Buying 3 SaaS in a year while running 100 employee company with JD Graffam

Purchasing three SaaS products within a year and running them successfully can be a difficult task. How has JD Graffam navigated challenges and risks to emerge victoriously? He tells Geordie about his journey in this podcast.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The acquisition process of Recharge
  • Why JD does not do outreach
  • What type of business does JD avoid?
  • Importance of delegating

In this episode…

JD Graffam recently acquired Audience Ops, a content marketing service from the previous owner who wanted to spend his energy and time on a new business venture. JD says he has been working with the Audience Ops team to create new services, optimize and propel it to the next level.

Before Audience Ops, JD had bought Delegated, a dedicated virtual admins service business. Delegated is ideal for individuals and organizations looking for executive admins, executive assistants, or personal assistants.

Delegated collaborates with customers to discharge dedicated virtual admins who engage with customers and become a part of the company and business. Listen to the podcast for more details on what Dedicated does.

JD gives a brief narration of how he started buying software businesses. He mentions that every moment he buys a new business is a learning experience. Over the years, JD was afraid of purchasing something that did not work out because he was investing crucial funds into the businesses.

According to JD, a business that has been in operation for three to four years with no customer acquisition cost, revenue churn, or shrink, and still attracts the same number of customers as it loses and gets some traffic can sell itself. By converting such a business into SaaS, you expose it to more people where it will sell itself and things will work out right.

JD has always yearned to have a great product, and when he came across ARPU, he knew that was his defining moment. ARPU is a Recharge app for Shopify which merchants can use to sell subscriptions.

JD describes Recharge as a grand app with massive growth. When he learned that ARPU was up for sale, it had not yet met his requirements. As a result, he took time to understand it and figure out whether it was worth investing in and the risk factors. JD says he had to learn everything about ARPU, and you can find the details in the podcast.

He would later buy the business after a long time of doing due diligence. He talks about the acquisition process and how he continued working with Recharge. When did ARPU and Recharge go separate ways?

JD talks about what they have been doing to make ARPU a success. Word of mouth is a powerful tool for marketing and acquiring deals as JD mentions in this podcast. He says he has acquired most of his best deals through human connections. JD and his team are looking forward to buying an influential signature business with a massive following.

JD says his digital agency has evolved from having eight people to approximately 100 people currently. As a result, he believes focusing on what they have right now is the best thing to do, at least to build more experience, learn how to navigate potential risks, and do an excellent job.

JD is not planning to buy any new product anytime soon. Instead, he will take it slow to avoid incurring huge losses. For ARPU, he says they are considering acquiring more eCommerce add ons they can utilize to ease communication. For example, ARPU could consider venturing into the gifting or SMS industry.

While the team believes they have the momentum to build a robust tool from scratch, JD says that purchasing a well-developed product would speed up their operations. On the other hand, buying as poorly built product could slow them down.

Together with his team, they are looking forward to building a robust product that works well to eliminate the trouble of patching systems together. So passionate is JD at what he does that he analyzes every business portfolio keenly.

At some point, he was evaluating SaaS businesses that would complete an agency model. As the agency evolves, JD says he analyzes every SaaS platform independently. He mentions how he wanted to venture into eCommerce and email businesses at some point because he saw lots of value and potential in the area.

Having a great team is crucial in running a company successfully. JD talks about his team passionately and highlights some insights on running an effective team that aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from.