Book Buzz: Built to Sell
Cindi Filer's review of Built to Sell, by John Warrillow
"Your business is worth nothing." Most business owners don't want to hear that from a business broker. We assume that we have been trudging through this business ownership for years and that there is a pot of gold at the end. But, what are we doing with that in mind?
This book is told in story form - kind of like the One Minute Manager. It goes through the fictional story of an adverstising company business owner who decides to sell his business - only to discover that as a result of how he has built his company, it is worth nothing. Then, a business coach (fairy godmother type) works with him once each week for 18 months to make his business sellable with great profit. The author's advice hinges on several points:
- Don't be a generalist - be a specialist at something in your business you are best at
- Make sure that no one client makes up more than 15 percent of your revenue
- Make the business less dependent on you, the owner
- Charge up front or use progress billing to improve cash flow
- Track your conversion rate
- Two sales reps are better than one because they compete
- Stop taking projects that fall outside your standard service offering
I thought the points in this book were good and the way the author wrote the story made it easy to sit with a pad of paper, take each point and figure out how that concept could be applied to my own business. As I read, I found myself making "to do" lists on my pad of paper, and when done with the book, I had things that I thought I could do with my business structure.
I'll call this a worthwhile read because it made me take some time to focus on a long-term goal - making sure I am walking down a correct path.
I read pretty fast, but for me this was a one-sitting, 2 hour book.
Read with a pad of paper and pen and take 10 minutes after every chapter to write how it applies to your business.