307 – Preparing a Trade or Contracting Business for Sale

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When you’re running a profitable trades or contracting business, one of the things you’d like to know is if it’s saleable. The problem, however, with the majority of trades businesses is that owners are at the center of it all. And while this kind of business setup works well for you profit-wise, the truth is that it’s not going to amount to anything at all during selling time. How then do you prepare your business for sale? 

In this week’s podcast episode, I have a fantastic conversation on the topic of preparing trade or contracting businesses for sale with John Warrilow. He covers three steps in making your business available to acquire – TVR, Productise, and Systematise. We also talk about what is in the mind of a person looking to acquire a business. 

If you are looking forward to selling your business in the future, this is an episode you will definitely benefit from.  

What’s Discussed In This Episode:

0:00 The Elevation Program  

6:17 John’s background 

8:18 When John wrote the books he is known for  

9:50 What John is currently doing 

12:59 Owner-centered businesses are profitable but not transferable 

13:49 First step in making your business valuable to acquire  

14:09 Teachable, Valuable, Repeatable (TVR) 

15:20 Matt shares an example of the TVR process 

20:27 Acquirers want recurring revenue

21:09 Installation revenue & monitoring revenue (security campaigns) 

22:01 Value is not created in the actual doing of the work  

23:19 Paradigm shift in the thought process  

23:54 The secret to moving your headspace into recurring revenue

27:50 The Trojan horse effect 

30:00 Re-engaging with your database

32:21 How a recurring subscription maintenance plan is helpful for your business

34:28 Managing the finances of a recurring model 

38:31 Communicating to a client who isn’t having a problem 

41:08 Productize 

47:21 Systematise – creating processes, SOP’s   

51:11 What acquirers want to know in terms of processes  

About Our Guest

John Warrillow is the founder of The Value Builder System™, a simple software for building the value of a company used by thousands of businesses worldwide. Offered by a global network of independent advisors known as Certified Value Builders, The Value Builder System™ incorporates several diagnostic tools, including the Value Builder Score. Those businesses that achieve a Value Builder Score of 90 or greater are worth double the average-performing business. His best-selling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You was recognized by both Fortune and Inc. as one of the best business books of 2011 and has been translated into 12 languages. John is the host of Built to Sell Radio, ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s 10 best podcasts for business owners. In 2015, John wrote another best-selling book, The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry. John completes the trilogy with his latest book, The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies & Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top. Prior to founding The Value Builder System, he started and exited four companies, including one acquired by a public company. He lives with his family in Toronto. You can follow John’s work by signing up at BuiltToSell.com.


Books mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more podcast episodes, you may also visit my website. Tune in and subscribe to The Site Shed: You can also listen to The Site Shed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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The Site Shed | Listen Notes


The Site Shed is one of the best online communities and podcasts for tradies out there. The free content provided to members is unbelievable - offering invaluable advice to run a successful business, and the community of tradies is truly awesome. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Peter Cox Business Man

Great work Matt with all the podcasts and the site shed facebook community group. The amount of information that you can learn for free in this space is unbelieveable. It's great to see like minded contractors and trades trying to improve their businesses and also share ideas and help others. Highly recommend. Thanks!

Ben Hern Business Owner

I have been listening to the pod casts for a few months now, I can't get enough of all the awesome content that you guys provide. Especially when you guys deliver it from a trade perspective which helps out a lot. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can afford one of the trade training trips.

Ché Henton Customer

I own a construction company,and i love learning how to make my bussiness more competitive,profitable and how to better serve my clients. The site shed is a wonderful place to get invaluable knowledge no matter your trade .

Michael Mullinax Construction Company Owner

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