12 tips on building a business you can sell

Here are my notes from a very readable book called Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow

  1. Do one thing well
  2. Treat like a product rather than bespoke service – one size fits all
  3. Service based companies are normally over-reliant on their founders – even if you can sell will result in an earn-out over 1-3 years post sale which is beyond your control
  4. Bill up front like a product sale – otherwise sales cycle means adverse cashflow
  5. Systematise the process into easy to follow steps
  6. Document the steps clearly so that anyone can follow
  7. Get rid of staff that are non-core to the one thing
  8. Measure number of leads and conversions to allow for systematic prediction of future revenue
  9. Hire two sales people – always two or more as they will compete
  10. Hire product rather than service sales people – the latter will use consultative selling that will require bespoke services
  11. Sack your other clients
  12. Allow three years

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