Everyone wants to sell, but only a few know how: why many companies can’t find a buyer
What characteristics make a company enticing to potential buyers? John Warrillow has no doubts about what they are: firstly, it needs to be able to run smoothly and yield a return, even without the business owner that started it. To explain and support his thesis, Warrillow tells the story of a fictional character, Alex Stapleton, who is the owner of an advertising agency. Alex loves his work, however he wants to spend more time with his family, have more freedom, and economic security.
He starts entertaining the idea of selling his business, and to find out exactly what that would entail, he turns to Ted Gordon, a family friend with experience and a knack for business. They begin by looking the Stapleton Agency over, which is currently at a standstill: the majority of the agency’s income comes from a few, big clients, all of which are accustomed to having frequent contact with him (including the smaller clients) to manage their relationship. If things were to continue in this way, Alex would have no hope of cutting ties with his business, and even less of seeing it grow. Ted offers to mentor him and guide him through the necessary changes that need to be made to transform his business into a flourishing agency, ready to be presented to a potential buyer.
The key ideas of "Built to Sell"
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