Why grow a business from the ground up when you can buy someone else’s? If you’re an entrepreneur considering a takeover of another business, you’ll likely have a lot on your mind right now. Is the valuation right? Why are they selling? Will I be able to bring my ideas to life? Will I lose all of their clients? Although the truth is that buying a business does not come without its risks, with the right strategy you’re sure to find success. Below, we’ve put together some things you need to consider to ensure your takeover goes without a hitch…
Introducing yourself to staff
Perhaps one of the most important things you need to prepare for is introducing yourself to your new members of staff. Remember that they’ll be stuck in their ways, and the idea of a new leader entering the fold will likely fill them with dread and concern, so being able to give them the reassurance they need, as well as make a good first impression and get them on your side, will be tough. Be transparent, be friendly, and listen to their concerns; without the staff, the business you’re buying would be nothing, so it pays to put in the time and energy.
Explaining the transition to clients
Another important task that you’ll want to tick off your list sooner rather than later is explaining the transition to your clients. As a small business, you might want to sit down with your clients individually to let them know that you’re the new CEO, and any changes you’re planning to make, or you could go the other way and not mention the change. Ultimately, this depends on the relationship your business and staffers already have with existing clients.
Outsourcing jobs done in-house
Although you won’t want to make any sweeping changes to your business overnight, you might want to consider outsourcing some jobs that are currently done in-house to optimize your resources and improve efficiency. A firm offering facilities management services, for example, could assist with cleaning, grounds maintenance, and security, freeing up your team to work on more client projects. Small changes like this can result in significant results.
Changing the company’s branding
It’s natural to want to put your own stamp on a business when taking it over, but the truth is that you should exercise caution and go slowly – if you make too many changes in too short a time, your customers and staff will both feel disengaged and could even consider looking elsewhere for employment and services. We recommend keeping the branding the same for at least a year until you’ve settled into your new role and then considering your options.
Reviewing your progress
Finally, it’s important to set aside some time to review your progress. Although you don’t want to micromanage yourself or set ambitious goals and targets in the first few months, you should schedule a review at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after your takeover to see how you’re getting on, comparing your performance to the previous owners’ performance. This will ensure you’re on the right track, tweaking your strategy as you go to maximize results.
Do you have any other tips? Let us know and check back soon for more.