Your business is an extension of you. You’ve put time, sweat, and maybe even tears into it, and the decision to sell may be a difficult one. One step that many people overlook in the selling process is discussing it with current employees and clients. It is a stressful time for you, but it is important to handle this carefully. One way to make it easier is to know when to talk to the people around you about the upcoming changes to the business.
In The Beginning
When you first decide to sell, it’s essential to keep the information pretty confidential. Key employees, those you can truly trust not to spread the news, should be told first. These employees may be able to help you prepare for due diligence. They may even be potential buyers, especially if they’ve been with the company for a long time. Once you’ve lined up a serious buyer and have begun negotiating the terms of the sale, you can begin telling your clients, starting with your biggest clients. Be honest about the transition and do what you can to assure them that the new owners will provide the same level and quality of service. Requiring a non-disclosure agreement for these conversations would not be unreasonable to ensure confidentiality and protect your interests and the sale.
Towards The End
Once the terms of the sale have been settled, and confidentiality is not as much of an issue, you should discuss the transition with the rest of your employees. Make sure that you’re clear and transparent about why you’re selling and what the employees can expect of the future. Introduce them to the buyer, their new boss, and keep the conversation positive. Answer questions as best you can and provide reassurance. This is also when you should tell the rest of your clients.
Once The Ink Dries
This is when you can tell pretty much everybody else. This includes your supply chain and the general public. It is important that the public hears about the sale from you. It is crucial that you control the narrative, rather than letting others (especially your competitors) spin the tale of why you chose to sell.
Sell With Atlantic Business Brokerage, Inc.
At Atlantic Business Brokerage, our mission is quite simple; we help sellers sell businesses, and buyers buy businesses! Over the past 30 years, ABBI has facilitated the sale of countless commercial properties, businesses, and franchised locations. With our unparalleled knowledge of the business purchase and sale industry and our network of contacts, we offer services to both buyers and sellers that no other brokerage firm can match.