5 Ways to Make the Transition Easier for Your New Business
Much of the focus on buying a new business is on what happens before the deal is signed.
People often spend loads of time searching for a business to buy that fits their needs. Then, they spend loads of time analyzing numbers and data to see if the business could be a viable endeavor.
Then, they spend loads of time in the various stages of negotiation — from figuring out finances, to completing due diligence, to landing on a final price and terms. Finally, they get to the table and sign off to complete the deal.
What happens in the next stage, though, is perhaps the most important aspect of whether the business will be successful or not — the transition period.
The time immediately following when you become the official business owner is vital to the success of your company. What you do in these first few days, weeks and months can have a huge impact on your business’ long-term performance.
Here are 5 ways you can make this transition smoother.
1. Make Small Changes First
You may be tempted to make major changes as soon as you take ownership of your new company. But, this is often not a great idea. Internally and externally, it’s advisable to make small changes first.
Both employees and customers will already be a little wary of new ownership. As such, there’s no need to shake things up monumentally right away.
You can certainly implement small changes that will improve your branding and serve your customers and employees better, but major changes could ostracize people.
A good idea is to start by rewarding your customers and employees. You could hold a special sale for customers that assures them that they’ll still get a great product or service under new ownership.
You could reward your employees with a bonus, even if it’s small. It doesn’t have to be a straight monetary reward, either. An extra day off could go a long way to gain the support of employees.
2. Meet Your Employees
Make sure to take the time to meet as many employees as possible when you take over your new business. If you are buying a smaller company, host a meeting where you can meet everyone — once it’s safe during the pandemic to do so.
If you are buying a larger company, a virtual meeting where your employees can see your face and hear your voice is a great idea.
Either way, take the time to meet with all of the main departmental leaders in the company. During these meetings, you can educate your employees of your vision for the company and also get their temperature on how things were before you took over.
Pay attention to the feedback your employees give you, and initiate any incremental changes from their suggestions that make sense. Not only will this show your employees you care, but it’ll empower them to take an active role in the company going forward.
3. Boost Morale
Many employees will be worried about their job future under new ownership. Some may start looking for new jobs. Others may suffer from lack of production because of their new anxiety.
Some level of employee turnover is to be expected in any ownership change. It’s simply inevitable.
You won’t be able to prevent some employees from leaving your company, but you should work to limit the exodus of your valuable employees.
When you take over your new company, you should work to boost employee morale as much as possible. Rewarding employees is always a good idea, even if it’s in small ways such as buying lunch for the office.
One thing you should avoid doing is talking negatively about the previous owners in any way. You never know which employees really loved the way things are and are not excited about the changes that are coming.
4. Meet Your Vendors
Your vendors are very important pieces to your business’ puzzle. Having a good relationship with your vendors and suppliers is just as important as having a good relationship with your employees and customers.
Much like your employees and customers, your vendors and suppliers may be a little on edge with a change in ownership — especially if your business is a huge client of theirs. They may be worried about you leaving for a competitor, wanting to adjust the terms of a contract or even not paying on time.
When you take over your new company, reach out to your major vendors and suppliers right away. Introduce yourself and try to set up a meeting with them. This meeting will go a long way in establishing a good relationship right from the get-go.
While you may not be able to have a meeting with each one of your vendors, you should at least try to do so with your major ones. Even still, your smaller vendors deserve some attention, too. Even a simple phone call could make a huge difference in future negotiations.
5. Assess Your Customer Service
Don’t forget that customer service and customer experience (CX) are two of the most important aspects of the future success of your business. Right away, you should assess the current customer service practices of your company.
During this phase, you’ll be simply learning the current practices and making notes as to where you could make improvements. Don’t just make changes on the fly before you have a full understanding of how things are done now, and why they are done that way.
Once you have that understanding, you should talk to both your customer service employees and your customers. Get their input on the quality of the CX (from the customers) and the processes (from employees).
Then, make changes that you think are best to improve the overall experience.
Our best advice? Don’t waste another day and talk to a Sunbelt South Florida broker today!
Sunbelt Business Brokers of West Palm Beach provides dedicated business brokerage services for all of your selling needs. Whether you are an established business owner nearing retirement and looking to sell, or an ambitious entrepreneur seeking your next investment opportunity, there is no reason to look beyond Sunbelt Business Brokers. Visit us at 800 Village Square Crossing
Suite 216 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 or contact us at (561) 832-9222.