WebsiteClosers.com represents owners of businesses in the online industry. As a boutique brokerage focused on representing Sellers of Internet and Digital Businesses, we have noticed that during the process of the sale, there is a never-ending flow of issues requiring answers. We have also been involved in many scenarios where we have personally bought and sold companies. Today our discussion will entail the actual process of transition after the sale – something often overlooked and there are a lot of moving parts that occur along the way. The first step involves discipline. Oftentimes we work with people who, during the process of looking for a business, have a lot of time on their hands. They are either between engagements or working for a company on a 9 – 5 basis with the idea of jumping into business ownership. Either way, you need to prepare for the challenge you are about to undertake.
As you first begin your journey, the first week will feel overwhelming. There is a lot to learn and a normal person will feel an overload of information streaming through their mind. This is to be expected and not to be feared. Each week during your training period, you will absorb more and more of what you need to learn and will begin picking up more on process matters that are happening around you.
As an example, the last time I purchased a company, it was focused on the advertising sector. I had no knowledge or previous experience with this industry, but found it interesting and worth looking into as an investment. The first few days of training I felt lost. The Seller was experiencing health issues and only able to train for a few hours per day. During those first few days, there was a disconnect regarding the ideas and strategies I had intended to employ. It seemed every time we explored those ideas, they were met with resistance and negativity. The logic in the answers I received for why my ideas would not work seemed to be missing. Despite the fact that I had contractually negotiated for several more weeks of training, I decided after the fourth day that I was not interested in further training from the seller and proceeded to notify the seller that going forward I would call her with any questions that I may have. In my situation, there were 15 employees who all knew their positions. I decided that I would learn faster by working directly with each of these employees and learning what they did and their thoughts in a piecemeal fashion. At the end of this period of working with each employee, I realized I did not have the capability of learning within a reasonable time period the tasks they were performing. As an example one position was a graphic design person. My fear, of course, was that what if she quit. Who would fill in to keep the machine running? In order to mitigate risk, I decided to take out an ad for that position and see what the response was. The amount of applicants assured me that there would be no lapse in production in the event of something going wrong.
The direction I am coming from in today’s article is that things may not go as planned and you need to be nimble and creative in your approach to your integration into a new company. Expect long hours in the beginning. Expect to be overwhelmed with data overload and remember that being successful means being savvy, organized, shrewd, and above all, prepared for and manage the disasters that inevitably will come. As you conquer those occurrences, you will realize that they seemed a lot worse that they really were.