Employees May Welcome the Sale of a Business
Many sellers worry that employees might “hit the panic button” when they learn that a business is up for sale. Yet, mergers and acquisitions specialist Barbara Taylor thinks employees might welcome the news of a possible sale. In the article, “Selling Your Business? 3 Reasons Why Your Employees Will Be Thrilled,” Taylor cited the three reasons she believes employees might be excited by the prospect of a sale.
1. Job Security. Some employees may get nervous when they hear that a business is up for sale. When she was selling her business, Taylor said she was concerned that her employees might “pack up their bags and leave once we (the owners) had permanently left the building.” In fact, most employees did stay on after the sale. She wrote, “Our employees weren’t loyal to us, they were loyal to the business that we’d built: the brand, the reputation and values it represented, the quality of the product and service, the work environment and the customer base.”
While employees may worry that a new owner will “come in and fire everyone” the opposite is usually the case. Usually, the new owner is worried that everyone will quit and tries to ensure the opposite outcome. But business owners should assure their employees that a new owner will likely mean enhanced job security, as the new owner is truly dependent on the expertise, know-how and experience that the current employees bring to the table.
2. Opportunities for Career Advancement
The size of your business will, to an extent, dictate the opportunities for advancement. However, if a larger entity buys your business then it is suddenly possible for your employees to have a range of new career advancement opportunities. As Taylor points out, if your business goes from a “mom and pop operation” to a mid-sized company overnight, then your employees will suddenly have new opportunities before them.
3. New Growth, Energy and Ideas
A new owner is almost certainly going to bring in new energy to a business. Taylor worked with a 72-year-old business owner who confessed she was exhausted and knew “she wasn’t running the business on all cylinders.” This business owner believed that a new owner would bring new ideas and new energy and, as a result, the option for new growth.
How employees react to a business sale depends upon how information is presented. Don’t assume that your employees may panic if you sell your business. The simple fact is that if you provide them with the right information, your employees may see a wealth of opportunity in the sale of your business. A professional business broker can help guide you through the rights steps to take to assure a smooth transition when selling your business.
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