After much deliberation and deciding you should sell your business, there’s a delicate task that you need to do next: telling your employees. Selling the business creates implications on your and the employees’ livelihood. If you’re unsure how to go about telling your team that you’re selling the business, follow these guidelines to keep this process considerate of your employees. You may even avoid mistakes that could jeopardize the sale.
Wait Until The Transaction Is Final
Always wait until after the sale is finalized before disclosing you’re selling the business to your workers. If you’ve worked with a business broker throughout the selling process, they should have explained the importance of confidentiality around the sale. Telling employees too early can worry them to jump ship and leave your business, impacting its value and the sale potential. Employees may also tell suppliers or customers prematurely, leaving them to believe your business might be doing poorly if you’re selling.
Have Your Answers and Timeline Prepared
Know that your employees will be worried about their job security and have their concerns under new management. Confidently addressing those immediate questions helps to calm employees’ fears. Have a timeline ready to let everyone know when they should expect the change to take place.
Introduce the New Owner Sooner Than Later
If part of the sale deal included retaining current employees, the new owner should be just as eager to meet their new team. Employees can take some of their questions directly to the new owner to further address their pressing concerns about the change as it affects them. If you are directly introducing the buyer to your staff, emphasize the role each employee plays in the business operations. Your workers can feel better about their job security if you can vouch for their capabilities.
Tell Key Managers and Associates First
Involving key managers and associates in the change is critical to getting the rest of the employees on board. Tell these people first about selling the business and to work out a plan for telling everyone else. Keeping the managers in the know will help them respond when other employees come to them with questions.
Don’t Make Promises
Ultimately, the buyer and new business owner will have the final say on changes they make to the business. Negotiate with the new owner to keep any agreements you made concerning employee affairs. However, don’t guarantee anything to employees since you won’t hold decision-making power anymore.
Work 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.