Tips for a Great Start When Buying a Business

You did your due diligence, closed the deal, and now you’re in the hot seat! Where to from here?

Chances are you’ve prepared a comprehensive business plan, mapping out how you’ll execute your first months of ownership. However, it’s important to remember that this plan is a guide only, a live document. Refer to it, refine and adapt it according to what is happening in real-time. As we well know, everything rarely goes according to plan.

For a great start in your new business, you’ll need to think on your feet, be agile and open to moving in the direction that best serves your business.

Structure for success

Your objective – always have the right people in the right jobs, even if it means letting some good people go. Easier said than done but crucial to your productivity and ultimately, your success. Changes to your business model or processes will likely impact specific roles. Some roles will become redundant, while others will require skills outside of an existing staff member’s core competency. Holding onto a staff member because you can’t face letting them go is not a sound business decision, nor is having someone working in a role that doesn’t align with their skill set. 

Establish and refine your processes

For every function in your business, there must be a documented process – performance reviews, sales targets, accounting procedures, business goals, onboarding new staff – clearly defined methods establish a unified direction and ensure consistency and accountability. Your company’s growth and success depend on how effective your processes are.

Be patient

Be conservative in your projections and have the patience to let them unfold. Nothing ever goes according to plan and usually takes longer than you expect. Build contingencies into your projections; this will allow for flexible timeframes, save you from disappointment and prepare you to deal with sudden changes or matters beyond your control, should they arise.

Move with the market

Keep a close eye on your market. You can be sure that your competitors are! Refer to your offering. Does your service or product meet your consumers needs? Is your business model still relevant, or does it need to be refreshed to reflect a shift in the market? Failure to adapt and keep pace with the market could have a catastrophic effect on your company.

Have a flexible mindset

No matter the circumstances of your purchase, you’re entering an established business; don’t assume that which worked well in your previous work environment will be a good fit for your new company. Don’t be in a hurry to redefine the culture, core values, mission statement or processes. Take the time to assess these elements, how they best serve the business and align with your leadership plans. 

Tap into external resources

Don’t be afraid to seek answers or advice from external sources. Grab yourself a business mentor, join a business community or tap into one of the many free online resources available to you. There’s no sense in trying to carve a path if someone else has mapped it out ahead of you. Reaching out for advice could save you a lot of valuable time and keep you from making costly mistakes.

Have ready access to all essential documents 

The first few months in business will involve a period of intense learning; it’s likely that the previous owner will have agreed to a handover period and will be on hand to answer all your questions and train you on the job. Still, it pays to have ready access to all important documentation so you may cross-reference it when needed. 

Examples include:

  • Lease agreement
  • Employee contracts
  • Tax returns and financial records dating back 3-5 years
  • Supplier contracts
  • Licence documents or certification
  • Sale and Purchase agreement

Before you bought this business, you took the time to make sure that it was your best fit; it makes sense that you chart your course in the direction of success. Of course, you’ll get things wrong, and sometimes, things won’t go your way. But, if you keep these tips in your back pocket, you’ll be positioned to roll with the punches, catch opportunity when it presents itself and build a successful entity.

All LINK brokers receive rigorous, industry-leading training so that you get sound, smart advice, supported by real-world experience and the highest professional standards. 

Contact your nearest LINK office to have a confidential discussion with one of our experienced brokers.