Selling a Business?? Scary. What can we learn?


I recently just read Built to Sell by John Warrillow. It turned out to be a really interesting read.  The basis of the book is to give business owners tips to making their business sellable. The unique aspect of the book is that it is written in narrative form rather than a straight text-book style read, which makes it a breeze to read! 

As I’ve been contemplating this book, I’ve been thinking… A lot of entrepreneurs start their business because it’s something they are passionate about.  So many may not actually be looking to sell their business.  Perhaps those of you contemplating selling your business are either 1. Serial business sellers (you start businesses and sell multiple times) or 2. You’re getting ready to retire.  Both valid reasons to consider selling to make a profit from your business.  For these folks: this book is a great fountain of tips to guide you through the selling process. I highly recommend checking it out.

But for those of you who don’t have selling your business on your radar-  or maybe you’re contemplating starting a business or are just now starting one-  this book can be useful for you too.  Overall, Built to Sell gives great tips on how to get your business running without you.  Wouldn’t you say that a lot of entrepreneurs dream of creating a business they can eventually run from the sideline and work only a couple of hours a week and still be the boss?  That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship.  You have the potential to have as much freedom from work as you’d like.  Before you get there though, you will probably have some long hours, rough patches, and sacrifices that have to be made.  But through these rough times, creating a profitable business is the drive that keeps you going.

Just a couple of tips that I found most helpful for any small business in this book were:

1. “Don’t generalize, specialize.  If you focus on doing one thing well and hire specialists in that area, the quality of your work will improve and you will stand out among your competitors.”  (Ted’s Tip #1)

2. “Owning a process makes it easier to pitch and puts you in control.  Be clear about what you’re selling and potential customers will be more likely to buy your product.”  (Ted’s Tip #3)

3. “Don’t be afraid to say no to projects.  Prove that you’re serious about specialization by turning down work that falls outside your area of expertise. The more people you say no to, the more referrals you’ll get to people who need your product or service.” (Ted’s Tip #6)

4. “Relying too heavily on one client is risky and will turn off potential buyers.  Make sure that no one client makes up more than 15 percent of your revenue.” (Ted’s Tip #2)

5. “Two sales reps are always better than one.  Usually naturally competitive types, sales reps will try to outdo each other.  And having two on staff will prove to a buyer that you have a scalable sales model, not just one good sales rep.”  (Ted’s Tip #8)

If these tips are helpful to you, or you find them interesting, I highly encourage you to check this book out!  There are 17 tips total given in the book.  Let us know what you think about this on Facebook and Twitter! #builttosell.