What Should I Do After Acquiring A Business?

One of my favorite sayings is “the only constant is change.” This saying certainly holds true in the business realm where it seems that the mandate is also “growth and go.”

Experience seems to show that upon the purchase of a business the new owner needs to roll-up his or her sleeves and really get to work.

The following steps, as noted by Business Daily, help to summarize a recommended agenda for a new business owner to focus on:

  1. Do an audit of the existing processes and practices: "Regardless of the entrepreneur's background and the amount of due diligence conducted prior to an acquisition, the entrepreneur will never truly understand the business until he or she starts to operate it," said Michael B. Shaw, chair of Much Shelist law firm's business and finance group. "Every company is unique, and an entrepreneur needs to truly understand that business before deciding what changes to make."
  2. Communicate with the existing staff members: Mark Davis, CEO of Puro Clean, said one of the biggest challenges a new owner will face after an acquisition is fear throughout all levels of the organization.
  3. Study and understand the company culture: Before you try to improve or alter the company culture, stop and analyze the existing culture to understand the key factors that led to the company's success, Shaw said.  "Rather than starting over with [your] vision for the culture, those key factors should form the foundation for the culture's evolution, which should be an organic process," he added.
  4. Plan your changes carefully: Making numerous, significant changes right away isn't always the best approach when you acquire a business. Shaw said that although you may be eager to make an impact, big moves like this shouldn't happen overnight. "An entrepreneur should begin implementing his or her changes in a manner that minimizes disruptions to employees and customers," Shaw said.
  5. Be transparent about the changes you're making: Change can be difficult for all parties involved, and people won't always be happy with the decisions you make. The best thing you can do is to be up front and honest about any impending changes and how you arrived at them, said Matt Moss, a franchise owner of Dogtopia.

In conclusion, I think it’s fair to say that the single most important factor a new owner should give attention to is communication. Fear of the unknown can be remedied by working on eliminating things that are unknown, and good communication is a crucial part of that.

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