Listen in! Learn how to start, grow, and sell your business.

This series of podcasts includes interviews with entrepreneurs and business leaders sharing their experience and knowledge on how to build a successful and lasting business.

If you want more information, please reach out to one of our business advisors to book a one-on-one consultation. 

The External vs Internal Sale

Episode 50

Barry Wood sold two virtually identical businesses over an 18 year period. The first was external and the second, internal. His exits clearly show the differences in an as close to apples-to-apples comparison as possible. The pros and cons may surprise.

When the time comes, do you want to sell your business externally, or internally to your employees or family members?

Once you decide, a little piece of you may always wonder how the other option would have played out. That’s why the story of Barry Wood is such an interesting case study. Wood is a door guy, who started M&I Door Systems in 1995, sold M&I in 1998, and then started another – virtually identical – door business in 2003, only to sell it in 2013.

Wood sold his first door business externally and his second internally, so his two exits allow us to see clearly the differences between these two types of sale with an as close to apples-to-apples comparison as possible. The pros and cons of selling externally rather than internally may surprise you.

The Ambitious Apprentice

Episode 394

In 2014, Mark Wright, who won BBC’s The Apprentice, used the £250,000 prize to co-found Climb Online, a digital marketing agency, in collaboration with business tycoon Lord Sugar. In 2022, Climb Online was acquired by xDNA, a global digital agency group, for a value that amounted to 9.5 times its EBITDA.

In this episode, you will learn how to:

  • Protect your downside when an acquirer asks you to roll equity.

  • Expand your company’s potential through strategic networking.

  • Utilize an audacious negotiation tactic to secure an advantageous deal.

  • Implement a management team to ensure the business can succeed without you.

  • Recruit talent that aligns perfectly with your company’s unique needs and culture.

  • Lower churn by understanding and acting on customer behaviors and trends.

  • Ignite your employees’ enthusiasm and maintain morale during the acquisition process.

  • Deploy one bulletproof strategy Mark used to avoid an earn-out.

Inside Hubspot's Surprising acquisition of the Hustle

Episode 375 | 01:18:58

Sam Parr founded the Hustle, a media company that delivers business and tech news to millennials in an engaging and relatable way, in 2015. The business was an instant hit with readers, generating millions of page views in only a few months.

By 2020 Sam Parr had grown the Hustle to $15 million in revenue, attracting the attention of tech giant HubSpot. A few months later, the tech conglomerate acquired the Hustle in a lucrative eight-figure deal. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find top talent before others do.

  • Grow a passionate audience base.

  • Raise your prices without upsetting your customers.

  • Defeat the market leaders in your industry.

  • Boost your acquisition offer using a surprising negotiation technique.

How This Service Business Sold for Around 4-Times Revenue

Episode 368 | 01: 09:58

In 2006 Kelby Zorgdrager started DevelopIntelligence, an outsourced training provider that helps programmers develop new skills and adapt to ever-changing technologies.

To ensure the business could succeed without him, Zorgdrager implemented a four-step system to replace himself as the rainmaker of his company.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Sell to a Fortune 500 giant.

  • Establish trust with a team of independent contractors.

  • Develop a high-performing sales team using an unconventional tactic.

  • Replace yourself as the rainmaker of your company.

  • Utilize your M&A attorney to get more money for your business.

The Inside Story of Stripe’s Acquisition of Indie Hackers with Co-Founder Channing Allen

Episode 366 | December 2, 2022 | 01:15:43 

In 2016 Channing Allen and his brother Courtland founded Indie Hackers, a blog and forum that encourages founders to transparently share their ideas and stories.

After only eight months, the brothers had grown the business to $8,000 in revenue when they received an unexpected email from Patrick Collison (co-founder and CEO of Stripe), who was looking to acquire the company.

Although tempted to keep building, Stripe’s offer was too good to refuse. The brothers agreed to be acquired by Stripe in March 2017. In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build a thriving online community.

  • Share your journey to attract a loyal following.

  • Transition from founder to employee without losing your passion.

  • Negotiate favorable deal terms using an unconventional strategy.

  • Build an engaged following using a crafty tactic.

The Hidden Cost of being a Hands-On Boss With the Founder of Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn Johnson

Episode 365 | Nov. 25, 2022 | 49:17

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

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.

Inside the Mind of an Acquirer - Nathan Winch

Episode 359 | October 14, 2022 | 01:01:46 

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.

Why Candy Banners Sold for a Mint

Episode 358 | October 7, 2022 | 51:11 

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.

A Regrettable Deal

Episode 356 | September 23, 2022 | 50:50 

In 2013, South African entrepreneur Jason Bagley started Firing Squad, a lead generation company specializing in cold emails.

In 2020, Firing Squad signed an agreement to be acquired by Southern Web and was later rebranded to SiteCare.

The deal was something Bagley would later come to regret.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Write cold emails that people actually open.

  • Productize a service.

  • Transfer your “ninja skills” to your employees.

  • Increase pricing without losing your customers.

  • Avoid the mistake that left Bagley with nothing.


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