Getting to Business after the Close
Months, weeks, days, and many hours have been spent investigating and validating your business purchase decision. You have discussed and reviewed every faucet of the business, and negotiated to the best of your ability to complete the deal. Now what?! The hardest part is still ahead. For many newly minted small business owners the period right after the deal closing can be an extremely scary experience.
Although there is never a magic formula, there are several sound foundational business practices that you can deploy in connection with your transition playbook to give yourself the best possible chance for success. The following list coupled with any unique steps warranted for your specific industry or business situation will serve to keep you moving in the proper direction.
Learn from the past, both positive and negative. Be open and inquisitive by asking a lot of questions. Look to key employees, key clients, and the previous owner to teach you the details of the business, especially the things you may not have uncovered during due diligence. Be certain to have a solid understanding of the current operations in advance of making change decisions.
Employees are the immediate lifeline of the operation. They know it best so meet each one and get to know them first, then share your future vision. Morale is critical at this early stage of transition, so take any necessary steps to solidify the positions of key employees.
Start changes slowly and methodically. Making rash, bold, or significant changes at first could lead to several negative reactions including customers rethinking their relationship with the business. Pay close attention to the impact each change has on the business results.
Customers are the immediate priority of the business. Emphasize customer service and connect with key customers to discuss service, issues, and policies immediately following the close. Review service policies and address any gaps. Show your appreciation for your customers by extending a promotion or gift to build your new relationship with them.
Keep vendors on board. Especially for those vendors where their contracts have served as the basis for your purchase valuation. Actively manage each to build strong working relationships.
Remember, most people tend to be resistant to change. Try to minimize surprises or sweeping changes that could unsettle customers in the short run.
Using the services of a professional advisor can greatly reduce the time period and risk throughout the process. Knowledgeable advisors can appropriately advise you on buying or selling a business.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation please contact BridgeLane Advisors, at firstname.lastname@example.org.