Following the September 2014 sale of his business, Wizard of Odds, for a cool $2.35 Mio, there is no doubt that Michael Shackleford has talent in spades. However, a particularly unique skills set doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.
Before even thinking about turning a profit, running a website can be like operating a circus full of tamed but unpredictable animals that need to be nurtured, fed, trained and controlled. All the acts are out front but an awful amount of background work goes on behind the scenes to encourage an audience to watch the show, and there are only so many hours in a day.
Foreground (middle): Ihnatovich Maryia, Foreground (right): Mathieu Viennet, Background: Fer Gregory
Eggs in one basket
For one principal and two or three paid employees the income base of any website is difficult to grow beyond a certain point and if there are only very few income streams, then an internet business (like any other) is very sensitive to negative changes in any of these.
Wizard of Odds reached this threshold in August 2014 prompting the donations plea article, “Brother, can you spare a dime”, and Michael openly admitted six-weeks later that it was the gradual demise of just one sponsorship deal which diminished the group’s profitability to a critical point.
Michael has therefore had no option but to compromise his position to some degree and the deal with Latest Casino Bonuses (LCB) not only saves his group of websites, but also gives him financial security after working 17 years on the project.
The Price is Right?
Obtaining third party finance for additional employees or support would only have added to the stress of having to grow the business again from a declining position just to afford the loan repayments, hence the decision not to gamble but to sell outright.
And if you are talking about gambling with the future of your business then you wouldn’t want any man other than an expert in odds and strategy making the play.
The deal was done quickly and it was the right thing to do – indeed, it was the only prudent thing to do from a business perspective.
People question whether $2.35 Mio is a fair price, but with Michael presumably retaining some sort of profit share as the company moves forward, plus being salaried as an expert for doing what he enjoys, he will be smiling as his websites were definitely backed into a corner.
Why did LCB buy?
This is an easy one to answer as Wizard of Odds is an authority site and arguably you won’t find a better one dedicated to the subject of casino games, odds and strategies.
It has been around for over a decade and is an established brand.
The whole package is well-presented and loaded with free information, which attracts the visitors.
Cosmetically speaking, the Wizard of Odds site is excellent. We estimate that with an Alexa rank around 45,000 at the time of sale Wizard of Odds receives well over 1 Mio hits per month with a high proportion of repeat visitors.
If you were ever going to create the potential for a hugely popular site by offering free information to gain a substantial following and then monetizing it afterwards, then this is a prime example of a potentially lucrative cash cow, which just needed pointing in the direction of richer pastures.
By design or accident, Michael has created a hugely attractive company for a buyer, whether the combined monetary turnover of the sites was significant or not, and this is a lesson for website owners across the Net.
One can also assume that LCB will spend over and above the sale price adding more key personnel and programmers to drive the business forwards, and this will have been taken into account when agreeing upon the final purchase price.
The key to the deal was probably LCB persuading Michael to stay on board. Leaving him to concentrate on what he is good at and taking away all the other tasks involved in managing a website business can only mean the quality of the ‘Wizard’ sites will improve even further, and there is no doubt that Wizard of Odds is the jewel in the crown and holds great potential for LCB.
Whatever the final details of the arrangement are, we believe this is a win-win deal for both parties and will pay off in the short term.
What next for the Client Base?
There seems little need for the existing clientele to worry. The main man is now salaried and staying on and you can be sure that the cavalry will arrive soon in the form of helpers.
Of course, a sales and marketing expert is needed to monetize the site and create multiple revenue streams and this has been hinted at since the takeover in the form of more effective casino affiliate advertising.
All in all, users of the Wizard sites should be excited about what lays ahead.
When a top quality group of sites adds another superlative site to its portfolio you can rest assured that the outcome of the deal will provide the end-user with a better experience.
This sale should also inspire and give encouragement to SME website owners everywhere as it identifies a quality benchmark to aim at.