John Holling is a serial entrepreneur and investor who co-founded several companies including BBQ Grill Cleaners, Foodealio and Social Mojo.
He was the cofounder and COO of 99 Dollar Social, a social media marketing company offering services to small businesses. This company was recently sold to Wired Investors.
His latest project is Startup to Stardom, a web show to be featured on Entrepreneur.com in the fall of 2017.
In the show, he and his co-hosts will demonstrate the process they go through for starting an actual business from concept to revenue.
In today’s interview, he spills the beans and shares his experience selling 99 Dollar Social, so you can gain an insight into how the process works. Here’s his story*.
*The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Name: John Holling
Website sold: 99dollarsocial.com
Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What were you working on before the sale and what are you doing now?
I was the co-founder and COO of 99 Dollar Social responsible for all operations as well as business development.
I also oversaw sales and marketing staff and worked daily on building partnerships and other strategic relationships.
Currently, I’m working on several projects, including a cryptocurrency website, a local service business and an online booking/service business that will start locally and expand nationally.
Q2. How much traffic and revenue was your site getting?
We were getting approximately 300 unique hits per day, with monthly revenue of about $65,000.
Editor’s note: If you want to know how much traffic and revenue the site is now getting, check out our case study.
Q3. Who’s your website for and how did you come up with the idea for it?
99 Dollar Social is a “humans as a service” business, offering social media content posting to small business owners worldwide.
The idea came from recognizing the need for small businesses to remain active on social media with quality, consistent and relevant content, without a large expense or time commitment.
Q4. After how long did you decide to sell the site? What made you decide to do so? Were you facing any challenges?
We were in business for about five years before selling the site.
Wired approached us with an offer, and the partners discussed all the options, advantages, disadvantages, etc, and decided that a sale, while retaining a share, made the most sense.
Our challenge at the point when we sold was in scaling to the next level. Growth was slow and steady, and we wanted to experience more rapid growth.
Q5. You could have sold the entire site. Why did you choose to retain partial ownership?
We recognized the great potential that 99 Dollar Social had and believed in Wired’s ability to capitalize on that potential.
Q6. How did it feel after you sold your site?
It felt great! We felt as though selling to Wired put the company in the hands of a very capable group, while freeing up our time to pursue other projects.
Q7. What’s your advice to someone who plans to sell his/her site?
This is a great option, depending on your individual situation.
If you are “married” to your business—you don’t want to see any changes made, etc—then an acquisition is probably not the best option.
If you are looking to cash out and pursue other endeavors, it’s a fantastic option.
Q8.What would you say to someone who’s interested in buying/selling a site with Wired Investors?
The process was smooth and moved much faster than I would have expected. Everyone we’ve dealt with at Wired has been professional, pleasant, and always straightforward and honest.
It was a very positive experience overall.
Q9. What’s next for you? Any final thoughts?
I’m working on many projects and looking forward to many more. The sale to Wired made a lot possible.
Had we not been introduced, all these would not have been possible for quite some time. For that, I am thankful.
Thanks for sharing your story, John! We love behind the scenes stories like this.
The key takeout is: Even if you feel your site’s growth has stalled, it’s still possible to grow your site with a new team.
We’re happy that John is now free to pursue other new projects while still benefiting from 99 Dollar Social’s growth. Hope you’ll be our next success story!