Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Ben Leonard from Ecom Brokers, ecommerce brokerage buy ecommerce people, for ecommerce people.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.”
Connor: Hey Ben, thanks for taking the time to chat with us here. We love getting to know our partners better so that our community can benefit from what our partners are offering and doing in the industry. To get started, can you give us a high level overview of Ecom Brokers and how it got started?
Ben: Ecom Brokers is the ecommerce brokerage buy ecommerce people, for ecommerce people. We plan and execute exit strategies for ecommerce, SaaS and agency business owners so that they sell their business for the best possible price. We started when we had to scratch our own itch. Ben sold his ecommerce business through a generic brokerage service, and they made some almost catastrophic errors. Fortunately, Ben’s accountant Allison saved the day thanks to her >20 years M&A experience. We decided we coulda nd should do a better job – so we crated Ecom Brokers.
Connor: That’s awesome! Can you dive a bit more into the services that you offer to help ecommerce entrepreneurs sell their business? I’m sure our audience would love to know exactly what problems you could solve for them.
Ben: Sure. Put simply – we analyse the business to determine its maximise possible value, we actively market it to the right buyers, and we work the deal to get the best possible outcome for the seller.
We’re the antidote to generic flipper services, gimmicky marketplaces, slimey consultants and unfair direct sales.
Connor: Jumping off of that…if there was one problem you’d say that Ecom Brokers solves best for your clients, what would it be? Why?
Ben: We actively work to determine the best possible value for the business. We’re accountants, M&A experts, ecommerce business owner-operators. We’ve bought and sold businesses. We have experience on all sides of the equation. This means we can apply all our expertise to squeeze as much value out of the business as possible. Our job is to be a Return On Investment. Our work more than pays for our fees.
Connor: As the company continues to grow over the next year, what are your plans for expansion? Any new products or offerings or enhancements to your current products?
Ben: We will continue to serve sellers all over the world in their exit planning and execution. We’ve expanded our team in Europe and the USA and are well positioned to help sellers get the deal of their dreams.
Connor: And how specifically would you say that Ecom Brokers and your team is different from other similar businesses in the industry?
Ben: We’re experts on all sides of the equation. We’ve exited our own brands, we’re former aggregators, we’re M&A experts and accountants.
We carefully sell businesses. We don’t’ flip’ them. With our experience on both the e-commerce operations side, and as accountants – we help you to get your business sorted from top to bottom. This both maximises the value and makes it as attractive as possible to a buyer.
Neither the flippers nor the consultants have the real lived experience on all sides that Ecom Brokers has. We’ve been there and done it. We’ve built, scaled, and sold our own multimillion-pound international brands, we’ve brokered deals, and we are experts on the finances!
Most of the flipper brokers and consultants are pretty good at what they do. But unfortunately what they do isn’t necessarily in your best interests. To get the best possible deal for e-commerce sellers you really need to have lived experience as a seller, an M&A expert and an accountant – we have all that.
When ‘flipper brokers’ sell your business, they pull the data, pick a valuation and then throw your business at their buyer database and see what sticks.
The ‘consulting’ model involves emailing a list of buyers and ‘referring’ your business to them. Then mopping up both a referral fee from the buyer and a commission from you. Shady.
Check this out – https://www.ecombrokers.co.uk/movie
Connor: What made you decide to get involved in the ecommerce broker space? What’s your starting eCommerce story? From what we’ve found, a lot of business owners in the space have fun stories of how they first started…
Ben: I got into ecommerce in 2016 when I started a fitness brand as an outlet whilst I recovered from a heart problem. Turns out, I was great at it. I scaled the business to $6million in annual sales and exited. Unfortunately, the broker I used dropped the ball big-time. Thankfully, Allison, my accountant, saved the day. She has >25 years M&A experience and is a phenomenal accountant.
The natural thing wss to plug this gap – offer a better, more bespoke experience for business owners to get the exit they deserve.
Connor: Love it! Talking more about the eCommerce industry, where do you see it going in the next 1-2 years? Any unique predictions that you could share?
Ben: Aggregators are being forced to improve their operational capability. Big-boy private equity is moving into the space. Many of these private equity backed families of brands have been running brands for decades – just not in ecommerce and on Amazon. This will be a game changer – and great for brand owners.
People selling ‘stuff’ on Amazon will no longer be able to ‘flip’ their business for a strong multiple. Instead, legit brands with an identity, a unique offering and something special about them will emerge as the winners. They will continue to command a strong multiple and will be favoured by smarter, operationally nimble buyers.
Connor: Giving you an open mic for a minute, what is something you’d want the EcomBalance audience to hear?
Ben: You’ve put your heart and soul into your business. If you can sell it, potentially for life-changing money, you need to do it the right way. Most people only get one exit.
You use experts for everything in your business (for example, your bookkeeping) – you should do the same when it comes to your exit strategy,
Check this out – https://www.ecombrokers.co.uk/movie – and then share it 😉
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Ben: Business owners are busy. They need to focus on their strengths, which 99 times out of 100 is not accounting! Their biggest pain point is they try to do it themselves, and they simply don’t understand the numbers. Even if they technically get their accounts right. They can’t really interpret what it means and the implications for the decisions they should make in their business. For example, how to allocate cash towards marketing campaigns or product development.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Special offer – get 10% off our fees – https://www.ecombrokers.co.uk/ecombalance and a free consult!