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“Being committed to absolute honesty helps us create solid relationships with our clients, completing sales that are home runs for everyone involved.”

Quiet Light Brokerage makes buying and selling a website profitable and stress free. Mark Daoust, launched Quiet Light Brokerage, Inc. in 2007 and it was one of the first brokerage firms to help Internet business owners sell their websites. Since then, the company has facilitated the sale of hundreds of web-based businesses, with more than 80 percent of listings sold within 90 days or less.


BusinessInterviews.com: What are some key ways that Quiet Light Brokerage has evolved since launching in 2007?

Mark: Quiet Light Brokerage has grown every year since we launched, and the key to our success is the team we’ve put in place. Each Quiet Light Brokerage team member is a proven expert who knows the value of online businesses. They have all operated and successfully sold their own six and seven figure online enterprises. These team members are self-made millionaires who broker win-win sales because of personal passion and a desire to share their expertise with other business owners. Because of this team we can help our clients sell for more than they could elsewhere. Our team has helped establish the website brokerage industry and make it what it is today.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you expand on why ethics must be present in order to secure good deals in your industry?

Mark: From the day that Quiet Light Brokerage was started, we recognized that the buying and selling of websites poses a lot of inherent risks to both buyer and seller. Our approach is founded on the idea that our sellers should have clear and accurate expectations regarding the value of their website and what they should expect from buyers. Buyers should be able to easily identify and assess both the risks of a website as well as the opportunity. This requires a proven process, transparency and a fanatical dedication to integrity in everything Quiet Light Brokerage says and does.

Being committed to absolute honesty helps us create solid relationships with our clients, completing sales that are home runs for everyone involved.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on the importance of only taking on clients with sites that can be independently verified?

Mark: Independent verification protects both buyers and sellers. We require all of our sellers to go through our proven screening process with site-specific valuation reports that establish fair and ethical prices, saves time and money and takes the guesswork out of buying and selling profitable online enterprises.

The process is an opportunity to verify that everything was represented accurately as well as the opportunity to ensure that significant information or details were not omitted in the representation of the business for sale. We find that the verification process also helps establish a good working relationship with the seller, which strengthens our ability to attain the best deal possible for him or her.

Our verification process means that every site we list is a quality business. That’s one reason our listings announcement emails have a very high open rate.

BusinessInterviews.com: What tips would you give to someone contemplating selling their web-based business?

There are two goals of an exit plan: 1) position the website and company in such a way that it will fetch an above market price in a short time and 2) ensure a smooth transition that reduces the possibility of a broken deal.

There are multiple steps a seller needs to take to realize those two primary goals, including maximizing profitability, establishing good record hygiene by separating out personal expenses, using professional accounting software, and the like. But the three most important things would be:

Revenue and Profit trends. Check in monthly to see how you are doing and compare it against last year’s corresponding month. Both revenues and profits should be either trending upward or holding steady with little variation. If you find that you are losing, identify why as quickly as possible and fix it.

Record Keeping. Detailed records increase profits. Buyers who see a seller able to demonstrate clearly why their business is strong are perceived as lower risk because the owners are more attentive.

Steady Marketing. Keep your marketing stable. Refer to the first point – you need steady or growing revenue and profit trends in order to maximize your value.

BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you pass onto entrepreneur on what they should be looking for in a new online business?

Mark: Buyers should expect sellers to be able to independently verify the claims they make about their businesses. Sellers should be willing to provide eyes-wide-open verifiable records about their websites. If not, buyers should keep their wallets shut. Which numbers are most important to you as a buyer depends on why you are in the market. If you are looking to buy a profitable business, then earnings reports are among the most important numbers to you. If you want to make a buy to gain access to a market, or perhaps a new list of consumers, or a businesses talent pool, then being able to quantify those aspects are most important. Know what business attributes are most suited to your goals as a buyer, and then be able to independently verify the seller’s data that apply to those attributes, and you’ll make a transaction of good value.

BusinessInterviews.com: Shock people with honesty, is your motto. Can you share the last time you shocked a client with your honesty?

Mark: It is better to shock people with the truth up front then to let them realize it too late. Good business is about making informed decisions and decisions formed on misconceptions will never be good. Recently, a client named Jennifer contacted us. She was very motivated to sell her website. Emotionally, she really needed to sell her website and she wanted to sell immediately. We told her flat out that her site was not ready to sell and that she needed to invest more time. It was the last thing she wanted to hear. But it was the right thing. She took our advice, cleaned up her books and made other improvements over the next six months. Her hard work – and willingness to act on advice she didn’t want to hear — resulted in a sale price that was about $200,000 higher than she could have gotten if she had sold when she wanted to.

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