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Book Review: Built to Sell

By Julie King |

Title:Built to Sell
Author:John Warrillow
Publisher:Flip Jet Media Inc.

Many business owners share the goal of one day selling their company to retire in comfort.

Yet due to the common challenges of business - cash flow, staffing and customer management - owners often find themselves trapped in a business that has little or no value if they are not at the helm.

While books like the The E-Myth Revisisted help business owners understand how they can work on, rather than in, their companies, Built to Sell adds to the pieces of the puzzle, explaining the steps an entrepreneur must take to create a sellable company.

Told as the story of a fictional advertising agency owner, the book reads like a novel. It starts with Alex, an enterpreneur, in rough shape. His business is struggling with staffing difficulties and cashflow problems. He engages the help of a friend, Ted, who has built and sold several businesses. By following Ted's advice, he is able to turn around his business and build a sellable company.

Ted's advice forms a framework for creating a sellable business. A the end of the story, the key lessons are summarized in the final chapter.

A service business is used as the example, with the business being made more sellable by transitioning it to a product-based model.

I usually find business books that uses a fictional story to teach the key lessons of the book frustrating, as they force the reader to follow the story to absorb the key points. Built to Sell is an exception.

By painting a picture of the life of a struggling entrepreneur, Warrillow has added an extra dimension to what otherwise would have been a very dry book. He brings to light the human elements that factor into the emotional side of the sale of a business without lecturing the reader about how he or she should deal with the emotional side of the sale of the business.

If you are thinking of selling your business, especially if that business currently uses a service model, this book will be a great resource for you.

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