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Publisher's Summary

A business parable about how to create a start-up that won't trap you when you want to sell it. According to John Warrillow, the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them. Thus, when the time comes to sell, buyers aren't confident that the company-even if it's profitable-can stand on its own. To illustrate this, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional small business owner named Alex who is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who encourages Alex to pursue three criteria to make his business sellable:

  • Teachable: focus on products and services that you can teach employees to deliver.
  • Valuable: avoid price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else.
  • Repeatable: generate recurring revenue by engineering products that customers have to repurchase often.

©2011 John Warrilow (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Narrator is awful!

Ex of voice: Helloh thereuh. How are youuuah? Wellah. Iam fiynuhhh. Thank youahh.

The entire book is like this!!!

The way the narrator speaks is the way they make fun of public speakers. A voice that is comically used in a way that we feel the person is full of themselves, having bloated sentences that extend the last letters of the word. At first I thought it was a joke, then I knew it was legit and it is VERY hard to listen to. Very obnoxious. Hard to listen to! Preview it and see if you can handle it. I wish I had...

The book is fine, the narrator blows it.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Good content, Very bad narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd recommend buying the real book--not listening to this audio book.

Would you be willing to try another book from John Warrillow? Why or why not?

Yes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Erik Synnestvedt’s performances?

I'd avoid him as much as possible if I can.

Any additional comments?

It was hard to digest the content when you are distracted by the whiny voice that stops/starts without context of the whole sentence or paragraph.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-01-12

Surprisingly informational with good tips

What did you love best about Built to Sell?

I wasn't sure I would like a fictional company story and tips weaved into this format. It went into good detail and the expert friend, Ted, had good and fairly complex tips. The fictional company was fairly realistic and I liked the part when the seller was fumbling over why he was selling to potential buyers.

The narrator is a little pole smokey. I have heard him on one other audio book and his delivery is smarmy. The end of most of his sentences sound like questions. You might want to listen to the 5 min sample to make sure you can handle this narrator.

The content is good for all level of business owners.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Get past the Narrator and it's Excellent!

Any additional comments?

I read a few comments about the narrator but chose to listen anyway. The same guy reads Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich". This is an excellent book for an entrepreneur looking to sell their business. The story is well written and the points at the end are very valuable. The next release should have a different narrator.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Narration needs to be redone.

What disappointed you about Built to Sell?

I was very excited to get into the content of this book, however, the reader is so impossible to listen to, I can't get past 5 minutes at a time. The way he speaks is such a joke, I'm absolutely impressed the producers of the audiobook actually thought this was a good idea. Ouch. I've never had to write a review like this!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Built to Sell?

I couldn't get past the first few chapters, so I'm moving to the eBook as I still would like to read the book.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Antonio
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 06-11-11

Dare I say it... Better then E-Myth

I have over 280 Audible titles 95% of theme are business\personal Development related and I review very or rate very few as many are the same after awhile. This was a stand out title and now has become an absolute favorite Top 3 by far. I just finished my 1st listen and I will be going back over and over again. Anyone is business to sell or not should own this book. There are many easy to follow actionable items that will give great freedom in your business. If E-myth is the entry class this is the advanced course.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Great content but HORRIBLE nattation.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you're deaf you might be able to cope.

What other book might you compare Built to Sell to and why?

I couldn't tell you, I couldn't absorb the content.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrators voice is incredibly difficult to listen to and completely distracts from the content.

He uses voices that are excessively overblown and has a weird twang that he uses at the end of almost every sentence.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Built to Sell?

The end of every sentence.

Any additional comments?

I don't often write scathing reviews, but the narration of this book REALLY REALLY destroyed what is otherwise a good book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Terrible Narration

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I've heard great things about this book. However, the narrator is so annoying that I can't continue to listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I actually LIKE the narration...

What made the experience of listening to Built to Sell the most enjoyable?

The narrator has a very signature style and it made the so-so story of Built to Sell more listenable. In fact, this is one of the few audiobooks I've listened to twice.

However, judging by the other remarks, I guess Erik's narration is a love it or hate it proposition. I personally thought it was great.

Would you recommend Built to Sell to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, but with the caveat that the book is a little unrealistic in how fast a business can ramp up revenues (especially a logo design firm).

Any additional comments?

Better than E-Myth by a country mile.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Boring

The most interesting thing about this book is that the story is placed around a logo design agency but they don't talk too much about the business itself so it's really disappointing.

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  • Robin Waite
  • 10-16-13

Excellent

Simple story well written and well told. Very inspirational and it has been a catalyst for a lot of change within my business. Thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is looking to scale or sell their business.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve F
  • 03-04-14

Expert advice for building a scalable business

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're looking to develop a scalable business and an asset you can sell, this is THE book that you need to read.

What did you like best about this story?

It shares practical advice to help develop systems that design business owners out of the day-to-day operations of their business and ensure consistency when dealing with customers. Applying this to my business, has paid for the book a thousand times over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wakey
  • 10-15-14

Exit Strategy

This book really highlights the importance of having an exit strategy. So many of us take no notice of when people say have an exit strategy but this book points of why you need one. Written as a story so it is easy to follow along and listen to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Umesh Bhatt
  • 10-16-17

Good Book

its a decent book and certainly an interesting story. I found a lot of the takeaways very obvious though, things people should be doing anyway. Aleks for example trying to sell everything to everyone was stupid, and I'm already implementing half of these teachings from the book before reading it.

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  • Matheus Romano
  • 09-24-17

Transform the way you think about service businesses

Built to Sell is small and compact, but yet full of valuable, practice knowledge. The book centres around a 'Alex' a fictional character who goes on a journey with his mentor Ted, to transform his run of the mill design agency into a product business specialising in logos. As Alex discovers, there is a great value and scale afforded to service companies who are able to standardise their processes and offering in what they deliver to clients (or customers!).

Built to Sell, will help you:
_Understand the value if acting more like a product business, even if your business is in service
_Know what buyers of small / medium sized businesses look for when weighing up risk and value
_The high level process of selling a business through a broker and what to look out for

Great read. Will read this one again soon.

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  • Alex M
  • 09-07-17

Excellent content let down by terrible narration

I very nearly stopped listening to this book within the first 20 minutes. The narrator has an awkward tone to his voice with a very odd twang to the end of every sentence. How the guy is a professional narrator I do not know. However, the content of the book is great and after sticking with it I came away with a few gems that I will apply to my own business.

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  • Liam
  • 05-31-17

Liam McGrath

After listening to this book I intend to completely revise the structure of my business. Although I don't want to sell my profitable dental practice yet, it has given me so much information on the structure needed moving forward. It answers and confirms so many issues I have struggled with over the past 18months. Many thanks John!

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  • LaYarantella
  • 03-31-17

Mind numbingly badly written story

Terrible story, awful narrator with a few good tips. This sort of parable teaching has been popular in American business books for some time. This is the worst of a bad bunch.

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  • imdms ltd
  • 02-19-17

An enjoyable business book

Rather than just say here's a number of things to consider if you want to sell or scale your business, the book is written in a story format with relatable scenarios to make it far more engaging I wanted to keep listening.

The story based around advertising agency was well suited to my own which was also great.

Took me a while to get over the narrators voice as was a little bit irritating in the first chapter when rolling all the last words of sentences but the story allows you to get over that - so plough on.

Great read. Good info and interesting story.

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  • Stotto
  • 02-19-17

Looking forward

This is a good book for thinking about the future of your company and your exit plan. Really enjoyed this listen. So back to the 5 step process and go from there.

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  • Aaron
  • 06-18-17

Succinct advice

Got used to the reader. Succinct relevant advice. Recommended even if you are in business

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  • Doug
  • 11-27-16

Great concepts

Great concepts and strategies to know, understand and apply in your business depending on your objectives and life cycle.

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