Author: John Warrillow
Publisher: FlipJet Media
ISBN: 978-0-9864803-1-7

Click Here To Purchase Built to Sell: Turn Your Business Into One You Can Sell

John Warrillow, author of Built to Sell, has started and sold four businesses. (2010, p.159) He is a public speaker, capitalist, creator of a nationally syndicated radio show titled ‘Today’s Entrepreneur’. Mr. Warrillow has authored one other book titled Drilling for Gold: How Corporations Can Successfully Market to Small Businesses.

Built To Sell is a story about a fictional man, Alex, who has owned and operated a advertising agency for a number of years. He believes he wants to sell his company and move on. Moving on means that Alex can spend time with his wife and children instead of lashed to his office slavering for his clients to keep the revenue stream flowing. Alex solicits the advice of a sage business executive and mentor, Ted, who helps him to consider many things about his business in a very different light.

Ted has a wealth of information regarding starting, building, and selling major organizations at sizable profits because he has, himself, sold many businesses and gone on to become a sought after advisor and wealthy consultant. He and Alex begin having weekly consultation sessions to speak about what goals Alex wants to achieve by selling his business and how best to go about it.

Through a series of conversations it is revealed that the largest stumbling block that Alex has is that his business is totally dependent on his generating the sales and servicing the clients. His workers merely spin the yarns that keep his engine running, but are not directly involved in the client project process past the design stages. In essence, Alex’s business is Alex. Ted tells Alex that this is a recipe for an unsalable business. Alex does not want to hear this, but listens to Ted’s reasoning behind this analogy.

Ted sets up an eight step process that sets the stage for getting Alex’s business ready for sale. Step one, according to Ted, is becoming a specialist and not a generalist. Ted believes that Alex is currently doing too many different things. Doing too many things detracts from doing one really good thing excellently. Ted asks Alex to consider all of the things his company does and then decide on one thing that can become their specialty. Logo’s is what they decide to specialize on.

Next, Ted invites Alex to write a step by step plan for developing a logo and write a manual that can help his team of people become the customer representatives for this new business specialty that can take Alex out of the mix. Alex comes back with a five step logo plan (2010, pgs.17-21). Ted approves, suggests that Alex find ten new customers to pitch this logo specialty process to that will help him to get a feel for this new venture.

Ted suggests Alex standardize his logo service so that anyone can do it by following his simple directions and collect his fees in advance, instead of after the work is completed, so his cash flow is not compromised while the logo design work is in progress. Ted tells Alex that by adapting to these changes he [Alex] could lessen any potential earn out in a future sale and construct some balance into his business which was lopsided when he, and not his specialized logo service, was the business. (2010, p.29, 40)

After the nuts and bolts are in place for the logo service business Ted wants Alex to demonstrate that the new business direction is profitable with regularity. A profitable, predictable business model that can be expanded upon is salable according to Ted. (2010, pgs.50-1) Alex endeavors to make this happen by hiring a new sales/design staff. Before long his business is bringing in record monies and selling a regular number of logos via repeat and new customers.

Ted has invited Alex to change his entire way of doing business and challenged him to meet certain targets and goals that had not been part of his previous way of enacting/exacting business. While the process is not without obstacles and hurdles he [Alex] is successful in doing so. The advice that Ted exchanges with Alex on the topic of how to create a salable business is something that any/all businesses could easily do to become more efficient and productive, especially in these leaner times where flexibility, or lack thereof, can mean staying in business or closing your doors. I highly recommend that all business owners and entrepreneurs read this well written book and take the lessons contained therein to heart. 

Click Here To Purchase Built to Sell: Turn Your Business Into One You Can Sell