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Built to Sell

176 pages, 2012

business & management

business & management

1082 books

According to John Warrillow, the number one way to make your small business sellable is by focusing on products and services you can teach employees to deliver. 

To illustrate this, he introduces us to Alex, a fictional small-business owner struggling to sell his advertising agency who eventually meets Ted, an entrepreneur, and old family friend. After encouraging Alex to focus on teaching employees his company's products, he goes on to explain that Alex should avoid price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else. 

Finally, he tells Alex that if he wants recurring revenue from customers, he needs products engineered so customers have to repurchase often.

Specialize for Success

In 'Built to Sell', John Warrillow emphasizes the importance of specialization. He suggests that businesses should focus on doing one thing exceptionally well instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. This not only makes your business more attractive to potential buyers, but also allows you to streamline your operations and increase efficiency.

Create a Scalable Business Model

Warrillow encourages business owners to create a scalable business model. This means developing a system that can function and grow without the owner's constant involvement. By doing this, you're not just building a job for yourself, but a valuable asset that can be sold in the future.

Don't Depend on a Single Client

One of the key takeaways from 'Built to Sell' is to avoid becoming too dependent on a single client. If a large portion of your revenue comes from one source, your business is at risk. Diversify your client base to ensure stability and increase the attractiveness of your business to potential buyers.

Build a Strong Team

A strong, independent team is a valuable asset. Warrillow suggests that business owners should aim to make themselves redundant. If your business can run smoothly without you, it's a sign that you have a strong team in place and this will be attractive to potential buyers.

Plan Your Exit Strategy

Finally, 'Built to Sell' encourages business owners to plan their exit strategy from the start. This doesn't mean you're planning to fail, but rather that you're planning for success. By keeping the end goal in mind, you can make strategic decisions that increase the value of your business and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Quotes 5

Built to Sell provides a clear roadmap to creating a valuable, sellable business. John Warrillow shows the way for entrepreneurs to level up.

Michael E. GerberMichael E. Gerber - Entrepreneurship Guru

John Warrillow's Built to Sell is a revelation. It illuminates the path to building a business that's not just successful but also sellable.

Bo BurlinghamBo Burlingham - Business Journalist

Built to Sell is a practical guide to building a business that can thrive without you. Warrillow's insights are gold.

Verne HarnishVerne Harnish - Business Strategist

Built to Sell is a must-read for anyone looking to build a business that can sell. Warrillow's advice is invaluable.

David AllenDavid Allen - Productivity Consultant

Built to Sell is a game-changer. It's a must-read for every entrepreneur who wants to build a business that's ready to sell.

Seth GodinSeth Godin - Marketing Expert
Michael E. GerberBo BurlinghamVerne HarnishDavid AllenSeth Godin


Nat Eliason

Nat Eliason


Built to Sell found in libraries

49 books

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