“John does a masterful job in Built to Sell of illuminating the qualities that business buyers look for in a company, and he does it in a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging manner.”
—Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants

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, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional business owner named Alex, who is struggling 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:

  • Teachable: A built-to-sell business offers products and services that you can teach employees to do, or program technology to deliver, while you sleep
  • Valuable: A built-to-sell business avoids price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else
  • Repeatable: A built-to-sell business creates a stream of recurring revenue where customers have to re-purchase often

Like Alex, readers can apply these powerful strategies to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

Reviews and Accolades for Built to Sell

“As an entrepreneur you have two choices: Build a business to sell it, or build a business to keep it. Either way, as the founder, you need to prepare the organization for your exit. John Warrilow’s clever story about an entrepreneur named Alex will help you build a valuable, sellable business that really can thrive without you.”
Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Lead with LUV

“John does a masterful job in Built to Sell of illuminating the qualities that business buyers look for in a company, and he does it in a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging manner.”
—Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants from the foreword

Inc. Best Books for Business Owners Award

Business owners will suspect John Warrillow has followed them around with a video camera as he describes how the typical service business operates and what needs to change to improve the dollar value of the business. This entertaining, but very important book should be at the top of the reading list for any business owner of a service company. The suggested steps and easy tweaks to current practices will add a substantial increase in valuation for a service company. Entrepreneurs will be surprised at how much Built to Sell will add to building a stronger business and appreciate the knowledge gained when it does come to time to sell.
Director, Loewen & Partners and author of Money Magnet

“Most entrepreneurs don’t think about selling their businesses until it’s time to leave, which is a big mistake. As John Warrillow shows in this highly readable book, you’ll adopt sounder business practices if you build to sell from day one. Not only will you wind up with a better, stronger, more valuable company, but you’ll put yourself in a position to earn a larger financial reward if and when you do decide to sell.”
—Norm Brodsky, Inc. columnist and co-author of Street Smarts

“What an amazing book. In learning how to build your company to sell in the future, you’ll learn some powerful principles for making your company a lot more profitable in the present, as well. This book should be owned and devoured by anyone and everyone who is even considering starting a business.”
—Bob Burg, coauthor of The Go-Giver

“What do buyers look for when buying a business, and what should entrepreneurs be doing if they want to sell their firm? If you want to know, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Built to Sell, by John Warrillow.

Covering every important aspect of the process, from attracting multiple bidders to getting the most for your business, this book easily explains what you must know and do if you want to create a business you can sell. “
Steve Strauss, USA Today

“Just finished your book last night and wanted to pass along my congratulations.  A terrific boon to all the folks I deal with on a day to day basis that are lurching from customer to customer trying to get out of the quagmire.  Some terrific lessons which go far beyond my “How to catch a Leprechaun” chapter in my book which chronicles basically the same observation about the lack of preparedness of most business owners for the sale of their business.  One of the strengths of the book is the continuity.  It was great following Alex through his trials and tribulations.  Very real life.  I fully intend on sharing with my customers and TEC.  I’m sure it will be a tremendous success!”
Bruce Hunter, Chair, TEC (Vistage) Canada

“John Warrillow’s story gets business leaders to focus on a critical question: If others wouldn’t pay a fortune for your business, do you have a business worth growing? This is essential reading for owners looking to build a valuable business.”
Verne Harnish, Founder, Gazelles, Bestselling author of The Rockefeller Habits

“Your business just might be worthless if you don’t read this book.”
John Jantsch, Bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing

“FANTASTIC! Small businesses need this book. So many business owners have the dream of building a business that’s bigger than themselves, and getting away from the tyranny of constantly putting out fires. John’s book is an entertaining, to-the-point way of showing them how to do it. They might just find they like their business much better and not even want to sell later. But if they do sell, they’ll get much more value from following the book’s advice.”
Anita Campbell, Editor-In-Chief, Small Business Trends

“As we’ve always advised at StartupNation, the end depends upon the beginning. Built To Sell, like other great business books, brings into clarity the game-changing importance of clearly envisioning the destiny of your business. But even more, it tells you how to bring that destiny to life.”
Rich Sloan, Co-founder and chief startupologist of StartupNation

Built to Sell reminds me of Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s The Goal, in the way that the valuable lessons about successfully exiting a service business are intertwined with Alex Stapleton’s compelling story. Alex’s story drew me in immediately. Any current or aspiring service business owner should read Built to Sell and take heed of John Warrillow’s valuable lessons and Alex Stapleton’s enriching and engaging experience.”
Mike Handelsman, General Manager,

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