Book of the month - Built to Sell - Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow
I’m in the middle of creating a new product and one of the things I will be asking people to think about, in relation to why they might need processes in their business, is why they originally started their business - was it to create themselves a job, ie. their income is relative to the amount of hours they work? or was it to create themselves an income stream that will provide for them in the longer term, irrespective of how many hours they work?
I suspect that a lot of people didn’t really consider either. They probably thought working for themselves would give them more freedom than in paid employment. However, in reality many small business owners find that the customers want to deal with them directly, the staff rely on them to know what to do next, and so in order for the business to survive, they have to work harder than ever.
This month’s book is sub-titled “creating a business that can thrive without you” and it’s all about how to move your business from one that survives because you put so many hours in, to one which thrives despite you not being involved in every aspect.
Its title “Built to Sell” does imply that you would only want to read it if you are thinking about selling your business, but don’t be put off. If you want to earn money from your business in the longer term you may wish to sell it to gain a lump sum, however you might rather keep the business but have it in a state that you don’t have to work in it, or at least not very often, but still earn a good income from it. In that case, this book absolutely applies.
The book is written as a fictional story, but the characters and the advice are based on real situations known to the author. The story is about a guy, Alex Stapleton, who has built up a marketing agency but is struggling with: demanding customers who will only deal with him,staff who aren’t up to the job, problematic cash-flow and a feeling that it’s time to call it a day as he’s no longer enjoying the business.
Alex decides he wants to sell the business, but after a conversation with his business adviser realises that, in its current state, the business is worth nothing as it fully relies on him.
The story then follows the steps his business adviser leads him through to turn the business into a highly successful agency which sells for over $5million in less than 2 years.
You will not be surprised to hear, as it’s me that’s reviewing the book, that the success of Alex’s business is due in no small part to a single process that he wrote, implemented and then brought staff in to manage and execute on a daily basis.
This book is a really easy read and, if you want to grow your business and/or release your time, it’s an informative book that will help you think through the changes you need to make in your business to reach your goal.
When you’ve finished the story, in the back of the book there are 8 steps for you to follow to turn your business round in the same way as Alex Stapleton did.
If you are thinking of selling your business, you can visit www.sellabililtyscore.com to take a free questionnaire that will analyse how saleable your business currently is. Also follow www.builttosell.com/blog.