R.C. Willey founder talks to students about selling business to Warren Buffet

R.C. Willey’s Bill Child and Jeff Benedict of Southern Virginia University addressed hundreds of USU students Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Child, who built R.C. Willey into one of the top furniture retailers in the U.S., sold the business to Warren Buffet in 1995 but retains the title of chairman of the board. Benedict has written a book about Child’s improbable journey: “How to Build a Business Warren Buffet Would Buy.””Bill is my M.V.P. in the world of business,” said Douglas Anderson, dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.Child and Benedict met in Washington D.C., where they agreed to write the book. Child’s confidence in Benedict’s writing ability largely stemmed from a previous book he wrote: “The Mormon Way of Doing Business: How Eight Western Boys Reached the Top of Corporate America.”During the presentation, hosted by the Huntsman School, Child shared several smart business techniques he used throughout his 56 years in the business. One of these techniques is to always be looking for a bargain. Early on in his career, Child said he was able to purchase unsold TV and newspaper spots for a minimal price. As a result, R.C. Willey ads were able to run more frequently than many competitors.”About 300 people came to hear the presentation. They filled the auditorium, the lobby area on the main floor and had a dozen people or so in the doorways,” said Steve Eaton, director of communications of the Huntsman School. “Since I’ve been here in the fall of 2006, I don’t know if there’s been a bigger crowd. This was the first time I walked in leisurely and couldn’t find a seat.”Benedict originally attended law school but soon learned he was better suited to be a writer. “I am a storyteller,” Benedict said. Within the first year of law school Benedict signed on to write for Sports Illustrated.

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