Acquisition complete... now what?

You’re now a new successful business owner. You’ve gone through all the steps, finalised the purchase, and can proudly say you own an established company that generates revenue and a reputation to its name. But now what?

You may be brimming with ideas for change and ways in which to scale the business, but it’s important you assess your limitations and know exactly what your next steps are before going forward. It goes without saying that getting rid of the existing business model and starting from scratch is not wise – just think about the staff and capital you’ve acquired.

To ease the transition, your focus must be on the workforce, the powerhouse of your business. As the new boss, you must be in their good graces and earn their trust to safeguard the reputation of the business and continue its success.

Not sure where to get started? Let us give you a few pointers.

Conduct audits
No amount of due diligence, entrepreneurial skill or pre-ownership assessment will prepare you for the knowledge needed to really run your new business from its core. For this reason, it’s worthwhile conducting audits of all the company’s existing protocols and practices. How else will you know what changes need to be made?

Perhaps most important is to look at the existing security measures in place, as well as the systems presently used to understand the platforms on which the business is run. How user friendly and secure are they? What sort of authentication systems are used, and what is the management like? Only once you are aware of the internal functions and processes will you be able to make progress in terms of changes and improvements.

Often, existing staff members can feel neglected in the acquisition process as they are usually left out of the loop. To avoid your staff turning sour upon your entry as the new boss, it’s best to keep them engaged and have honest communication channels with the whole workforce. Learning the company’s current culture and ethics is extremely important in understanding the running of the business from the ground up.

Engage in both verbal and written communication, and set up an FAQ system to keep the discussions transparent for both parties. You need to show your staff that you are not opposing them, but rather are on their side to encourage organic growth in the most prosperous manner possible.

Careful changes
Don’t throw yourself into the deep (an acquisition is already a big deal!) by getting ahead of yourself with hundreds of new changes and plans. It’s impossible to achieve meaningful change overnight, so it’s worth starting small and working your way up.

Successful business leaders often suggest waiting at least six months before implementing change; careful evaluation of the situation beforehand, and planning and keeping enough time aside to research the business is more valuable as the first point of action. Furthermore, you do not want to negatively impact the business’s health by making too rapid of a change.

Be transparent
Being totally open with your employees and frank about the vision you have for the company will be greatly appreciated by all those around you, and will allow them to share and contribute as well. Carefully planning for change with the support of your staff will ensure that the dream is met eventually, with the steam of everyone around you, making the change all the more worth it.

Buying and owning a business is only the first step. With all the changes you have planned and the scope you have for growth, it’s important to remember that you need to have your staff behind you to achieve the full potential of your business.