Built to Sell Book Brief

Betties Book Brief | Built to Sell

Built to Sell Book BriefThis month’s Book Brief comes to you as a plea – please don’t make this common mistake! We read Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow and realized that too many business owners create a business dependent on them. When you are starting up, it’s easy to take on every hat in an attempt to save money and retain control. However, this quickly becomes burdensome and unmanageable – even if you never intend to sell!

In Built to Sell, Warrillow tells a story of a fictional business owner who intends to sell his marketing firm but is struggling – until he turns to a mentor and determines what he needs to do to make his business sellable.

Our Built to Sell Takeaways

  • Commit to being a specialist. Clients will test your resolve every day; everyone wants you to customize things just for them. Catering to everyone and accomodating every request will diminish your specialization. Learn to say no!
  • Specializing makes you referable. When you do a specific thing really well, your clients will make you known when someone asks.
  • Have good processes in place. Employees must be able to run things without you in order to be attractive to a buyer.
  • Build a sales engine. Figure out the number of pipeline prospects needed to reach sales objectives. Building out a sales process will show prospective buyers that you have a scalable sales engine.
  • Build a strong leadership team. Potential buyers want to see that your company runs amazingly well without you.
  • Offer bonuses. Offer your leadership team a stay bonus to help with the sale and transition. Pay it out over 2 payments contingent on their staying for a specified duration of time.


Obviously, it makes sense that you want your business to thrive without you if you want to sell it. But even if you are not ready to sell or not interested in detaching completely from your business, these tips are incredibly useful in building and scaling a business that you run rather than one that runs you. Whether you plan to sell or not, consider following these tips and watch as it creates 1) more success in your business and 2) more freedom in your life.


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on our takeaways? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook!

And don’t forget to check out our other Book Briefs here.