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Richart Ruddie, Founder of The Reputation Management Company

Richart Ruddie, the founder of The Reputation Management Company, talks about how he sold his business and the journey leading up to it. He discusses the importance of due diligence on potential buyers and shares an interesting story about a competitor who quit the industry to become a pastor. Richart also explains how he accidentally got into the online reputation management space and how his business grew over time. He mentions that he brought in a professional management team to make the business less reliant on him before eventually selling it in 2023. Throughout the conversation, Richart highlights the challenges and successes he experienced while building his agency.

Richart initially spoke to another reputation agency owner but they were not interested in acquiring the business. He then connected with a consultant and used a site called Biz Buy Sell to find potential buyers and investors, including a private equity company. Richart also sought advice from friends who had sold similar companies and worked with Quiet Light Brokerage based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ultimately, Richart chose to pursue the private equity route for a partial sale of the business. Biz Buy Sell was effective in reaching potential buyers and even attracted some clients. The broker at Quiet Light helped organize financials and facilitate buyer-seller calls. Having good organization and video demonstrations made buyers comfortable during meetings with the team in Utah. Richart had multiple offers but waited for the right one because they didn’t have to sell urgently due to strong cash flow. Reputation played an important role in choosing the buyer since bad reputations can negatively impact deals. Meeting potential buyers through video calls was common, but there were also some in-person meetings, including one with a successful internet marketer based out of DC Virginia area who ultimately lost out on their offer due to financing issues.

Richart discusses the challenges and complexities of selling a business, particularly an agency. He emphasizes the importance of preparing for the sale process by diversifying revenue streams and building a strong team. The value of an agency lies in its talent, making it a risky acquisition if key staff members leave. Richart also reflects on their own experience, highlighting the need to avoid certain mistakes and regrets in hindsight. After selling his agency, he remains actively involved as a consultant while pursuing other ventures.

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