Built to Sell – Latest Podcast Episodes

From our Partners at Built To Sell Radio

Entrepreneurial Success Stories and Lessons for every Business Owner

Ep. 365 The Hidden Cost of Being a Hands-on Boss.

25 November 2022

In 2012, Jaclyn Johnson founded Create & Cultivate, a media company that educates and inspires women to succeed in business.

By 2018, Johnson had grown Create & Cultivate to eight employees when an acquirer offered her a staggering $40 million. Unfortunately, the deal was too good to be true. When the acquirer discovered her hands-on management style, they pulled out.

Learning from her mistakes, Johnson implemented a collection of strategies to ensure Create & Cultivate could thrive without her.

By the end of 2019, Johnson had grown to $14 million in revenue ($4 million EBITDA) when acquirers came knocking again. This time she was ready. Create & Cultivate was acquired by Corridor Capital in a deal valued at $22 million. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Ensure your business can succeed without you.
  • Build a thriving online community.
  • Create partnerships with well-known brands.
  • Avoid a common error made during due diligence.
  • Respond to a shrewd acquirer looking to get your business for a discount.

Ep. 364 Is Your Best Customer Hurting Your Company’s Value?

18 November 2022

In 2002 Chuck Crumpton started Medpoint to help businesses bring medical devices and pharmaceuticals to market. The company quickly took off after Crumpton landed a prominent blue-chip client.

It was a blessing and a curse.

At one point, the blue-chip customer made up 83% of Medpoint’s revenue. Determined to reduce his customer concentration, Crumpton implemented a clever strategy to minimize his dependency.

The strategy worked as Crumpton successfully reduced his reliance below 50%, allowing him to sell Medpoint in 2020 for around five times EBITDA. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Reduce your dependency on a single customer.
  • Establish strong relationships with large companies.
  • Vet employees to ensure a cultural fit.
  • Build trust with independent contractors.
  • Lead with integrity.
  • Sell your company without an earn-out.

Ep. 363 How to Get Your Employees to Care as Much as You

11 November 2022

In 2009 Natalie Nagele and her husband, Chris, launched Postmark to help businesses deliver emails to their customers quickly.

A decade in, Nagele had grown the company to around 40 employees, which was when she began feeling burned out. The pull to explore new interests was the catalyst to accepting a life-changing acquisition offer from Active Campaign in 2022. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop passionate employees that care about your company.
  • Create raving fans that refer their friends.
  • Decide when it’s time to sell.
  • Distinguish between serious burnout and normal fatigue.
  • Create a list of demands for an acquirer when selling your business.
  • Think in decades when making big decisions.
  • Establish a positive relationship with your acquirer.

Ep. 362 A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Mini Rollup

4 November 2022

In 2020 veterinarian Dr. Joseph Marchell started Old Brown Dog Veterinary Partners (OBDVP) after identifying a unique opportunity to do a rollup of family-owned animal hospitals.

Marchell acquired three practices for around ten times EBITDA. He then implemented a streamlined operational strategy that resulted in the sale of OBDVP less than two years later for almost three times the purchase price. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify a rollup opportunity in your industry.
  • De-risk your business for an acquirer.
  • Implement a professional management team without undermining the old guard.
  • Create competitive tension for your company among acquirers.
  • Utilize an audacious negotiation tactic to increase your offer.
  • Avoid a slimy trick used by some acquirers to get your business for a discount.

Ep. 361 Hacking Your Way to a $22 Million Exit

28 October 2022

In 2015 Nick Santora founded Curricula, a cyber security awareness training program that helps companies defend themselves against hackers. Santora created fun, cartoon training videos in contrast to the dull content that existed at the time.

Companies happily embraced Santora’s approach. By 2021 he had grown Curricula to just over $2 million in annual recurring revenue when he accepted an acquisition offer from the cyber security giant Huntress for $22 million. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Know when it’s time to expand beyond your niche.
  • Utilize the “free chicken” conversion method.
  • Implement a freemium model that converts.
  • Avoid a typical blunder made by founders when raising money.
  • Choose the right acquirer for your company.
  • Create competitive tension between acquirers to attract a premium offer.

Ep. 360 Looking Smaller to Make Your Company Bigger

21 October 2022

In 2008, Gavin Hammar started Sendible, a platform that allows companies to manage all their social media accounts from one place.

The company grew steadily until 2016, when Hammar hit a sales plateau. Challenged to combat a high churn rate, Hammar took several unique steps to humanize his business.

Becoming a more approachable brand worked. Sales increased by 30% year-over-year and by 2021, Sendible had 47 employees when they were approached by ASG with an acquisition offer Hammar couldn’t refuse. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Humanize your business without becoming a bottleneck.
  • Bootstrap a seven-figure company while keeping 100% of your equity.
  • Create a white labeling program (without losing control of your brand).
  • Slash your churn rate by implementing one simple tactic.
  • Turn customer feedback into online reviews using an elegant approach.
  • Avoid a common mistake a lot of founders make at the LOI stage.

Ep. 359 Inside the Mind of An Acquirer – Nathan Winch

14 October 2022

U.K.-based Nathan Winch started his career as a private equity investor after selling his first company, Winch Pharma, in 2017.

Since then, Winch has acquired over 20 businesses, with a focus on logistics and infrastructure companies. In the latest installment of Built to Sell Radio’s Inside the Mind of an Acquirer series, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand how an investor structures an acquisition.
  • Build your management team to avoid an earn-out.
  • Dodge the most common blunder made during due diligence.
  • Avoid turning off an acquirer during the selling process.
  • Prepare your company to be acquired.

Ep. 358 Why Candy Banners Sold for a Mint

7 October 2022

In 2014 Tim Grassin founded Candy Banners, which designs ads that show up along the top, bottom, and sides of a website.

Grassin built a remote team in the Philippines to minimize his costs. Hiring inexpensive developers allowed Grassin to charge lower rates to agency owners, resulting in rapid growth.

The business had grown to over seven figures in revenue in 2020 when Grassin received an acquisition offer from one of his clients, Native Touch. The offer valued Candy Banners at around five times EBITDA, and the deal closed in 2021. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build a company that can thrive without you.
  • Establish trust with a team of freelancers.
  • Repair a damaged relationship with your co-founder.
  • Structure a favorable earn-out when selling your business.
  • Avoid a tricky mistake many founders make during due diligence.

Ep. 357 How Mike Winnet Sold His E-learning Company for Around 4-Times Revenue

30 September 2022

In 2015 Mike Winnet started U.K.-based Learning Heroes after recognizing that most e-learning programs were long and boring. Winnet saw an opportunity to transform the industry by creating short, engaging, animated training courses.

Winnet started by trying to sell his courses to job seekers, but when his efforts failed, he pivoted to selling to companies. Instead of a few hundred dollars a year from job seekers, selling to companies meant he was getting a few thousand dollars a year.

The switch from B2C to B2B worked, and in less than three years, Winnet grew his company to around £2 million in annual recurring revenue, which was when he was approached by Litmos, a learning management software provider. Winnet sold Learning Heroes to Litmos for approximately four times revenue. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Avoid the most common mistake made by first-time entrepreneurs.
  • Utilize a counterintuitive marketing strategy to surpass your competitors.
  • Position yourself in the market using a unique pricing strategy.
  • Create content that wins new business.
  • Strategically productize a service.
  • Negotiate a higher multiple for your company.
  • Sell your company without an earn-out.

BONUS Ep. 71 An Interview with The E-Myth’s Michael Gerber

For the better part of 40 years, Michael Gerber has been encouraging business owners to work “on, not in” their business. Gerber’s knack for simplifying the complex art of starting and growing a company really resonates.

The first book I ever read about entrepreneurship was The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

I loved it.

Gerber’s knack for simplifying the complex art of starting and growing a company resonated with me immediately. Although I’ve never met Michael, I consider him to be one of my very first teachers.

I have not read his more recent books so when his publicist contacted me last week to see if I would interview Michael on Built to Sell Radio, I was keen to hear what he had been up to since The E-Myth.

In this interview, you’ll get a summary of his new book, Beyond The E-Mythincluding:

  • Why every company should be built as a product to sell.
  • The four stages of building a sellable company.
  • How to engage “the beginner’s mind”.
  • The four roles of every founder.
  • The hierarchy of growth.

For the better part of 40 years, Michael Gerber has been encouraging business owners to work “on, not in” their business.

All the episodes and descriptive content come from Built To Sell Inc and their podcast Built To Sell. You can find out more about Built to Sell and all their episodes at their Built To Sell Podcast Page