Foreword by Glenn Grant
From the best-selling author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business that Can Thrive Without You & The Host of Built to Sell Radio
is the founder of The Value Builder System, a best-selling author, and the host of Built to Sell Radio.
is the founder of Selfassembled Ventures, an advisory firm focused on helping self-made entrepreneurs build sellable businesses.
Why Did You Start Your Business?
Like many entrepreneurs, I started my business for a number of reasons. One was the eventual possibility of selling it; however, that was just one of many. Freedom, flexibility, independence, financial success, and choosing my own destiny were far more important than any future exit planning.
I was a tradesperson and one-man band, jumping into entrepreneurship head first, not because I went to business school but because I was awesome at what I did and didn’t want anyone telling me what to do anymore. Similar to others in my position, I was risking it all to venture out on my own.
How could I possibly be thinking of selling my business when I was so busy trying to figure out how to get it started in the first place and trying not to fail epically in the process?
My Entrepreneurial Journey
Although I could run my business well and deliver quality services to my customers, growing my business was an entirely different beast. Setting out to learn as much as I could, I joined Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Accelerator program. It was here that I was introduced to John Warrillow’s first book, Built to Sell, and it was an eye-opening experience. For the first time as an entrepreneur, I started to understand much more about building a successful and ultimately sellable business, whereas up to this point I was essentially a tradesperson who “owned a job.”
I immediately began to implement the Built to Sell methodology, taking the necessary steps to make my business more scalable, vastly more valuable, and, most importantly, sellable without a grueling earn-out in the end. I’m extremely grateful that I came across Built to Sell when I did. I was able to implement much of what I learned in the very early years of my business, and doing so positioned me for a high-value, earn-out-free exit.
As the CEO and Chief Visionary of G2 Tech Group, I grew my business over time, through many sleepless nights and working weekends, and ultimately led the company to a successful exit with Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm in Boston. If you had asked me on the day I started G2 what private equity was, I would not have been able to tell you. Fast forward nearly a decade, and I was learning on the fly how to sell my business, who the different players were, and what the customary process looked like.
In the beginning, the whole thing had my head spinning, and my anxiety was through the roof, mainly because I was inexperienced and it felt like everyone was outmaneuvering me. I was nearly suckered on more than one occasion into what I now know is called “a proprietary deal” and likely would have sold my business for far less than it was worth. Fortunately for me, I had the guidance of my friend and colleague Matt Rudnick from Main Sheet, who kept me from making one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Without Matt as my guide, I would have certainly been lost.
Looking back, if I had read The Art of Selling Your Business years in advance, things would have been much different. As someone who likes to start with the end in mind, I would have had the opportunity to better prepare myself and my business for the process of selling it and likely would have made an already great exit that much better.
About The Author
John has written the book on how to build a business that is optimally positioned to be sold, and now he has done the same for executing on that dream. John speaks from experience, having had a number of successful exits himself. And if that weren’t enough, he has also interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs on Built to Sell Radio and analyzed thousands of businesses using the Value Builder SystemTM.
In a world of professional buyers, you are the rookie. You simply don’t know what you don’t know, making it nearly impossible to prepare in advance. In this book, you will learn how to attract the right buyer, how to control the process, and ideally realize the most value for your business with the fewest strings attached.
About The Book
The Art of Selling Your Business is the de facto “trail guide” to navigating the process of an exit. There are many paths that can be taken, and armed with the knowledge contained in these pages, you can blaze a trail that is right for you. I learned from this book that there is no one “right way” to sell your business, but there are plenty of “better ways” and, unfortunately, there are certainly “wrong ways.”
As a business coach and an entrepreneurial freedom fighter, I want as many self-made entrepreneurs to be armed with this information as possible. I want you to have it far in advance of selling or even planning to sell so when the time is right, you can pull the trigger on an exit without the pressures and anxiety of trying to scramble to get your business set up “the right way” for an exit.
Many of you are probably thinking, “How do I get started selling my business?” “What is the process?” “How do I get the most money for my business?” and “How do I avoid getting screwed over?” These are all very important questions to ask yourself.
The good news is that John has compiled the answers to these questions and many more in this easy-to-read book. As a bonus, he’s done so in a way that even the most impatient, hyperactive, impulsive, and easily distracted entrepreneur (like me) can digest it.
Entrepreneurship is a journey. It has many ups and many downs. I hope that when the time is right for you to sell your business, you can leverage the knowledge in this book to end that journey on an upswing and enjoy the truly life-changing experience selling your business should be.
Founder & Chief Visionary