Congratulations you just bought the business of your dreams! You looked long and hard to find the right business for you that is the best price and highest profitability you found it you went to closing and now you will are the business owner.
What to do next
If you bought a franchise, you would receive a checklist of next actions and operational procedures. This list will get you started as the new business owner in the right way to achieve the same kinds of success in this company that your predecessor made.
However, if you just purchased an independent company you are on your own. I’m here to help you make the next right moves to start and build this business without losing the value inherent in your purchase.
Certainly, you have lots of great new ideas you want to institute. Just remember you do not want to tear down the existing business model and have to start over, this will lose the team respect and trust which are vital to your success.
To transition into business ownership more easily for you and your team these are the next right steps to take after signing contracts to buy an existing business.
Review current practices and processes
During the buying process, you familiarize yourself with this company. However, you still have a lot of learning about the inside systems and processes that make this business work well.
Don’t take shortcuts on this vital step. You want to deeply understand this companies strengths and weaknesses to build your successful business. This is an essential step before making any significant changes.
I recommend you do a critical review of the security practices of your new firm especially cyber security which is of greater concern in 2017. Best antivirus software for businesses is Norton. Many start-up companies were rightly focused on generating sales and profits and may have neglected necessary security controls. If possible, higher a third-party security audit firm to check the company systems thoroughly.
Check these security points
1. what software and cloud systems are being utilized by the company
2. is access to these systems controlled by two-factor authentication and password requirements
3. are there well-documented standards for system management in place
Conference with existing employees – Right Away and Often
All mergers and acquisitions are nerve-racking for existing staff. Begin by understanding that this is a stressful process for the company’s employees as much as it has been for you the new business owner. Everyone is concerned about their job and how your new ownership will change their job description. This human aspect of a business acquisition will most likely be your most challenging.
Fear is running rampant in your new company. People are afraid of change, benefits being reduced, and the new assignments they will be given. The best way to handle this fear is with complete honesty and transparency. Speak with them as soon as possible after acquiring this business and continuously as changes are being made.
They want to get to know you just as you want to get to know them. While you may have purchased individual brand names, logos and business contracts the real value of your company is its employees.
Meet with every executive, manager, and supervisor on a 1 to 1 basis informally to answer questions and begin your relationship positively.
Learn the corporate culture
Pause before you start to improve the business is culture and first, learn what is currently the key factors held dear by your employees and customers.
Instead of starting over with your vision for the firm, instead, use the existing culture as a foundation for your mission statement. You will find that it will be an easier sell for employees and an easier transition for your customers.
Also don’t be surprised that your brilliant new ideas are not adopted immediately. Instead, take time to detail a plan to discuss with your team illustrating how these improvements will benefit the business and the employees in the future.
Carefully plan change
Making a lot of big changes right away is ill advised by all business experts. Sure you’re excited about your new business and are enthusiastic about making it great, however, don’t do this immediately.
Smart entrepreneurs begin their company changes in a way that is the least disruptive to both customers and employees. In this manner, you will find employees more receptive and clients more willing to accept you and your business ideas.
Business acquisition experts recommend that if the company you purchased is generally in good physical health try not to make many changes within the first six months. But if you bought a struggling firm you may need to make moves more quickly to keep talent in your organization and to keep cash flow positive.
Assuming that you may be hiring new people to fill newly created positions be aware of the current personalities and business climate before selecting your candidates. Remember all the current employees are worried about their jobs, and any new hires could be seen as a threat to their livelihood. Additionally, your current employees expect to be promoted into better positions based on their long-term tenure with the company.
Make changes transparently
To smooth the way for change always be as honest and forthright as possible. Detail yours for processes of why you are instituting these changes. This will help people understand your rationale for these new business practices. It will help your team to buy into your vision and mission statement.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.