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Built To Sell By John Warrilow
Date: Jul 23, 2021
So, you make be thinking this is an unusual book to be reviewed and why would you read it if you are not actually looking to sell your business?
Just to clarify, we are not selling Troy Accounting.
You can learn a lot from those businesses that do get acquired by another business as the work starts at least two to three years before you want to sell. The most significant question that an acquirer will ask is “Can the Business thrive without you?”
In most cases the answer is no. If you look at your own business, what happens when you are poorly, or you want to you take some holiday? Some businesses, especially smaller businesses, will close for these periods of time.
But how do you manage this when your business is growing? As business owners we typically take on all the responsibility for all the tasks involved. We can be reluctant to delegate to staff or ask for external help as it is quicker to do itself yourself, right?
This book is a good wake-up call as to how you could you set up your business to function without you or with you working in the business for fewer hours.
John Warrilow uses an imaginary businessman, Alex, and his mentor, Ted, to tell the story from both perspectives. Alex’s business is in marketing, and they do a bit of everything. He is pretty much running around, continually trying to keep his clients happy, customising his services to appease his larger clients, even though that creates more work internally that they are not getting paid for, and his business is heavily reliant on one customer.
The story takes you through the changes that Alex implements so his business is ready to sell. However, these changes also impact Alex’s personal life in a positive way too, way before he gets to a point of selling the business. He has more time with his family, he has employed skilled staff in specialised fields, his cash flow is better, so he has fewer financial pressures, and he is working fewer hours.
This book has some great tips on how you can start that process. Even though you may not be doing these changes to sell your business think how amazing it would be just to get some time back and do the things that you want to do and have probably deprioritised multiple times as the business comes first.
One of the things I loved in the top tips at the end of the book was to write a three-year plan that paints a picture of what is possible for your business if you had unlimited resources. Why would you do that if you are not looking to sell? Because it reminds you of what is possible. Your ideas will flow, you may discover a way to get some time back as you are allowing your mind to wander to a realm of possibilities. And why shouldn’t some of those be possible?
So, whether you want to sell your business in a few years’ time or you just want to make positive changes now, then this is the book for you.
Someone recently shared a quote by Albert Einstein “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So perhaps a book like this is just what you need.