RS037: [LIVE!] Rhodium Weekend Recap

Rogue Startups
Rogue Startups
RS037: [LIVE!] Rhodium Weekend Recap

Today Dave and I are coming to you live from the Rhodium Weekend Conference in Las Vegas.  Rhodium is an annual conference put on by business partners Chris Yates (from Episode 24)  and David Gass.  Rhodium focuses on buying, selling, and growing online businesses.

With a focus similar to that of something like Microconf, but slightly different, Dave and I were really excited to dig into what we learned, what our takeaways and action items were, and what this could mean for our businesses going forward.  

As always there were a few standout performances by presenters.  Most notably for us were the presentations by website brokers Mark Daoust of Quiet Light Brokerage and David Newell from FEInternational.  Both Mark and David talked about different aspects of getting a website ready for sale, what to look for when buying a site, and some of the things they look for when valuing and evaluating a site.  

Similarly, Justin Gilcrest from Centurica talked a lot about due dliigence when looking to buy a website.  His firm specializes in helping buyers do better due diligence, and avoiding many of the pitfalls of inexperienced buyers along the way.  

Buying a $500,000 site is a lot less risky than buying a $100,000 site Share on X

And last but certainly not least was the unleashing of knowledge done by David Parkinson talking all about paid acquisition and how he’s scaled his digital marketing company exponentially in the past few years.  David is a model many of us should follow in the services industry, and something that I took a lot away from with regards to PodcastMotor.  

As the conference was just wrapping up and the focus was all about buying and selling sites Dave and I took a few things away that would have seemed a little counterintuitive to begin the weekend:

  • There is a lot more demand than supply on the market:  Good brands and businesses in the $50,000-$150,000 range are few and far between.  This market imbalance is great news for product creators if they can bring assets to the market.  This also means that multiples will surely go up in the coming years.
  • Buying versus selling a site/app reduces much of the risk of success.  This seems obvious, but what we don’t think about is how product/market fit is already established to some extent in a business with sales.  This just leaves marketing and optimization to the new owner
  • Buying a larger site may be less risky than buying a smaller site.  Bigger sites have more history, more infrastructure, more diversity, and just more meat on the bone.  You don’t see many $1,000,000 sites just tank.  These are real businesses.
  • Purchases over $200,000 often have some significant component of alternative financing.  This can include seller financing, SBA loans, and holdbacks or earnouts.
  • Paid traffic may be the safest, most sure way to grow a business.  The on/off nature of it, and analytics that come with paid traffic make it for a great way to scale a business that has product/market fit
Buying a site solves the question of product/market fit and just leaves scaling to the owner Share on X

Overall the conference was a huge eye opener for us both, and we really enjoyed it.  As the conference spoke to a different aspect of online business it did provide a good and healthy contrast to a conference like Microconf which is (rightly) focused more on the nuts and bolts, strategy, and techniques of scaling a tech business.  If you’re already into the business, or just thinking about getting into it we both recommend checking out both as they provide a good balance of the two aspects of running an online business.

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