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Built to Sell Radio

Built to Sell Radio is a weekly podcast for business owners. Each week, we ask a recently cashed out entrepreneur why they decided to sell, what they did right and what mistakes they made through the process of exiting their business. Built to Sell Radio is the ultimate insider's guide to approaching the most important financial transaction of your life.
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Now displaying: 2023
Dec 29, 2023

This week on Built to Sell Radio, we highlight the top strategies from the 10 most popular shows of 2023. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

·        Grow your email list.

·        Compete with industry giants.

·        Replace yourself inside your business.

·        Implement a three part strategy for hiring high-potential employees.

·        Get your customers to fund your growth.

·        Use silence to help you get the upper hand when negotiating the sale of your business.

·        Provoke a bidding war for your business.

·        Use a surprising negotiating tactic to get an acquirer to increase their offer. 

·        Rebut a low-ball offer.

·        Handle negotiation points that are non-starters for you.

Dec 22, 2023

If you've ever wanted to create recurring revenue inside your business you'll want to listen to today's episode of Built to Sell Radio. The show is the third in our three-part expert series and features a conversation between John Warrillow, the author of The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in any Industry, and Robbie Kellman Baxter, the author of The Membership Economy and The Forever Transaction -- two of the world's leading experts on subscription models in one episode.

Dec 15, 2023

Negotiating the sale of a business sale is intense and emotional for founders. Clear thinking is vital. In our second expert series installment, we feature Hasard Lee, a renowned clear-thinking expert.

Lee, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, authored the international bestseller, The Art of Clear Thinking. This Wall Street Journal bestseller, #2 in U.S. business books, has been translated into multiple languages.

As a flight commander in Afghanistan, Lee led over eighty combat missions, piloting two different jets on the same day in support of ground troops. Selected to fly the F-35, a cutting-edge, costly weapons system, he later became Chief of Training Systems at the world’s largest training base, innovating pilot training technology and methods.

Lee’s book translates combat lessons into daily life. Today he provides a mental toolbox for founders, guiding clear thought amid the emotional challenges of selling a business.

Dec 8, 2023

This week we have a special treat: an interview about negotiating the sale of your business with Chris Voss, the bestselling author of Never Split the Difference.

Chris used his many years of experience in international crises and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique approach to negotiation and this week, he talks about how his approach applies to selling a business.

Prior to starting his training firm, The Black Swan Group,  Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI.

Chris served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City division of the FBI. He was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years. He was the case agent on the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe. He also negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the infamous Chase Manhattan Bank robbery.

During Chris’s 24-year tenure with the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI, but also Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.

Chris has taught business negotiation in MBA programs at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. He also taught business negotiation at Harvard University and guest lectured at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Goethe Business School in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dec 1, 2023
Kiran Merchant spent decades as a consultant to the aviation industry, so when a boss refused to grant him an $8,000 raise, he decided to leave his employer to start his own aviation consulting firm. Eighteen months later, he sold Merchant Aviation to Aeroport de Paris, one of the largest aviation companies in the world for a high single digit multiple of EBITDA.
Nov 24, 2023

Greg Romanzo and his partners spent 17 years growing a freight forwarding business. As the company expanded to 200 employees, the partners faced a realization: their decisions now impacted 200 families. This responsibility became overwhelming, and they decided to sell.

Nov 17, 2023

Chip Conley built the world's second largest boutique hotel chain to 3500 employees, but after a near death experience, Chip realized he wanted out. Chip went on to become Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, where he mentored co-founder Brian Chesky. Conley went on to create MEA -- the Modern Elder Academy -- the world's first ‘midlife wisdom school'.

Nov 10, 2023

Jason Cohen is the founder of both SmartBear and WP Engine, both companies that have achieved a valuation of more than $1 billion, making them “unicorns” in the parlance of Silicon Valley. This is our first installment in a series we’re referring to as Legends of the Deal, which will chronicle the life lessons of extraordinary achievers in the world of value building.

Nov 3, 2023

Josh Anhalt started GreenPath Energy in 2007 to help oil and gas companies detect methane leaks in their pipes. Over the years, Josh tried and failed to sell his company three times only to have each deal thwarted for a different reason.  By 2023 GreenPath was generating more than $8 million in revenue when they finally agreed to be acquired by a competitor for around 7 times EBITDA, 90% of which was paid in cash with the balance paid in stock of the acquirer.

Oct 27, 2023

Chad Maghielse treats his two French bulldogs like family. When their breath turned foul, he invented a dog breath spray. Within three years, he was making over $2 million in online pet product sales at a 35% profit margin. Then he sold his business.

Oct 20, 2023

Jay B Sauceda built a logistics company that helped brands like Howler Brothers ship online orders. At their peak, Sauceda's company had a 150,000 square foot warehouse, 150 employees and was on track to hit $14 million in annual sales when a fateful meeting at an industry conference led Cart.com to make an acquisition offer Sauceda couldn't refuse. 

Oct 13, 2023

This week, we continue our series called Inside the Mind of an Acquirer. We started this special series of interviews with acquirers because we want you to understand the perspective of the person across from you in a negotiation to buy your business. This week, we sat down with Bakari Akil, who has acquired two $30 million businesses and now teaches Cornell MBA candidates about entrepreneurship through acquisition.

Oct 6, 2023

Mark Ferrier founded the marketing agency TRAFFIKGROUP and grew it to over $2M in EBITDA before agreeing to be acquired by the private equity group Onex in an eight-figure exit.  Mark decided to sell when a friend revealed that most founders end up wishing they had sold 50% sooner for 25% less.

Sep 29, 2023

Mark Ferrier built the marketing agency TRAFFIKGROUP to more than $2 million of EBITDA before it was acquired by the private equity group Onex in an eight-figure exit. In this first of a two-part interview, Mark shares the story of how he got started in the marketing agency world and how a rift with his former partners left him on the wrong end of a $2 million lawsuit.

Sep 22, 2023

When Jon Cross founded Pondera Solutions in 2011, his goal was to reduce fraud in U.S. government programs like Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance. By 2020, Cross and his partners had built Pondera to more than $9 million in annual recurring revenue when they received an offer from Thomson Reuters for a reported $124 million. 

Sep 15, 2023

In 2017 Lloyed Lobo and his partner, Alex Popa, founded Boast, a software application designed to simplify the process of applying for research and development tax credits. The bootstrapped company struck a chord with customers that found the process of applying for R&D tax credits cumbersome. By 2020 Lobo and Popa had built Boast to more than $5 million in revenue when they agreed to a $23 million majority recapitalization from Radian Capital.

Sep 8, 2023

At the age of 41, Rob Walling sold Drip, an email marketing software for enough money that he "would never have to work again".

His only problem? Figuring out what to do next.

In this special edition of Built to Sell Radio, we explore how to re-define your purpose and find happiness and fulfillment after you exit your business

Sep 1, 2023

Sarah Dusek and her husband started Under Canvass, which offered large-scale tented hotels (think “glamping”) outside national parks around the U.S.

The business got off to a successful start, and within five years, Dusek had four locations, which were collectively generating $3 million in EBITDA. Rather than sit still, Dusek decided she wanted to grow much larger and raised $16 million of capital made up of a combination of equity and mezzanine debt at a rate of 13%, which Dusek personally guaranteed.

The stress of having her entire net worth tied to her business eventually caught up to Dusek, and she decided to sell a majority stake of her business to a private equity group (KSL Capital). Dusek rolled 25% of her equity and stayed on as CEO. By the time she stepped down from her leadership role, Under Canvass was worth more than $100 million.

Aug 25, 2023

In 2015, Michia Rohrssen co-founded a SaaS business called Prodigy to help car dealerships sell online. He grew the company to $3.3M in annual revenue when he faced a difficult decision 

Rohrssen thought he could sell Prodigy for around 4-6 times revenue, but after paying off his investors, there wouldn’t be much left over for the founders. That’s when he decided to make a risky pivot to his business model. The change meant a short-term drop in Prodigy’s revenue, while also making it more attractive to strategic acquirers. Ultimately Rohrssen and his co-founder sold the smaller version of his company for a staggering $110 million, or around 65 times revenue.  

Aug 18, 2023

Casey Cavell has plenty of party stories: he dropped out of college to become a professional poker player, tried his hand (successfully) at buying self-storage facilities and apartment complexes, and eventually found his way to the business of baseball. More specifically, a franchised baseball academy for 5-10 year olds that he grew to five locations.  

Cavell essentially managed two exits from his D-BAT Academy franchises, first selling 66% of the business at a value of $1.5 million and then unloading his remaining equity at a $10 million valuation.

Aug 11, 2023

In 2017, Amman Ahmed founded MusicForPets, which launched the YouTube channels "RelaxMyDog" and "RelaxMyCat." Th ese channels aim to alleviate pets' anxiety, whether due to stress or their owners' absence.

Under Ahmed's leadership, the channels amassed over 2 million subscribers and generated a 7-figure profit, largely because of effective SEO. As the business saw a surge in paid monthly website subscribers, it garnered the interest of California-based hip-hop label, Create Music Group, which extended a lucrative 8-figure offer that Ahmed couldn't turn down. 

Aug 4, 2023

In 2006, Chad Rubin built Skubana, a tool specifically designed to streamline the operation of his e-commerce store across diverse channels. Sensing the software's potential, Rubin decided to offer Skubana to other online store owners.

The platform rapidly resonated with e-commerce entrepreneurs, accumulating $5 million in annual recurring revenue by 2021. The company’s success drew the interest of prospective buyers, eventually culminating in an irresistible offer from 3PL Central, a premier provider of warehouse management software. 

Jul 28, 2023

In 2014, Alex Macdonald co-founded Velocity Black, a global digital concierge service for affluent clients. Unlike the basic concierge services of some credit cards, Velocity Black leverages technology and expert knowledge to curate personalized services such as travel, entertainment, shopping, and dining, accessible directly from your phone.

By 2022, the business had expanded to $30 million in net revenue, attracting attention from potential buyers including Capital One which acquired Velocity Black for a reported $297 million.

Jul 21, 2023

Ian Fraser, a former professional golfer from Scotland, turned his expertise in fitting golfers with the right clubs into a successful venture, Tour Experience Golf (TXG), in 2016.

His aim was to bring PGA Tour quality club fitting to everyday golfers. As TXG began to flourish, Fraser realized he needed to expand his team and impart his unique skills to them. By devising an innovative hiring process and employing a creative teaching method, he was able to grow TXG to a team of 14 employees, a YouTube fan base of 150,000 subscribers, and revenue exceeding $2 million.

TXG attracted the attention of Club Champion, the United States' largest club fitting company with more than 100 locations.

Jul 14, 2023

In 2017, Chris Mole, based in the UK, founded Molzi, a full-service digital marketing agency catering to Amazon sellers. As pioneers in the field, the company witnessed significant growth. By 2020, amidst the lockdown-fueled e-commerce boom, Molzi doubled its team size to over 70 employees and generated revenues exceeding £4.5 million.

In 2021, their success caught the eye of Brainlabs, who acquired Molzi, paying 75% of the purchase price upfront and committing the remaining 25% to an earn-out agreement.

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