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How to Create a Startup Business You Can Successfully Sell


A Plan to Make your Company More Attractive to Buyers

Written by Megan Harris, Staff Writer

Entrepreneur Centre

The decision to become an entrepreneur and create a startup company is complicated by a number of considerations. For those considering such a move, the key questions to answer when starting a new business can include:

  • What type of business will it be? Will the company provide a service? A product?
  • Where will the business be located? Will it be run from an office, with open hours? Or from the founder’s home?
What supplies will be needed to furnish either an external or home office?
  • What are the costs that will be incurred in starting the business? Where will the funding come from?
  • Will any employees be hired? How will they be paid? Will they work part-time, or full-time?
  • What will the business be named – and how will the business be marketed? Who will the target customers be?
  • Will the business have a website or online presence?

Apart from these startup considerations, new entrepreneurs may want to consider the future. One day, they may wish to sell their company. This could occur for a variety of reasons — a desire to retire, to move on to a different venture or to make a profit. However, in a competitive business market, not everyone wanting to sell their business will be successful. This is why preparation for this task is important to consider during the startup process.

[pullquote]The book is aimed at entrepreneurs, in order to help them build a business that will, one day, be sellable, and is not entirely dependent on them for success[/pullquote]John Warrillow, entrepreneur, speaker, and author, explores this topic in his book, Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You. The book is aimed at entrepreneurs, in order to help them build a business that will, one day, be sellable, and is not entirely dependent on them for success.

Warrillow’s book tells the story of Alex, a fictional business owner, who is struggling to sell his company. He’s been unsuccessful because the business cannot run without his personal involvement. Alex turns to his friend Ted, an experienced entrepreneur, who lays out a simple plan for Alex to transform his business into a sellable, independent company. The plan is presented as three criteria that products and services offered must meet in order to make the company attractive to buyers:

  • Teachable: The business must offer products and services that employees can be taught to execute or deliver, without owner involvement
  • Valuable: The business must specialize in doing at least one thing better than anyone else- thereby avoiding price wars. Customers have to want what the business is offering.
  • Repeatable: The business must create recurring revenue, where customers repurchase products or services often. The products or services have a consumable element.


Warrillow’s narrative also talks about what not to do when trying to build a business that will also be sellable. He provides tips on how to navigate the process of selling your business for the best possible value.

ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
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