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The FORT with Chris Powers

Oct 21, 2021

Bill D'Alessandro is the Founder / CEO at Elements Brands, a parent brand that owns and acquires e-commerce companies. Bill founded Elements Brands in 2010 and has scaled to 8 figures of revenue, 50+ employees, and 51,000 square feet of office/warehouse. Elements Brands is vertically integrated and they own and operate all their brands. They have a team of in-house experts in digital marketing, branding, wholesale sales, customer retention, and financial analysis. Their supply chain and logistics teams manufacture and ship thousands of orders each day to customers around the world.

On this episode, Chris and Bill discuss Elements Brands and why Bill chose vertical integration, with a rabbit hole into how that has played out so well for them given the current supply chain challenges facing the globe. They have a great discussion on the 'Amazon Seller' model and where that plays a role in the companies Bill looks at purchasing. They break down Bill's strategy when acquiring brands and what that process is like for the seller. They also discuss how Bill landed on Petcare and skincare for his core products, Culture Index, digital marketing, and more. Enjoy!

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(02:20) - Bill’s Background and Career 

(04:02) - How did reading 4 Hour Work Week impact you?

(06:04) - Building KP Elements

(08:07) - What is Elements Brands and how is it structured?

(09:51) - Element’s Berkshire Hathaway Angle

(10:25) - What’s your day-to-day focus as CEO?

(11:13) - Why did you choose to pursue vertical integration?

(12:51) - Why do more folks not do vertical integration?

(15:13) - How did you land on skincare and petcare as your core products?

(18:15) - Discussion On The ‘Amazon Seller’ Model

(25:49) - Bill’s Process When Buying Businesses and His Ownership Strategy

(27:12) - Valuing the Business

(30:57) - Are you ever paying a premium for a great brand?

(32:20) - How does your deal flow operate?

(33:56) - What happens from the initial verbal agreement to the day you own the business?

(36:00) - The Financials Side of Deals

(38:26) - Organizational Structures

(39:55) - Elements’ Employee Makeup

(43:10) - Ingesting The Acquired Companies Teams

(43:48) -  Culture Index

(46:34) - What’s going on with Facebook and Apple and online advertising?

(57:50) - How many of your 60 people are Marketing & SEO?

(59:50) - How are you thinking about our current supply chain issues?

(1:04:03) - Is there a solution on the horizon in terms of having the ports operate longer hours?

(1:07:39) - What’s your end goal for Elements Brands?

(1:09:54) - What do most people get wrong when starting their first product?

(1:11:43) - Is there a way to start sales before putting a lot of advertising dollars at risk?

(1:13:20) - Teaching Entrepreneurship Through Action

(1:15:28) - What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

(1:16:11) - Is there a book you would recommend?

Plain Talk by Ken Iverson

(1:18:36) - How can people reach you or Elements Brands?

Bill's Personal Website

Elements Brands

Bill on Twitter

The FORT is produced by Johnny Peterson & Straight Up Podcasts