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Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You Paperback – December 24, 2012
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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According to Warrillow the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them Here he presents a business parable about how to create a start up that won t trap an owner when he wants to sell it Run your company Don t let it run you Most business owners started their company because they wanted more freedom to work on their own schedules make the kind of money they deserve and eventually retire on the fruits of their labor Unfortunately according to John Warrillow most owners find that stepping out of the picture is extremely difficult because their business relies too heavily on their personal involvement Without them their company no matter how big or profitable is essentially worthless But the good news is that entrepreneurs can take specific steps no matter what stage a business is in to create a valuable sellable company Warrillow shows exactly what it takes to create a solid business that can thrive long into the future
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In BUILT TO SELL, however, John Warrilow draws on his personal experience in starting and selling four companies to craft an entertaining primer. The "story" of Alex Stapleton and his marketing company compose most of the book. Frustrated, Alex decides to sell the company, and while discussing his lot with mentor Ted, he discovers (as many entrepreneurs do) that he has nothing to sell. To paraphrase Michael Gerber, THE E-MYTH REVISITED, Alex really has a job with a lunatic for a boss.
Through Ted's tips and coaching Alex eventually builds a business he can sell. The lessons Alex learns apply to anyone who owns a business.
Specialize, don't generalize
Create a scalable product or service that is teachable, valuable and repeatable
Don't concentrate more than 15% with one customer
The business can't rely on you, the owner
There are 35 wonderful pages that follow the fable, the Implementation Guide and Ted's Tips, highlighted and standing alone.
Since reading Warrilow's book...in one day...I have recommended or purchased it for a number of my customers and business colleagues.
It is super important to think strategically and start planning early for your exit. If your exit strategy is to liquidate assets and close up shop, then you don’t really need to read this book. However, if you want to sell your business and not just close your doors, then you’ve got to craft a plan and start early!!
Some key take always:
If you intend to put your business up for sale or position it to be acquired someday, you CAN NOT be the sole reason for the success of your business! If the success or failure is strictly dependent upon you and/or your partner working with your customers, then your sales multiple will be strongly discounted and you will earn a lot less at closing than is possible!! You need a strong management and sales team in place and you need a system for getting things done that is NOT reliant on YOU personally. You need to develop a specialty - being a jack of all trades, but master of none is NOT a recipe for success!
You really need to read this book! It's an easy read...very engaging and easy to understand. Written in a very conversational tone and just makes SENSE!
I've read scores of business books over the years, and this one offered me what most do not - I actually learned something new and valuable.
Divided into an easily readable story, experiences and 17 tips it's an easy and meaningful read. Highly recommended.