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Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You [Kindle Edition]

John Warrillow , Bo Burlingham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 specialising in doing one thing better than anyone else. * Repeatable: generate recurring revenue by engineering products that customers have to repurchase often.

Product Description


"John does a masterful job 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"

About the Author

John Warrillow is the author of "Built To Sell: Turn Your Business Into One You Can Sell." Throughout his career as an entrepreneur, John has started and exited four companies. Most recently he transformed Warrillow & Co. from a boutique consultancy into a recurring revenue model subscription business, which he sold to The Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ: EXBD) in 2008. He is the author of "Drilling for Gold" and in 2008 was recognized by BtoB Magazine's "Who's Who" list as one of America's most influential business-to-business marketers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 337 KB
  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591843979
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories Sell 19 Nov. 2013
By Big H
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having seen this recommended as "One of the top 10 business books" I decided to see what the fuss was about. What makes this book different is that Warrillow has cleverly crafted his vast experience into a very readable story. The underlying premise is that you need to lessen the reliance on your own presence in your business and make it self sustainable without you. In effect you change your offering from a service to a product and teach others how to provide that product. This is what then attracts interested buyers.
If you want to create realisable value for your business I would recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book! 17 Feb. 2012
By Rune
For more than 20 years I have struggled to make my business independent of myself, but I have never managed. I've always known that I do something wrong, but not until I read Built to Sell did I understand what I've done wrong.

The book is easy to read, even for non-English speakers. Being a big E-Myth fan I also find it to complement E-Myth Revisited perfectly.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is my first book on the idea of building a business that is worth something. John is a very decent writer, and does not mock about. While this is not the most serious book i have read on this topic, it is very good for a beginner to the topic. john teaches you all the fundamentals you need to have a business that is worth something. after reading this book, you will quickly realise that just because a business is profitable, doesn't mean anyone will be willing to buy it. alot of people are making that mistake

John states that in the United states they are over 23 million business in the us and only a few hundred thousand a able to be sold. Even if you business is bringing in over 200 thousand net profit per year, that is not all there is to selling a business. alot of buyers may look at your business, shake their heads and walk away. And it will probably leave you feeling clueless, this book will surely change the way you see things

He uses a bit of a fable to teach you the lessons of what it takes to sell your business, he shows you that sometimes you have to give up big opportunities to make you business sale happen, and much more. it is a quick read that you will most likely love, i know i did

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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great 26 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is interesting if you wanna build a business, it helps you setting the right mindset on what of business is easier to sell. This is not a textbook or classic business book. It's more a fictional story of a guy with an advertising company looking into pushing his business further.

Overall the story is well written, interesting and not too long. I only put 4 stars because it's quite centered around the service industry (Advertising agency etc...), and can sometimes miss some more details.

Overall I enjoyed reading it and thanks to the original form of the book I'll probably remember more some ideas than if I read a typical (did I say boring?) business book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 21 Mar. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down and read most of it in one late evening session.

I could see almost all of its points in my own business as well as mapping some of the tips to things I've already put in place, which is a great feeling to know I'm already doing most of it right.

This is the best light reading business book I've ever read and will recommend it at any chance I see. Grab a copy now!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book. Exceptionally good read for anyone wanting to know how to structure a company for future sale - or more importantly how to be efficient and cost-focused. Great for helping individuals move from one-man-band scenarios to managing teams.

Recommend it to my clients and now they're singing from the 'Built to Sell' hymn book too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, very recommended 28 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Probably the best book I've read this year. 100% recommended. It tells lots of eye-opening clues to make your business successful, and the best of all is that it's very easy to read. Instead of the classic "do this, do that", it tells a story split in different chapters with a lesson in each of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, fantastic read 8 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are in business and even have not considered selling your business in the future definitely worth reading. Incredibly easy to read as it is a narrative however based on fact. With some great top tips, could not put it down until I finished it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great one
Published 2 months ago by Fabien
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice and very readable
This is a good book whether you're already running a company or looking for a new business to start. It packs in plenty of teaching, in an unusual and entertaining style. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ian Howlett
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for aspiring entrepreneurs
Simple and compelling. Brilliant in concept, told as a story. I read it through in one go.
Published 9 months ago by Notlim
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all software startups (and others)
Great book, must read for all startups and more established companies, very applicable to software companies. Read more
Published 9 months ago by abrard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb - a must read for anyone thinking of selling their business
Published 10 months ago by Sally Butters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book to read to all business owners.
Published 10 months ago by Roman Startsev
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described
Published 10 months ago by Hannes Linde
5.0 out of 5 stars Super easy read, great content
I recently finished reading Built to Sell by John Warrillow. It's a super easy to read book, written in the style of a story - with some great content. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Suzanne Hazelton
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic and Unrealistic $10,000 for a logo in the 21st Century!?
This book is very basic - the majority of it is a story about a guy who owns an advertising agency and how he is advised each week to change it from a service company to a product... Read more
Published 18 months ago by S Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant
Being an entrepreneur and key person, this really hit home. It is amazing how many people I know who face the same challenge. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Adventrepreneur
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