You started your business to change the world. Or to make a packet of money from the sales you’d generate. But after sweating it out to build a great business, how many business owners are able to sell their business? Just 5.4%, in the US.
It’s this startling statistic, from the US Census Bureau’s 2015 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, that lies at the heart of a new book by business mentor Pavlo Phitidis, titled Sweat, Scale, $ell: Build your business into an asset of value.
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Pavlo Phitidis is the co-founder and CEO of Aurik Business Accelerator, through which he has worked with over 1500 businesses across four continents. He has a weekly feature on The Money Show on 702 and CapeTalk.
In this, his first book, Phitidis — who has built and sold several businesses himself — sets out to explain why so many business owners find themselves with a business that no one wants to buy, simply because they have failed to build a sellable business.
Using examples of business owners he’s come across (under fictional names) he explores the key challenges business owners face when trying to build an asset they can sell.
Pavlo Phitidis sets out to explain why so many owners find themselves with a business that no one wants to buy and what to do about it
For Phitidis, to build an asset of value an entrepreneur must have a clear problem that they’re trying to solve for their customer, use a system that generates steady and consistent sales and have a motivated team that can run the business without the business owner needing to be constantly involved fighting the daily fires.
Phitidis’s avid pursuit to help other business owners to build an asset of value stems from his own experience in turning around his father’s small business, an importer of camping, sports and leisure equipment.
When he arrived at the aging small business, debtors were running over 142 days late and staff were sloppy and sluggish. He then learnt that his father had tried to sell the business.
“He could not get anywhere near the price he needed to look after himself and my mom and finish paying for my brother’s university education,” recalls Phitidis in the book
Phitidis succeeded in miraculously turning the business around and securing an eight-figure sale.
The experience stuck with him and grew his determination to help others to build a business that they could not only get enjoyment and an income out of, but a sale that could justify all the long and hard hours they would have been forced to put in to build the business.
Remarked Phitidis about the book in an email to Ventureburn last month: “It began one early morning at 3am in a NYC hotel, jet lagged, exhausted. Three days and two nights later, I produced a 70 000 word sentence. That was the book.
“A year later, a publisher approached me and said write a book. I gave them the sentence. They put me back to work for a month. The book was born.”
As Phitidis puts it in a press release to Ventureburn, South Africa’s present socio-political and economic climate is hostile.
But he points out that the spate of problems the country faces all need solutions. Those who can find them stand to make a pile, he says.
Says Phitidis: “That’s how South Africa is going to climb out of this: Private business owners taking opportunities and building capacity day by day, obstacle by obstacle. Showing the world what innovation and problem-solving is really about.”
Ultimately to hit it big all you need do is to forget the noise and focus on the end in mind. Sounds simple, but try doing it. Reading this book is at least a start.
Pavlo Phitidis’s ‘Sweat, Scale, $ell: Build your business into an asset of value” is available for purchase on Loot.co.za. Visit the book’s page here.