities. I am going to work like an animal to take this agency to the next level.

 


 

If you're looking to sell your agency...
I don’t have a blueprint on how to sell your agency, unfortunately it’s not that simple. I can, however, give you my thoughts after going through the process.

 


 

1. Do you really want to sell or are you just overwhelmed?

Running an agency is stressful – we all go through it.

But when you learn to manage the headaches, agencies are amazing businesses to own.

  • The need for agency services is exploding, there’s plenty of money to be made.
  • Once you’ve systematized your service, profit margins are high.
  • Large, lump sum, up front cash payments.

I thought long and hard about if I really wanted to sell or if the stress of the business just got to me.

Ultimately, I decided to sell because the terms were perfect for me. They kept me as an equity owner, freed up my time and dropped some cash in my pocket.

 


 

2. Would a buyer be interested in your agency?

From a buyer’s perspective, they could want to acquire you for a number of reasons. It’s important to understand the value your agency would bring to a buyer.

  • Your book of business. You would add value to the acquiring companies top line immediately. This is why it’s imperative you use contracts, “month to month” agreements are farts in the wind.

  • Your offshore solutions. Having an offshore team that can deliver top quality work for a fraction of the price will immediately increase margins for the acquirer (a large reason why Publicis paid $3.7B for SapientNitro).

  • Your top notch staff. It’s hard to find good talent – if you have it, it could be worth buying.

  • Your unique capabilities. We hack together a lot of tools that provided a ton of value to our purchaser.

  • Your systems and processes. Having your service streamlined and automated would help another agency’s internal operations immensely (this is a large reason why we were acquired).

  • Your brand and assets. A large social following, proprietary data, tools, lead flow – these are all enticing to buyers.

If you’re serious about selling, my advice is to start thinking about ways to tweak your business to make it more attractive to a buyer.

 


 

3. Get a legitimate valuation of your agency

There’s a number of valuation methods available, but for agencies, the earnings multiplier method is best.

This method calculates the value based on a “multiple” of your agency’s earnings.

I’ve seen some people claiming there’s a standard industry multiple based on revenue and profits (i.e. if EBITDA is 40%, value = 10 x revenue. If EBITDA is 10%, value = 2 x revenue).

This isn’t the case – there is no standard. The multiple needs to be determined and agreed on by both parties.

That’s why agency valuations are so damn subjective. There’s always  variance in multipliers (e.g. 1, 3, 5, 10 or more) based on the opinion of the person calculating value.

The difference between a multiple of 1 and 3 can be millions of dollars.

There’s a number of inputs that can swing the multiple one way or another:

  • Top line revenue. Your history of growth and future projections – CAGR is a common valuation metric.

  • Book of business. The signed agreements you have and the breakdown of revenue. If most of your revenue is coming from a few clients, your value will decrease.

  • Client churn rate. After agreements end, the percentage of clients you resign to new agreements.

  • Inbound lead flow. The number of qualified leads you receive each month (and growth rate).

  • Profitability. Incredibly important – a $10m agency with 2% EBITDA isn’t a good sign. However, unless you’re grossly mismanaged, profits are easier to increase than revenue (for acquiring agency – mainly through layoffs). For that reason, I believe top line is more important than bottom line.

  • Debt. Obviously, being in debt will decrease your value. In all honesty, you shouldn’t have debt as an agency (aside from minor credit cards). You get paid up front at a price you dictate – manage your cash.

  • Brand and Goodwill. Often over inflated by the seller, undervalued by the buyer – it matters and should accounted for your valuation.

 


 

4. How I valued my agency

Let’s walk through my valuation process…

a. Full list of clients

A Google Sheets file containing:

  • Client name (past, current and prospective)
  • Retainer amount
  • Agreement start / end dates
client-list

While these are not official financial statements, I started here for a few reasons:

  • To build concrete 3 month projections based on what was in our sales pipeline.
  • To calculate average contract length.
  • To understand our churn rate (i.e. the number of clients that don’t resign when an agreement ends).
  • To show the prospective buyer the types of clients we worked with.
  • To show good faith to the prospective buyer that we were open and transparent.

 

b. Export of financial statements

For tax reasons, we keep our books on cash based accounting.

Cash based accounting only counts when money hits your bank account. Accrual based accounting counts before revenue is realized, i.e. when an invoice is sent and never paid

For the valuation process, we redid our books to account on accrual basis.

At any given point in a year, we had over $100,000 in open invoices – cash based accounting would not show these open invoices on your books.  this should be included in your valuation (it will drive it up, greatly).

We used Quickbooks for accounting – we simply exported history of data into Google Sheets and organized revenue by month.

For visual purposes, we plotted that into a simple bar chart (see below, revenue data removed).

total growth rate

 

c. Projecting value based on growth

Our agency was growing fast (172% year over year, 2 years straight) – we wanted to based our valuation on this.

However, growth can fluctuate based on client lifecycles, payment delays and other external factors. It’s important to look at a number of metrics to help accurately quantify your agency’s growth:

  • Average month over month growth. Calculate each month’s growth rate (current month / previous month – 1), averaged across your agency’s history.
month over month growth
  • 3 month rolling growth rate. The average growth rate of 3 month intervals (helps to level out inconsistency’s).
rolling 3 month growth rate
  • Year over year growth rate.
year over year growth rate

With these numbers in hand, it was simple to calculate the next 3 years worth of revenue.

Current Rev x YOY Growth Rate = Projected Revenue

This gave me a solid base to stand on as a minimum valuation (i.e. concrete without multiple added in).

 

d. Finalizing our valuation multiple

As mentioned above, agency’s generally add in “multiples” to beef up valuations. For me, I added in a number of factors.

  • Brand value. I looked at items like branded search volume, email list, social followings (10k YouTube subs, Facebook Page, etc)
  • Website traffic + leads. Using a similar growth rate calculation, I added in a multiple based on incoming website traffic and inbound lead flow.
  • Processes + automations. We have standardized SOPs and trainings for everything we do. We’ve also built automation tools on top of our processes to make our service run like a product.

I came up with a final multiple of 2.5 (on top of my growth rate).

 


 

5. Read the paperwork yourself!

I hate giving cliche tips, but this is important.

I received 3 legal documents from the sale:

The documents were perfectly written from a legal point of view, but did not contain some specific items discussed between Nick and myself.

This was not Nick’s fault, nor his attorney’s. His attorney was not present throughout our discussions – there were a number of “boilerplate” items in the documents that were left alone.

My attorney never would have caught these details, as he wasn’t present during Nick and my negotiations.

If I hadn’t sat down and read the documents myself, I would’ve signed away things I didn’t want to.

Small verbiage can have a huge impact on your sale – don’t rely on your attorney to do it for you.

 


 

6. Find the right buyer for you

Sounds cliche, but I had several talks with investors / buyers, none of whom I was comfortable with.

My name is tied to my agency and I plan to be in this industry for a long time. I couldn’t afford to sell to someone who would run my reputation into the ground.

The only option for me was to find someone who would further the quality of WEBRIS’ brand and work.

Selling to Nick Eubanks, the CEO / founder of IFTF, was a no brainer. Our values, thought processes and visions for future aligned – that was incredibly important to me.

I don’t say this lightly, Nick is one of a few people I consider better than at me at all of this. If anything, this move will improve my reputation in the industry and open more doors.

Don’t be short sighted – understand the long term impacts of selling your agency and the ripple effect on your future ability to generate income.

 


 

7. Find the right deal for you

Our deal was not your traditional buyout – we sculpted it to fit both of our needs.

We chose not to go with a lump sum buyout because I valued my time more than money.

While I loved the work I did at WEBRIS, it became a job. I answered to clients, day and night – as much as I worked, I could never get ahead.

This deal allowed me to pull out of the day to day grind while remaining an owner. Ultimately, this deal paid me in time.

Time to spend on new projects.

Time to spend creating.

Time to spend traveling and enjoying the success of something I busted my ass (PROUDLY) to build.

 

Ryan Stewart SEO
I’m sitting in Medellin writing this post right now. I’m in in a cafe, enjoying fresh coffee while working on my book [FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM].

More importantly, I finally realized the value of my time.

I saw image this in a Tweet the other day and thought it was incredibly relevant…

TLDR; Managers focuses on team and day to day problems. Executives focus on industry and company problems.

 

managers vs executive

 

I’ve realized my role at WEBRIS was as a manager, not an executive. I tried to put everything on my back – managing campaigns, client calls, sales, marketing…it got us to over $1M, but it wouldn’t get us to $100M.

This deal lets me focus my time on being an executive.

I’m excited for the future. IFTF is a great agency, with a great team – we’re going to make a lot of noise in this industry.

PLEASE leave me any thoughts or comments below, I’m happy to engage with you on this subject. Also, feel free to Tweet at me.

64 responses to “Want To Sell Your Agency? Here’s How I Did It 💰”

  1. Dude, awesome post, thanks for putting this together. How long did you have your agency before selling?

  2. Awesome post Ryan. Very inspiring and thought provoking.

    Some a ah moments in there for me as an agency owner. Congratulations on the deal, thoroughly well deserved.

    Sounds like it came at the right time for you. Great to hear you’re writing a book too, can’t wait for that.

  3. Great read. Sharing growth with other executives is way more fun than doing it alone. Glad to see you happy!

  4. This is super helpful! I’ll be sharing with a friend who is trying to sell his agency right now.

  5. Nice post, good info. I don’t agree with this for sure though:

    Your book of business. You would add value to the acquiring companies top line immediately. This is why it’s imperative you use contracts, “month to month” agreements are farts in the wind.

    That’s a crock of shit. Out of the dozens in my agency, they are all month to month, they’ve been with us for a year+ on average, and we have a 94% retention rate.

    We use business agreements that state they can cancel anytime with 30-day notice.

    • That’s a fair assessment. Again, this is my first tome going through this process and when speaking to potential buyers they ALL wanted to see agreements. We did use 30 day out clauses as a means to “lure” longer contracts, purely for valuation purposes.

  6. Amazing read. Good point on the contracts, that’s something I need to think about. I’m already taking a systems and process based approach to my agency, but I don’t do any contracts which may bite me in the ass in the future.

    Love the long term thinking too and the distinction between executive vs manager.

    Hit me up when you’re back in Medellin.

  7. Amazing and unique insights as always man! Hardly anyone writes about this stuff, especially with Google Sheets screenshots as well! Enjoy that well earned fresh Columbian Coffee and that travels!

  8. Thank you for posting this…very helpful to set some goals / targets to reach by setting up processes and systems so when it is time to sell, the agency is positioned to be most attractive to prospective buyers.

  9. Ryan, congratulations. As I said on Twitter, I think joining IFTF was an enormous move.

    A question if you have a moment, and are able to answer. Did IFTF reach out to you randomly, or had you been putting words out that you wanted to sell?

    • Hey Christopher,

      Of course, happy to answer.

      Nick and I have known each other for a couple of years, mainly through online channels. He traveled to Miami (where I live) a few times a year for client work and we’d often grab dinner when he was in town. Through that process we got to know each other and clicked on a number of business related items. One day I saw he posted something on Twitter about buying an agency – I sent a text (half kidding, half serious) asking when he was going to make me an offer for WEBRIS. He responded immediately and said if I’m interested, he’d put together an offer within a few days. He did, the rest was history. I had been flirting with selling the agency, but none of the offers I got were close to what I felt the agency was (and will be) worth. Nick and I came to an agreement based on what I valued, my time, and we were able to make it work.

      • That’s super awesome, I’m in the flirting stage, should I, shouldn’t I, so your insight here is incredibly valuable – thank you and I look forward to seeing a $100mil agency form! That ADHD boy won’t stop until it does and I don’t think you will either 😉

  10. Great article and congratulations.
    SOP’s are crucial for scaling and something that seems very hard to get in place when you are managing and doing everything. Any tips, training, or advice in this area?

  11. Great job Ryan and congrats! I’ve been following your journey and it’s very inspirational. I’m in the middle of building my agency and have steered clear of low cost resources due to the amount of time and headache training someone only to see them leave or not perform so your post causes me to rethink this.

    All the best in your new role, sounds very exciting!

  12. Congrats Ryan,
    Glad you found a fit. Ive dealt with Investors and even VC’s on other projects, they normally want blood. Great work!

  13. Congratulations Ryan! Couldn’t happen to a better guy. You’ve helped so many of us over the years. So, what are you going to do with your time?

    See you in Orlando next month!

    • Thanks Ed! I really appreciate that.

      I’ll still be heavily involved at the new agency, working on higher level strategic initiatives. I’ll also be creating a lot more blogs, videos, tools, trainings and doing some consulting.

  14. Great post Ryan, Was suprised to see this so soon. Thought you just started.
    Good to learn few things again from this post and glad you made a decision where you do what you love rest of the time. All the best.

    An avid reader of your content and works. V

  15. That’s awesome Ryan, it’s been a year from your last YouTube update. The long wait is over. Hope we see your videos regularly.
    All your technics was really powerful.

  16. I like to work like insane and build out big things.

    You’re so good and have good manners I was lost when I saw your email that you sold your agency and tried reaching you to work for you.

    Thanks for all you’ve been doing for SEO community especially from last couple of years.

    Good luck for next thing.

    Parma

  17. Congratulations, Ryan! Thanks, as always, for sharing your insights.

    What’s the book about?

  18. good read but u didnt post how much u sold it for? what was the final purchase price?

  19. Your content is always spot on Ryan! As someone who eventually want to sell a business this was right on time.

  20. Thank you for this post Ryan. It is super helpful and offers so many practical takeaways for longterm perspective and processes. I look forward to hearing more about this next phase.

  21. Congratulation man, such an awesome accomplishment! Curious what type of margin is viewed as healthy from a potential buyer for an agency doing 1-3m in revenue?

  22. Congrats Ryan! I’ve been a fan of yours for the past few years. Love the no BS insight you bring and hacks/tips you provide. Looking forward to seeing your work in the new agency.

  23. Ryan, congratulations on the acquisition! I know I don’t need to tell you this, but for those that haven’t been through it before, M&A’s in any industry require a lot of behind the scenes effort. Keep in mind, that’s in addition to keeping the business running. Job well done and wishing you the best success in the next chapter! Thanks for the stellar read per usual.

  24. Awesome post Ryan. It is super helpful and offers so many practical takeaways that I wasn’t even aware of-like the Agreement terms. I would be my starting my own agency business next year, any suggestions you would like to share how an agency should structure an agreement with the clients before starting out the actual work. Also, it would be great if you can share any sample agreement points/template that would just help me broaden my understanding towards the business contracts for digital services.

    P.S Can’t afford attorney at the moment 🙂

    Have a great day ahead.

  25. Great read! I am a tiny player in the SEO world in the grand scheme of things, but maybe one day this could be a move I make. At the moment I work 5 days a week and manage a consultant who works for me. Im bringing in £140,000 a year but it could be far greater!

  26. Awesome read Ryan and truly grateful to hear the insight from a first time seller point of view. Would love to hear more about your systemization and automation processes you had to create for WEBRIS!

  27. Awesome Ryan,

    In a couple of months, I’d start my marketing agency here in Nigeria.

    Don’t know or have plans to sell now, but trust, this post gave me some priceless tips how to navigate.

    thanks for sharing, Ryan.

  28. You were always an inspiration to me. Thanks & wish you all the very best for the life ahead. 🙂

  29. congrats . wish you luck on your new file as a manager .
    i going to hire you . for content calendar .Oh BTW i next couple day you will receive a book & t shirt (have biggie small saying more links more probl is cool ) i hope you like ..

    cheers

    Lorenzo

  30. You’ve been very helpful to me in so many ways, from your blogs to your trainings. Happy to see you’ve found the right path.

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