If you own Chicago Bulls sunglasses—or sunglasses from just about any other NBA team—you owe your eyewear to Jason Bolt.
Bolt started selling sunglasses that matched the color scheme of his favorite University of Oregon teams out of the back of his Nissan Xterra in 2010. Word spread on campus and, pretty soon, a quarter of University of Oregon students had a pair of Bolt’s green sunglasses with yellow lenses.
Bolt had stumbled onto an idea. He named his company Society43 and spent the following four years signing 80 licensing deals with colleges and professional sports leagues from the NBA to MLS.
By 2015, Bolt was running two businesses simultaneously and getting burnt out. After spending four nights in a row up past 2 a.m., he decided something had to give.
Bolt resolved to sell Society43.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
How to use Alibaba to get free product samples to fund your start-up.
- How college team sports-licensing deals work.
- What’s included in a pitch book and how to make it irresistible to a buyer.
- How Bolt’s first acquisition offer fell apart at the last minute.
- The one thing you need to successfully sell any business.
- The negotiation mistake Bolt regrets to this day.
One reason Bolt’s first deal fell apart was that the acquirer decided Society43 was too dependent on Bolt himself.
Would an acquirer come to the same conclusion when evaluating your business? If so, you’ll benefit from Module 7 of The Value Builder System™, where we focus on allowing your business to thrive without you. Get started right now by completing the Value Builder questionnaire.
About Jason Bolt
Jason is the founder of two eyewear companies, Society43 and Revant, where he serves as CEO. He successfully grew Society43, which designs and sells officially licensed eyewear for over 120 teams in the NCAA, NBA and MLS, from 2010 until the summer of 2015, when he successfully sold the business to focus his attention completely on Revant.
For the last three years, Revant, which creates and sells high-quality lenses for every eyewear brand direct to consumer, has been named to the Inc. Magazine list of fastest growing private companies in the US and one of the top 10 fastest growing companies in Portland. Jason was recently named to the Portland Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and was a finalist for the OEN Entrepreneur of the Year award as well as a semi-finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is an active investor in several NW outdoor companies, serves on the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Board and is an avid mountain biker, skier, and Salt & Straw consumer.
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At Built to Sell we’re all about shifting the balance of power from the buyer to the seller. If you support our mission, please write a review on iTunes—and if you have any comments or questions you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Tune in every Wednesday for another episode of #BuiltToSell Radio with John Warrillow.
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