The Playbook

Think Twice Before Going Public

John Warrillow, founder of The Sellability Score, explains why the requirements for going public don't appeal to all entrepreneurs.

Video Transcript

00:11 John Warrillow: When it comes to the decision to build go public or sell, I think you've gotta come to the conclusion that going public you're really changing your role from an owner of a business to really the CEO of a publicly traded company. And if you've talked to anybody that's gone public, it requires a completely different level of scrutiny, different level of process you bring to your business. If you're capable of operating at that level, then certainly going the public markets maybe a way to structure your exit. Many business owners find that that level of scrutiny of running a public company is just not something that they're interested in. When get down to it, a lot of entrepreneurs are motivated by freedom, independence, and the idea of having a board of directors, outside scrutiny, is just the anathema, so what they're all about is people. So ask yourself those tough questions about, "Do you want to run your business in the public eye?" If not, going public is probably not the right idea.

Last updated: Oct 30, 2013

JOHN WARRILLOW | Columnist | Sellability

John Warrillow is the author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You and the founder of The Sellability Score, a cloud-based software company that helps business owners improve the value of their company.

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