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Extended Audio Sample Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, by John Warrillow Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (110 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Warrillow Narrator: Erik Synnestvedt Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “There is no tooth fairy for selling a business. It takes planning and a real understanding of what works. I bet you’ll find yourself (like me) recommending this book to your friends who want to sell their businesses one day but don’t understand what that’s going to take.”

    Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

  • “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 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 coauthor 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

  • “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 Warrillow’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

  • “One of the most difficult things any entrepreneur has to do is approach his or her business strategically as an investor rather than as an operator. John has just the story to help the entrepreneur size up a business in the kind of radically objective manner that will ensure that, ultimately, wealth is being built.”

    Doug Tatum, author of No Man’s Land

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Frances Schagen | 11/15/2013

    " Okay, okay, I don't have a business to sell....yet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Trevor Hammond | 11/10/2013

    " I read this in one weekend! Great book for any small to medium size business owner/entrepreneur! Even if you don't want to sell, it will force you to hone in on your systems and having the right people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Reid | 10/13/2013

    " Great book on what it takes to turn a business into a sell-able enterprise, increasing income and the value of the business "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Thomas Umstattd | 10/6/2013

    " This is a a great book on business whether you intend to sell your company or not. Written as a story it follows the same plot of every business parable but the lessons are totally worth the somewhat cliche story line. Plus getting these lessons as a story always makes for a better read. "

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