Often people start celebrating as soon as they acquire new business. While it is a great achievement when people have successfully acquired a new business, and they have every reason to celebrate, but the first 90 days will prove crucial if you want to make sure that your new business runs smoothly. It is important for you that you lay down each and everything in front of you and then plan accordingly. What you do next also varies depending on the type of business you have acquired.
For instance, if you have taken over a franchise, you will not be free to make a lot of changes. But if you have taken over an independent company, you will be able to implement fresh and new ideas. In any case, you cannot burn the existing business down and then start from scratch. This way, you will lose the trust and respect of the staff of the existing business- which you are going to need if you want to leave an impact on them. To ensure the smooth running of your business after you have acquired it, following are some steps you should follow:
Perform an audit
You must have gathered information about how your new company worked when you were planning on acquiring it. While it may seem like you have learned everything about it, once you have acquired it, you will come to know that there are still a lot of things of which you are unaware. So you will want to spend the first few weeks by knowing the business from inside out. Each company is unique.
Therefore, you must truly understand its nature before deciding on the changes you need to make. A lot of professionals recommend doing an audit at this point. This is recommended to identify any key gaps. This is especially true for people who have bought startups. If you can afford it, you can also hire a third party to audit security processes, review your systems, and look for any weaknesses in them.
Don’t implement changes just yet
If you are unaware of how businesses work, then everything is going to be new for you. That is why it is understandable why you would want to implement a lot of changes that you had thought of when you were acquiring this business. But the best course of action here would be to do nothing, especially in the beginning. After a new person takes over a new business, most of the business are reported to experience downturns in the first three to six months.
If this also happens with you, you don’t have to panic. If you haven’t changed anything, this will pass over rather quickly. The most important thing here is learning about the business: who are the customers? What are their expectations? Understanding employees and how they contribute to your business. Always remember that the steps you take don’t need to be big; they just have to take you in the right direction.
We have already mentioned how important the first few days of your new business are going to be. Things will happen unexpectedly; you will face some difficulties in managing it. At this point, you might even need to hire a support team to help with your daily transactions. If everything feels overwhelming and your budget allows it, you can outsource a support team to help you.
The key to running a successful business is how much your customers are satisfied with your offering. A lot of people pay attention to other departments, such as marketing and financing, more than a customer service department. While it is true that all departments need to have an excellent staff, the customer service department is equally important, if not more. Hiring a managed customer support team that will help customers every step of the way will have nothing but a positive result.
Keep the existing staff members in the loop
It is a known fact that acquisitions do not sit well with the existing staff of the company that you have acquired. You might not have the funds to keep everyone on board since you would be planning on bringing some staff of your own. This is one of the biggest challenges you might face. All the employees would be living in constant fear.
The solution, however, is pretty simple. Talk to your employees. Be transparent with them. You need to do this as soon as you acquire a new company. Tell them that you are interested in them and get to know what they expect from you. During the first few months, you should talk to every team member of every department. A lot of professionals have done this process as early as within 24 hours of the announcement of the acquisition. The new owner needs to meet employees on all levels.
Understand the company’s culture
Different organizations have different cultures. You might not like the culture of the company you have acquired, but there is no need to change it right away. You need to analyze the culture first. This is especially true if you have acquired a company which was successful.
A lot of experts say that after one has successfully acquired a new company, he should carefully study the company’s culture. He should analyze the regulations and respect the processes due to which the company became successful in the first place. You do not need to change anything if it doesn’t bother you. Even if you want to change something, develop a plan that explains how the suggested changes are going to work in favour of the organization, and then present it forward.
Be ready for questions
At the end of the day, taking over a new business is a tiring process. There are a lot of things that change when you acquire a new business. Even after a few months, if employees are asking questions or resisting change, don’t be alarmed. The best course of action to do here is to listen to their queries and make them understand whatever they are having trouble with.
Always remember that change can be difficult for all the involved parties. People will not always be happy with the decisions you are going to make. But if you be transparent with them, tell them that the change you are implementing is going to work in the company’s favour, then they might not feel so hostile. Customers and employees are more accepting to change when you include them in the processes.