1926 – Unlocking the Secrets of Digital Entrepreneurship with Matt Raad

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the CEO and Co-Founder of eBusiness Institute, Matt Raad.

Raad Wide

Matt Raad, a leading authority on buying and selling online businesses, provides insights into the complexities and opportunities of digital entrepreneurship. Matt Raad is a seasoned expert in online business transactions. His extensive knowledge of the digital marketplace has guided many to achieve financial success through strategic acquisitions.

Matt highlighted the significant potential for wealth generation in online business acquisitions. He emphasized that the digital age has made entrepreneurship more accessible, enabling individuals to own and operate businesses without the traditional constraints of brick-and-mortar establishments.

According to Matt, acquiring an online business with the right approach can be transformative for aspiring entrepreneurs. For those interested in digital investment, Matt prioritized education and mentorship to build a solid foundation of knowledge. He also recommended starting small to facilitate hands-on learning with manageable risks.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Process of buying and selling online businesses
  • Potential for generating wealth through online business acquisitions
  • Strategies and opportunities in the online business acquisition field
  • Expertise and insights from Matt Raad
  • Identifying, renovating, and selling online businesses
  • Opportunities and challenges in the online business acquisition industry
  • Importance of due diligence
  • Advice for those interested in getting started in online business acquisition

About Matt Raad:

Matt Raad is a business and website investor, angel investor, and a leading educator in digital investments. Alongside his wife, Liz Raad, Matt is recognized as an Australian expert in buying, renovating, and selling profitable websites and businesses. They have successfully trained thousands across Australia in digital marketing and online business success and are sought-after public speakers.

Matt and Liz Raad began their careers buying and selling traditional offline businesses but shifted their focus to online businesses' high returns and growth potential. They now own a portfolio of websites and advise clients on buying and building website portfolios valued at up to $20 million. Through their eBusiness Institute, they help people gain digital skills. They offer practical courses on digital marketing and website investment strategies, ensuring their students can secure their futures in the digital age.

About eBusiness Institute:

The eBusiness Institute is a private digital education company dedicated to helping Australians and international students upskill or retrain with high-demand digital-focused skills. They offer comprehensive digital marketing training courses, certifications, and micro-credentials tailored for various skill levels, including complete beginners.

Founded by successful online entrepreneurs Matt and Liz Raad, the eBusiness Institute provides practical and profitable digital marketing skills. Their mission is to equip students with skills that enable them to generate income from anywhere, ensuring they are well-prepared for the evolving digital landscape. By focusing on real-world applications and industry-relevant training, the eBusiness Institute aims to create a workforce adept at navigating and succeeding in the digital economy.

Tweetable Moments:

04:24 – “We live on a beautiful property, and next thing you know, we're effectively exporting to America with no geographical barriers. It's the ultimate location freedom business.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out eBusiness Institute’s  website at

Check out eBusiness Institute on LinkedIn at

Check out Matt Raad on LinkedIn at

Check out  Matt Raad’s website at

Check out  Matt Raad on Facebook at

Check out Matt Raad on Youtube at


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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence comm and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us right now it's Matt Raad. Matt, you are the CEO of E! Business Institute and Digital Investors. You are a podcaster, so I always love to shout out when we get podcast guests, hosts as guests on this show.

Josh (00:01:23) - Your podcast is all digital investors hosted with you and Liz. who's your wife? And you have a really great story in addition to you do a lot of great education. So, Matt, I'm eager to learn more about the work you do, the impact you have. And and, of course, let's start with this great story that you have.

Matt (00:01:44) - Well, yeah. Thanks so much for having me on. Josh is awesome to be here. Definitely a privilege to be on your podcast. yeah. Listen, I a little bit different. We generated wealth in our lives quite differently to most people, and that is through buying and selling businesses. That's all we've ever done. we generally have never really done a lot with real estate or anything like that. I know a lot of people use real estate to generate wealth, but for us it was all about cash flow. So, we started out buying and selling businesses. We we met at uni studying zoology, knew nothing about business and then got into our first manufacturing business.

Matt (00:02:21) - Absolutely loved it. Bought and sold bricks and mortar businesses for about ten, 15 years, and then transitioned to online businesses during the GFC in 2008. And we've never looked back. It just mind blowing. And that's why we're so passionate these days about talking, you know, buying and selling online businesses, which most people don't even think is a thing. They don't realise how like just you'll be blown away by how well they compared to bricks and mortar businesses.

Josh (00:02:49) - Oh, okay. Give us, give us your little mini TEDx talk about how amazing it is to buy and sell, online businesses.

Matt (00:02:57) - Well, if so, your listeners, right, are interested in financial independence or, and, you know, all things to do with business and, and maybe a side hustle for us. We've been doing put in context. We've been I'm in my mid 50s. We've been doing this for 30 years buying and selling all sorts of businesses. Thousands. We've been we've worked in M&A. We've we work with a lot of high net worths.

Matt (00:03:19) - We've basically seen every business model there is. And when we got online, we suddenly realised it was kind of our we'd reached Nirvana, Josh for Liz and I. So we, we basically are students of business, like out in the real world. We had to teach ourselves. And like I said, when we got online, all of a sudden we had we live in Australia, as you can maybe tell from my accent, we had access to America instantly. Now, in the past, we used to have to export to America physical inventory. So we we had export wholesale import businesses. It's very, very difficult to run those. If any of your listeners are involved in a business that holds physical inventory, very challenging cashflow wise. But when we got online, all that went away. We have no physical inventory. We don't do e-commerce or anything like that. We literally just sell advertising or sell leads. And so we suddenly had access to your amazing country, America, which is our favorite place.

Matt (00:04:24) - We'd been there quite a bit and we could do it in our pajamas at home, whatever hours we want. We live. We both come from the country so we could live wherever we want. So we live in on a beautiful property, and next thing you know, we're effectively exporting to America with no geographical barriers, nothing. And the really cool thing is, Josh, when we wake up in the morning, there's money in the bank account and we didn't have to speak to anyone. So for us it was the ultimate location freedom business. And that's what we always wanted. Ever since I was a kid, that's what I wanted. It was all my dreams come true.

Josh (00:04:59) - so, Matt, take me through the old. Kind of like the general process for how this works. Like, obviously there's identifying, a great opportunity, knowing that there's the opportunity to increase the value or certainly represent that to maybe a more targeted group to resell. Right. Can you take me through the, the a very high level, life cycle of the transaction.

Matt (00:05:26) - So we liken it to, you know, real estate. Most people, have invested in real estate and we do the same thing, but with businesses. So we buy smart, we renovate as quickly as we can. So we don't want to be completely pulling down the house and rebuilding it. We do what we call I won't say that that kind of an initial makeover. And then we do an ongoing renovation. And what we're trying to do is increase the rent of the property through building up its presence, and, and fixing up monetization and fixing up the traffic to the website. And so it's a set process that we do. And I think one of the keys is because most people. Will have never heard about this concept, or they've never bought and sold very many businesses like we have. What we're passionate about is because we've made every mistake in the book, of course, is the due diligence side. So doing, you know, when you're buying any investment, you should be doing due diligence if you're buying real estate, commercial real estate, a traditional bricks and mortar business with websites, it's no different.

Matt (00:06:26) - And the main things we look at are what's called profit and traffic. We just want to make sure they're the, you know, they're real. And then the next thing that we look at is opportunity, because basically we want to buy, renovate and sell much higher. Or for us, we hold for the cash flow. Without Warren Buffett, we like to hold long term. We're not into flipping, but you can certainly flip just like you do with real estate. There's a lot of our younger members would be into the flipping thing because they need, you know, to build up their bank. But for us, we're in it for the cash flow because just the cash flows are amazing. The cash flows can be, you know, you can get 80% margins on these websites.

Speaker 3 (00:07:06) - Amazing. Okay. Yeah. Because.

Josh (00:07:08) - So what kind of websites are we buying here?

Matt (00:07:11) - These are advertising or affiliate sites. So they're not they're not e-commerce. We don't do because of our background in manufacturing and wholesale import.

Matt (00:07:19) - That's what we used to do. before we got online, both Liz and I made a, like, a pact with each other. We are never going back to that if we can help it, because all our net worth was tied up in warehouses and, you know, and then you've got to sell the inventory. And if you get a bit of a, you know, a bit of a recession or anything like that, you can be stuck with a lot of inventory on your shelves, and there's all your net worth sitting there. And it can be tricky with stock based businesses, and they're not stock based businesses. And be blunt about it, they're not good for beginners that you've got to outlay a lot of money. There's a lot of complexities to them. You can make a lot of money. So the sorts of websites we decided to buy, I guess they're like online billboards. So someone has an interest and just so it can be really niche, like there can be we've got one about pigeon racing.

Matt (00:08:08) - We know nothing about pigeons, but it turns out there's 50,000 people a month are interested in learning how to race pigeons. And so when they come to the website, we sell them an e-book. If for, you know, people that want to go to the next level with it. So we sell the e-book for 50 bucks. And to this day, you know, that's things still ticks along making money. And, you know, we have sites that like a client of ours. Here's the other big opportunity if you're into bargain hunting clients of ours, Nathan Alexa, they live on a laptop. They bought a gardening site that had been neglected. So the sweet spot is buying passion sites. People that are start up these websites in their favourite niches, like how to play a guitar or gardening or, how to get wealthy through investing. All these topics that people are looking for answers to. And we buy what's called content sites. And so Nathan Alexa bought a gardening site that a gentleman had owned for 14 years, and he just neglected it, and they noticed he'd done nothing.

Matt (00:09:13) - And they said, how much do you want for that website? And you guys are just give me $500. So he bought it. They bought it for $500. That thing now gets we've just come into into the out of our summer, which is gardening season here in Australia. It gets 80,000 visitors a month. Now, this is off a little site that costs them 500 bucks. They fix it up and it makes them $4,000 a month net.

Josh (00:09:39) - Oh my gosh. Well I like this, you know. And they have about this.

Matt (00:09:44) - Yeah. Sorry. And the way they monetize it is just by having ads. So gardeners will click on them and they get paid per click or they.

Speaker 3 (00:09:51) - Yeah yeah, yeah.

Matt (00:09:52) - recommend products and get what's called an affiliate link. And that's basically the model. That's it in a nutshell.

Speaker 3 (00:09:57) - Yeah.

Josh (00:09:58) - How much work does that take? And like, tell me more about the, the remodeling, you know, aspect of this. Well.

Matt (00:10:09) - And now that's a really smart question.

Matt (00:10:11) - So in the past, these used to be quite passive, and they were a lot more like real estate. Now, what's happened over the last since we've been doing this, we've been doing this now for 15 years. In recent times it's not as passive. There definitely require work. And it's there is this is not a get rich quick thing. I know I'm making it. You know, like you said to me at the beginning, Josh, you know, off the camera that your listeners are sophisticated and you know, they're happy to put in the work. This is perfect because it's not something that you can just go out there and do what's called quick flips, in my opinion, to actually renovate a website. Realistically, you want to have 6 to 12 months to maximize the profit on building up that website, but it's certainly something you can do as a side hustle if you're already working, you know, a well paid job and everything, as long as you've got a few hours in the evening.

Matt (00:11:08) - So the beautiful thing with websites is you can work whenever you want on them. You can literally park them for a couple of months or for six months. You don't have to turn up 9 to 5 and you can work wherever you want. Obviously just all you need is a laptop. And because most of the staff are outsourced, all that sort of stuff, you only need a handful of team members to help you. 2 or 3, that's about it. And in terms of the renovation, we just do what's called a quick makeover. So when you first buy the website, you might tidy up the home page, improve what's called the user experience. And we have our three systems that we work on, the main areas we target. So you have you kind of plan it out over 6 to 12 months and you just target fixing up the profit, fixing up conversions and fixing up traffic. And we call it the 30, 30, 30. If you dedicate getting those to improve by 30%, typically you can double the profits on a website.

Speaker 3 (00:12:03) - Oh, I work.

Matt (00:12:05) - Because the numbers are so big, even in these niche sites, like a gardening site or a, you know, 80,000 people a month, can you imagine that just walking into your store or, you know, walking into a business that's a lot of people. And so that gives you a lot of data or, or potential customers to work with. And that's the other beautiful thing with websites. It's just so leveraged, you know, worldwide market 24 over seven. They never switch off. So hopefully that answered your question. So there is work involved. But it's not like day to day. You don't have to. It's definitely it's the opposite of 9 to 5. It's 2 or 3 hours a day type thing. And then yeah yeah if you want to go big level, we have clients that are doing seven and eight figures. They they obviously work at it at full time because it's it's fun. It just keeps you young, you know, like your brain never stops thinking because it's there's so much fun stuff you can do.

Matt (00:12:55) - A lot of it is research based like that. That's where you make your big money, actually is doing all the background, researching and planning the actual execution of the work. That's just yeah, you don't do that. You outsource that.

Josh (00:13:07) - Yeah. Right. Well, and that was kind of what I wanted to ask about is certainly is I think a lot of folks that are listening to this, they're like, oh, that sounds great. I don't want to do all the work. but I know, I know developers. I mean, that's easy. Yeah. you know, I think you know what I'm thinking about, and and there may also, by the way, Matt, I don't know if you've had encountered this, I, I have a website. you and I have not done anything to it, probably for good. Three years. it was huge in its day. and, you know, I didn't shut it down. I just kind of. It's there. It's existing. I get some very minimal ad revenue, but I've just done nothing with it.

Josh (00:13:49) - it certainly is. Very well, backlink to, You and I should chat. Can you work with someone? Said, well, I already I already have a property. I just need some guidance on, like, direction on what I should be doing.

Matt (00:14:02) - So those assets are the gold. They're the sorts of things that we teach our members to find to to hunt around. And we call them diamonds in the rough sites like yours where see, see for you. Imagine if someone rocked up and said, hey, Josh, I'll give you $10,000 tomorrow for it. You'd probably go, yeah, okay. You know, depending on the like the size of it and things like that, you've got to work out the valuations. But see how it's a very common thing because what is there I think there's the last count. There was like there's over 2 billion websites on the planet and only I think it's 25. Of the more active at any one time. So that's a lot of opportunity to find these diamonds in the rough that are sitting there, particularly with when there's niche markets.

Matt (00:14:47) - And to someone who's knows what they're doing, that's what we teach people is, okay, let's let's capitalize on that. Let's refresh the site, get it going again. And you know what's really valuable to Josh? Websites come with assets. So people think of websites as virtual, you know, like online brochures and stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. To us. They're just like a bricks and mortar business. Even though they're virtual, they come with what we call physical assets inverted commas, like a list. Email lists are absolute gold at the moment. Because of the recent changes in SEO and what's happening with AI websites that have a list or a community behind them. So with a Facebook group or a YouTube channel or a podcast in particular, you watch how valuable all that's going to become in the next 5 to 10 years and what you're teaching people you know around branding and authority and, and PR guess what? That's a big that's what we that's what we say to people. If you want to go next level with your website.

Matt (00:15:48) - So we teach people how to get started real basic. Right? Then what they need to do is go next level is to build out a big presence online. Now, if you want to go seven and eight figures, realistically you need to do what you're teaching like, you know, get online PR that's a big that's why it takes time now to get the big wins. And that's where we've seen some really big wins.

Josh (00:16:12) - All right, Matt, you and I are going to talk later. And by the way. Well, I've been intentionally vague here, so, All right. So, Matt, great conversation. let's let's talk about where folks go. obviously there's digital investors, which is a podcast you can search for right now. You can go to Digital and that will, that will link if you click on the button that says free training, that will take you to your initial or your original website which is Ebusiness Institute. but why don't we share where folks go from here? They've enjoyed our conversation or they've enjoyed your conversation? Maybe not so much.

Josh (00:16:51) - Fine. But, where do they go from here?

Matt (00:16:53) - Well, if someone's listening to this and interested in what we do and exploring like more of this strategy, you can do our free masterclass is a 90 minute online masterclass, and at the end of it, we do full disclosure. We do offer a course because that's what the E-Business Institute combo is about. And we do love training beginners to get online. And so in that free masterclass, we show real examples of sites that we're buying and our students are buying and how we're doing it. And we go through our three step process of how we buy, renovate and sell websites. and yeah, just get in there and, and, and start. And my big advice to you, if you're interested in this, whether or not you're doing anything with us, the main thing you should also think about learning is learning due diligence. It's an amazingly valuable skill for you, whether you do it with bricks and mortar or, websites. I of course think you should do it with websites because it's easier.

Matt (00:17:47) - And the beautiful thing with websites is you can start out really small. That's my other final bit of advice. If people want to get going, don't jump out there and buy these, you know, a website for $100,000 because it's making 30 grand a year or type thing or whatever. There's a bit you need to learn. It's a bit of a process. So just start out and buy a little tiny website under five grand or something like that to practice with.

Josh (00:18:08) - Yeah. All right. Once again, Matt, rod, you are the, CEO of Digital Investors and E-Business Institute. We have the links directly to our friend that's listening. and again, if you just want to hop right over and find a new podcast to listen to, you can search for digital investors. We've got that linked up as well. Matt. Great conversation. Thank you so much for joining us.

Matt (00:18:32) - Thanks for having me, Josh.

Josh (00:18:39) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence.

Josh (00:18:50) - Com and click on podcast. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful leaders. And as I mentioned at the beginning of this program, if you're looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients, I have had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video that you can watch right now with no opt in or email required, where I'm going to share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Make sure to hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning.

Josh (00:19:56) - That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes every single day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

We're actively booking guests for our DAILY #podcast: The Thoughtful #Entrepreneur. Happy to share your story with our 120K+ audience.Smiling face with halo


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