THE FIRST STEPS AFTER YOU BUY A BUSINESS
Itís One Thing to Buy A Business, Now You Have To Run It! The first 90 days after you close on a business purchase will prove to be the most critical time in you new ventureís short-term future. There are several key factors that done right will set the foundation for your success. It is very important for you to lay out your plan for post closing before you take over so as to ensure the smoothest transition possible.
you have an intimate knowledge of the business and the industry, much, if not
everything will be new to you. While it is normal for you to jump in full steam
ahead and implement many changes that youíve thought about, the best thing
that you can do is nothing, at least at the very beginning.. Thatís right, no
major changes at all, at least for now. Most businesses experience a downturn in
the first three to six months after a new owner takes over. Donít panic, it
can happen. However, if you avoid any substantial changes, things should
so much is new, it would be impossible for you to set forth any policies or
procedures that make sense. What you want to do is to first learn the business,
who are the customers, what do they want and expect, understand the employees
and determine their role and contribution to the business. Avoid drastic
changes. The old saying that youíve got to learn before you can earn is most
applicable in this situation.
in, get comfortable, get smart and then get going.
The Sellerís Role
there will be a period immediately after the acquisition where the former owner
will be around for a transition period. This varies from deal to deal. In some
cases, it can be as short as a couple of weeks while others may involve a
long-term training period and even an ongoing consultation/employment
relationship. This can be a difficult time. Regardless of the length of the
relationship, keep in mind that the seller will still have a very strong
attachment to the business and the employees will take some time getting used to
a new boss.
enough, many sellers do not make it through the entire training period.
Sure they have a role to offer some insights but quite frequently they're
more of a hindrance than an asset. Of course, if itís a complicated business
then this may not always hold true. If the business is far too difficult for you
to take over, or, if it relies on them completely to succeed, you probably
shouldnít buy it.
their brains as best you can. Always keep the relationship friendly; you never
know when youíll need them and they can remain a good source for brainstorming
down the road. However, this is now your business, youíre the new boss, itís
your show, and itís time to get the show on the road.
a comprehensive list of everything that you want them to cover during training.
This includes everything from how to operate the alarm systems down to providing
you with their evaluation of the employees. One subject that should be covered
at length is to ask them what they would do in your situation. Ask them to
outline what their business plan would like and what things that they feel you
should explore as the new owner.
the first couple of weeks, let them keep their office as is. Set yourself up
alongside them as watch what it is that they do each day. Observe the flow of
communication with clients, employees, etc. Continually ask questions. Do not
simply allow them to do their job as they did before; you need answers so
up a meeting the first day with all the employees. These people are naturally
going to be nervous about you, their job and their future. Most people abhor
change so be sympathetic to their situation. No matter what plans you have, let
are no major changes planned|
are very optimistic about the businessí future|
one of them has a role to plan|
eager to build the business|
are available to speak to them at any time regarding any concerns they have|
are expected to contribute to the success of the business.|
counting on their support to build the business|
realize that there will be a transition period and it may take some time for
them to get used to you and vice versa.|
objective of the first meeting is to set their minds at ease. Open up the floor
to questions. Do not worry if not a single person has a question; theyíre
nervous so donít interpret this as anything other than a demonstration of
their anxiety. Donít feel pressured to reply to anything that you havenít
thought through and never make any promises simply to win them over.
Itís Time To Get Busy!
youíve got the transition period completed, the employees are feeling
positive, youíve reviewed their reports, itís now time to get down to
the Place Your Own
Get the place cleaned up. Throw on a new coat of bright paint, have everyone clean up their work areas, remove old files and throw out unwanted furniture, old posters, etc. Give the place a new look. You do not have to spend much money at all. Set the standard by keeping your work area spotless. Thereís no need to be a mess no matter what your prior work habits were. You cannot expect any employee to do anything different than you so if you want to run a well oiled, organized business, it all starts with you.
Learn the Business and What Oils the Engine
the most critical thing you can do in your initial tenure is to really learn the
guts of the business. The answers are readily available but you have to ask the
questions. Make it your goal to speak with customers, suppliers, employees,
competitors and anyone else associated with the business to get a true picture
about the business and the industry and where you fit in. Generally, the
customers have the answers and quite often businesses do an awful job of
satisfying the clients. They may think they do but the truth is that most
donít. As such, dig into your customerís wants so that you position the
business as a place where they want to do business.
employees are a pivotal link in this process. Get them involved. They will be
far more effective carrying out plans they have helped develop than they will
executing strategies that have been dumped on them.
upon employee reports and fact finding, compile a detailed listing of everything
you want to do in the business, eventually. You canít do it overnight.
However, by noting these potential items, your business plan will begin to
marinate. Work at organizing your list by the area within the business (sales,
marketing, accounting, operations, etc.) and keep it up to date.
Develop a 30/60/90 day plan for each specific area of the business. Follow up diligently to ensure timelines are respected. Change does not have to be monumental or drastic; itís improvement that youíre striving to achieve.
Sell Off Useless Assets
If the business has acquired useless inventory, equipment, or any other obsolete asset, then get rid of it. Thereís no need to keep any assets around that take up space and do not produce revenue.
In concern with step two, assemble the marketing plan for the business. Keep in mind that market is without a doubt the simplest thing to do in a business and something that is made overly complicated by most companies. Marketing is simply a matter of finding out what the customers want, and then giving it to them at terms that make sense to you and them. You may buy a business that excels at marketing which is great. However, marketing also requires continuous testing and measuring. So even if theyíre great at it, make certain that you set forth additional strategies within this discipline.
Business Plan can prove to be an invaluable document and a blue print for
success, Therefore, it is needed but must be done correctly. A business plan
does not have to be a long document. Done right and it can be a
bullet point description of:
you want to do|
is going to do it|
itís going to get done|
is it going to be completed|
youíre set. Youíve got a solid understanding of the business. You know what
the customers want. You have a plan to deliver it. Your employees are sold on
you; theyíve contributed to the companyís plan. Focus like a laser beam and
execute. Measure absolutely everything. Strive to get better in every way and
everyday! If you constantly think about how you can make your business bigger,
better and faster then you cannot help but be successful!
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