Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Built to Sell by John Warrillow

builtA business parable about how to create a start-up that won’t trap you when you want to sell it.

According to John Warrillow, the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them. Thus, when the time comes to sell, buyers aren’t confident that the company-even if it’s profitable-can stand on its own.

To illustrate this, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional small business owner named Alex who is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who encourages Alex to pursue three criteria to make his business sellable:

• Teachable: focus on products and services that you can teach employees to deliver.

• Valuable: avoid price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else.

• Repeatable: generate recurring revenue by engineering products that customers have to repurchase often.

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Posted on May 23, 2014, in Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Required Reading and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great point. I wonder how many entrepreneurs get burned out because they are trying to run the entire company themselves instead of trusting a staff to help them succeed.

  2. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs try to run a business alone. Unfortunately, the business failed miserably. If it’s cost efficient, definitely hire a competent employee. Less stress on the owner and more success for the company.

  3. mark macgregor

    I love the advice to create products that generate recurring revenue. That makes each year more profitable and builds and builds, instead of being in a business that has to recreate itself again after each sale.

  4. It amazes me that the keys to success often come from the most simplistic of ideas yet those ideas are the ones we overlook most .

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