Built To Sell

Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You

John Warrillow

Publisher: Penguin, 2010, 153 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59184-397-9

Keywords: Business Development

Last modified: Feb. 11, 2017, 9:28 a.m.

If you're like most business owners, you started a company because you thought it would give you freedom — to do what you want, work on your own schedule, make the kind of money you deserve and eventually retire on the fruits of your labor.

Unfortunately, according to John Warrillow, most owners find that stepping out of the picture is extremely difficult because they've built a business that relies too heavily on their personal involvement. Without them, their company — no matter how big or profitable — is essentially worthless. Luckily, there are steps you can take — no matter what stage your business is in — to create a valuable, sellable company that can grow and thrive without you.

To illustrate this, Warrilow introduces us to a fictional business owner named Alex, who is struggling to to sell his company. No one bites, because the business can't run without him. For guidance, Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who lays out an easy-to-follow plan that enables Alex to transform his business. The key is making sure that every product or service meets three criteria:

  • It is teachable: A built-to-sell business offers products and services that you can teach employees or program technology to deliver, while you sleep.
  • It is valuable: A built-to-sell business avoids price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else.
  • It is repeatable: A built-to-sell business creates a stream of recurring revenue, because customers have to repurchase often.

Like Alex, readers can apply the powerful strategies in this book to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

  1. A Company in Chaos
  2. A Worthless Business?
  3. Putting the Process into Practice
  4. Pressure from Within
  5. The Test
  6. The Candidates
  7. Growing Pains
  8. The Number
  9. Gaining Momentum
  10. A Blank Check for Growth
  11. Telling Management
  12. The Question
  13. A Sellable Company
  14. The Finish Line
  • Implementation Guide: How to Create a Business That Can Thrive Without You
  • Summary of Ted's tips