In this series of lessons learned, we address key learnings in the areas of timing, people, finance, legal and customers to provide a sense of how to prepare and what to expect if you are considering selling your company.
In the first lesson, we talked about the way timing can affect the sale of your company, Now, let’s discuss people.
In a nutshell, a successful sale relies on how you treat your people. It is critical to ensure that you take care of your team before, during, and after a transaction.
People are critical to success – don’t overlook their needs or their value.
- During the preliminary stages of a sale, keep your circle small with only highly trusted employees to avoid a rampant rumour mill. These key people may be integral in the preparations for the sale.
- Be open and transparent with them and ensure that they understand the confidential nature of the requests you are making. There are likely huge opportunities for many people as the changes go forward.
- We have seen sellers develop plans to share the wealth with their valued employees. As a result, these employees went the extra mile to execute a timely transaction while continuing to build the company’s value proposition as the sale progressed.
- When the timing is right, advise your staff. Be certain to develop and deliver a clear communication plan to share what is going to be happening moving forward.
Buyers Acquire For Talent
Remember that in some cases, buyers acquire a business for its talent more than its products or potential. It may be possible to map out a path for the key people within your acquirer. Be certain to discuss what the acquirer wants to do so that you can build a plan for those who will transition to a new organization, and just as importantly, for those who will not.
After a transaction, successful acquirers continue to listen to their employees, both hired and acquired, to ensure that they are all brought into the overall organization’s employee value proposition. Be willing to help them with that transition.
People are the heart of your organization. Proper planning and communication will ensure you don’t miss a beat.