Built To Sell


It’s no secret my intention is to sell my business in 5 years. After reading Built To Sell I started a dang near dummy proof manual that anyone can pick up and run the business with little effort (hopefully)

It’s not organized and it’ll likely get chopped into smaller manuals for training purposes so I don’t care about the organization of it yet. I’m certain this is not the exhaustive list and that I’ll have to add as much as I’ll probably have to take away, BUT organization aside, what would YOU ADD to the list?

Squid’s Manual

Table of contents

Angie’s List
(Gov’t Contracts?)
Other printed marketing
Other digital marketing
Review request script

Phone script
Over the phone estimate script
HomeAdvisor phone script
House wash script
Concrete script
Commercial request script

Customer FAQs
How to prepare for our visit
What to expect after we leave
**What we don’t do **
“Will the detergent kill my grass/plants?”
“What is oxidation? Will it come off?”
“What are these little black specks?”

Customer Communication
Initial Call
**Estimate **
Before job email - How to prepare for our visit, What we DON’T do.
Post job email - review request and links
Next day follow up
Thank you card
Annual (Semi-annual? Fall & Spring?) follow up

Job Description
What to wear
Technician Scheduling
Customer Scheduling
Housecall Pro
Email templates

Sales & Marketing Rep
Job Description
Ideal Customers
What to wear
**HouseCall Pro **
Estimate Creation
Follow up

Team Lead
Job Description
What to wear
Review request script

Job Description
What to wear

Barkeepers Friend

Equipment inspection
Truck inspection
Driver safety
Ladder safety
Lift safety
Equipment safety
Fire extinguisher operation and safety
Hot water pressure washer safety

Equipment Operation

Pressure Washing Machines
How to start
What to look for
What to listen for
How to shut down

Roof pump
How to start
What to look for
What to listen for
How to shut down

Trigger guns

Surface Cleaners

Ball valves

X - Jet

Troubleshooting - engine
Troubleshooting - pump
Troubleshooting - trigger guns
Troubleshooting - surface cleaner
Troubleshooting - ball valve
Troubleshooting - 12 v pump
Troubleshooting - X-jet

Equipment Maintenance
Oil change - engine
Oil change - pump
Battery Charging

Hose maintenance
Post job - maintenance
Changing o-rings
Changing fittings

Human Resources
Resume requirements
Required documents
Drug testing procedures
Background check procedures
Probationary period explanation
How and when you are paid

House wash procedures
Set up

Concrete cleaning procedures
**Set up **
pressure washing
post treating

Gutter cleaning procedures
Set up
Clean up

Stucco/Dryvit Procedures
Set up

Painted Surfaces Procedures

Roof Cleaning Procedures

fuel cards



Important Numbers

Business Plan

Equipment Maintenance Schedules

Truck Maintenance Schedules

Employee Training Sign Off Sheets

Contact List


Contract Language


Let me know if you need some help editing. I’m a journalism major and have done some writing/editing for different publications.


Thanks dude! I might take you up on that.


Wow, you’ve put some time into this. I can’t really see anything missing that jumps out at me.

Personally, I get overwhelmed by todo lists. But if I have a schedule laid out, I can usually stick to it with moderate success.

So my idea of a “dummy proof” business plan is one that lays things out in a schedule format, and then has a system for keeping you accountable for the things that may get pushed off. I’m envisioning some type of mobile app for this.

Break down what each member of the team is responsible for each day, week, month, etc. Have a system that allows each item to get checked off as it is completed, and if something doesn’t get checked off, figure out a way that reminders for those items appear at a time that hopefully will be convenient and more likely to get done. For instance, you wouldn’t want a reminder alert to change the oil on a particular machine to appear in the middle of a job. It’ll just get ignored. If a particular item is ignored more than x# times, have the alert push to a team leader or ops manager. And if an item is ignored by the owner/ops manager, have it push to their spouse’s phone, lol.

Have preventative maintenance included in the schedule, with the instructions or references to those instructions cited in the schedule.


Wow! That is an impressive list.

I would have to wait to see the exhaustive list to make any real critiques, but I would recommend dividing Accounting… Purchasing should be it’s own category.

Nothing much else to say… especially if this is just an unorganized rough draft! Good work.


Thanks guys!


I’d love to have a mobile app with everything done through the app…


Who do you plan on selling to? One of your employees? A bigger fish? Someone with unrelated business experience just looking to take on something else as a manager?


Another veteran with previous business experience preferably.

Or an employee.

Honestly my only concern is finding someone who’s going to do the right thing for all the customers we’ve built relationships with.


Out of curiosity how much are you trying to sell the business for relative to profit? Like say u make 100$ a year profit ur trying to sell it for 2-300$? Or how’s that work. Feel free to not answer considering it’s none of my business but just wondering.


@squidskc how many crews do you have?


You can typically get 3 to 5 years forward revenue from what I understand. It has to be spit shined and a profit monster to get 5 years, but let’s say 3.

Last year I did $180k with 4 part timers and subcontractors.

I’ll spare you the math, but I’m certain I can produce $112k annually with an average employee.

10 average employee conservatively should produce $1.12 million.

So if it takes 5 years or 7 years or 10 years, my goal, rounded up because why not, is $3.5 million dollars to sell.

If someone takes over and continues to grow the business they can recoup their investment sooner than the 3 year mark.


Just part timers and subcontractors at the moment, but I’ll grow by 2 full timers and 2 machines this year and every year moving forward.


Look up the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) books and info and read them. They give great insight into setting up a business the can run without you and one that can sell. I am in the process of implementing the system myself. The have procees sheets as well to help you document everything. My goal is to sell by the age of 45, I’m 34 now.


I’ve read Michael Gerber’s E Myth and Built To Sell, but don’t remember EOS. I’ll definitely look it up.


3-5 years gross revenue? Where did you hear this?

1 Years free cash flow is more realistic for this industry.

Your business will always be more valuable to you than it will be to a buyer. The problem is, if they have that kind of money to invest they can build their own business cheaper and easier than it would be to acquire yours.


I’m not really concerned with what’s realistic or standard.

I don’t remember where I read it, but I know I read at least twice or it wouldn’t have stuck. I’ll redo my research, but before the time comes I’ll hire a business valuation consultant.

The goal is 3.5 million come hell or high water so if I have to make it happen a different way I’ll make it work a different way.


Ok. So here’s where I think I messed up. I confused revenue with cash flow. However, using discounted cash flow, $100,000 of profit annually is a maximum valuation of $3.33 million. That’s top dollar, but $100,000 is also an incredibly conservative estimates.

There’s a hundred different ways to value a business, but there’s also a big difference between Joe’s Pressure Washing LLC and a Window Genie that can be franchised.

I’ve got a lot to do before valuation even makes sense.

Step 1: Start a manual. :slight_smile:


I’ve bought 2 companies and seen a lot sold. Basically a pressure washing business will sell for about half the cost of current equipment and that’s about it, at least in my experience. I’d sell tomorrow for 500k and sell firewood and make grills to pay the electricity bill of someone has some scratching money laying around


I don’t recall seeing anything about accounts, like stuff your business signed up for, the emails and passwords to access them, Unless ha, housecall, and QuickBooks are the only ones.

I got a be client the other day, he’s retired but used to own a company that sold businesses, he said if you’re making 300k then you can sell for about 1 million.

I read built to sell, good stuff. Not that I’d want to sell but researching this topic helps you organize your company, gets it out of your head and “onto paper”