When and how do I tell my Employees that I am selling my business?
There are always cases with special circumstances but the vast majority of the time it is best to wait until the sale is near closing. I want to make sure all purchase contingencies have been satisfied, financing is in place, all the money is in escrow, and the landlord has accepted my buyer and provided their signature on the lease assignment.
What are the reasons for waiting?
1. The main reason is that employees always tend to become insecure about their position with the company and the new owner. Am I still going to have a job after the business sales? Is the new owner going to replace me with someone else or a family member? Will I get along with the new owner?
All these questions come into the employees mind and more times than not, someone will quit on you and many times with no notice.
2. Another main concern is that the employees will tell your customers that you are selling your business while you are still in escrow. Customers come to your business because they like your product and or your service that you provide. They get concerned that they may not get the same level of product or service from a buyer they have not yet met. We all have competitors. Many of your customers will start using your competition. This can lead to your buyer noticing your business slowing down and the buyer can get remorseful and want to cancel.
3. Employees can spook your buyer by saying the wrong things and cost you a sale.
Both employees and customers get apprehensive about this "unknown factor". They don't know who the new owner is and always anticipate the worst.
Wait until the last few days before closing escrow to tell them.
How do I tell my employees?
After being sure your deal is solid and very close to closing (a few days away), I like to call an employee meeting.
At this meeting I want to have my buyer present. Prior to the meeting I will inform the buyer on how I want to conduct the meeting and what I want him to say. As the seller I still want to control the meeting. I want my buyer to say that they will not be making any big changes in the business. They should inform the employees that they all still have their same positions and schedules, with the same pay rates. Meeting the buyer and hearing that everything will stay the eases their fears. It also puts a face on the buyer. They see the buyer is not a monster. They then can ease your customer's fears too.
If your business has a Liquor License, you should have this employee meeting the day before you post the ABC public notice poster. Once this 30 day ABC posting goes up in your window, the cats out of the bag. The worst thing to do is post your business and bury your head in the sand. Customers and employees will ask questions about the buyer so be proactive and handle this with a meeting. Once your employees are comfortable about the buyer, they naturally communicate a good message about the buyer to the customers. It makes the transition much smoother for everybody.
For over 25 years Peter Siegel, MBA has been providing niche business purchase financial advisory and loan placement services with SBA Loans, Non SBA Financing, Retirement Plan Conversions, Note Restructures, etc. Call me regarding business purchase financing and to get pre-qualified: 925-785-3118.
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I am the Founder Of BizBen.com. I consult daily with intermediaries, business buyers, owner/sellers & advisors daily about buying and selling California small to mid-sized businesses. Contact me today about joining & utilizing BizBen, consultations, & advisory services.
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If your business involves alcoholic beverage sales, we can help. Obtaining a liquor license transfer or selling a business with a license in California does not have to be a frustrating and overwhelming process. We have procured thousands of licenses for our clients.
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Laundry consulting, due diligence, buyer representation: We preview laundries for you and evaluate them. 28 years laundry industry experience: buying, selling, valuing, retooling, analyzing, consulting services for laundry buyers and entrepreneurs in California. Contact us today about our services.
I am an experienced entrepreneur, attorney, & business professor. I & my EvergreenGold® team offer business owners sound advice & expertise to build business value & achieve profitable sales. Call me today for a business evaluation & SWOT analysis for your business anywhere in the USA.
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
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