He Bought a $150k/mo Agency for $2 with Eric Siu

Eric Siu The Top Podcast Episode 159

In Episode #159, Nathan speaks with Eric Siu, the CEO of the digital marketing agency Single Grain, which has helped companies such as Salesforce, Yahoo, and Intuit scale their revenues online. Listen as Nathan and Eric talk about how Single Grain went from having negative cash flow to profiting 30K a month.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book?— The Billionaire Who Wasn’t – by Conor O’Clery
  • What CEO do you follow?— Bill Gates, Emerson Spartz, Nathan Latka
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Text Expander
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?—Keep going; those who persist will eventually succeed.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:12 – Eric joins the show
  • 01:22 – Single Grain is a marketing agency that helps with search engine optimization and paid advertising.
  • 02:08 – Single Grain made 30K in monthly revenue from making nothing eight months ago.
  • 02:29 – Eric was first brought on to help the agency for a 10% stake. Later he bought the other 90% for only two dollars.
  • 03:25 – The company was struggling when Eric bought it out – losing money at negative 27K in net profit despite generating 1.5 million dollars in annual revenue.
  • 04:32 – Eric sat down with the original founder and was able to negotiate owning the entire company by leveraging his expertise.
  • 05:42 – Single Grain also generates money by referring to other agencies for services the company no longer fulfills. (Such as search engine optimization)
  • 06:28 – Eric’s previous expertise hiring marketers allows him to vet agencies and determine their quality of work.
  • 06:53 – Nathan and Eric discuss the latter’s earnings from Single Grain.
  • 07:42 – For his newer business Care Sprout, Eric is delving into the senior living industry.
  • 08:33 – Care Sprout has whittled its lead cost to 60-70$ per individual signing up for services.
  • 10:05 – Nathan and Eric break down how Care Sprout makes money.
  • 11:09 – A lot of businesses tend to neglect their main money making channel in favor of creating new ones.
  • 11:27 – Eric talks about Care Sprout’s current money making channel, phone calls.
  • 12:17 – Care Sprout spends about 30K a month for lead acquisition channels. (420 new leads per month.)
  • 13:02 – Eric likes to look at his company’s numbers personally, but also uses a dashboard tool called Cyfe.
  • 15:27 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Often it’s beneficial for a business to expand its main money making channel instead of investing in new ones.
  2. Previous expertise shouldn’t be underestimated as it can lend itself to current ventures.
  3. Watching the numbers of one’s business’s rise and fall is a more involved process and can be more insightful than reading a report.

Resources Mentioned:



Eric Siu has worked with various startups, non-profit organizations, and co-founded an online marketing agency. He was formerly the Growth lead at Treehouse, an online coding education business and is currently the CEO of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency. Eric has a podcast based on growth hacking at http://growtheverywhere.com/.


Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives



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