The Next Phase of Selling Your Business: Should You Continue Working?

By: | Category: Company

You’ve decided you want to sell the business but want to move to the next phase, continue to work, and make a meaningful contribution.

One of the most important decisions you will make in the process of selling your business is whether you want to continue to work, and work for the acquiring company. In this session I will share key learnings and the “do’s” and “dont’s” about that decision.

Do # 1: The first objective would be to find a buyer who has an organizational scale and a demonstrated record of sustained and profitable growth. Sustained success in these areas is a direct result of knowledgeable and stable leadership. These companies have an insatiable need for experienced resources and are constantly looking to add qualified resources to their teams.

Do #2: Once you find a qualified buyer, it is important that you spend time thinking about, and defining, what role and function would be the best utilization of your skills, competencies, and experiences. This reflection must also consider the role that would bring you the greatest personal satisfaction, including whether you would like to be an individual contributor or in a position of management and leadership. Do this before any discussions with the buyer about a role.

Do #3: Once that is done, you are prepared to engage the acquiring entity in that discussion. Ensure that you spend the requisite time identifying and discussing potential roles with the buyer. In some past transactions, the role that the seller ended up with did not exist at the time and was created during this process. That is why it is so critical for Do #2 to be completed before this step.

Do #4: Finally, assess cultural fit. Ask to meet with current employees in the functional area of interest, along with conversations with other key leaders, to determine what the culture of the company is and what success may look like for the role. This is an important task in determining your level of understanding of the role, your excitement for it, and your ability to succeed.

Experience has shown that finding a role at another company that is a good fit for selling principals can be challenging – very simply, you will no longer be the founder and/or principal owner. That makes following a structured approach (above) critical and reduces the risk of accepting a role that is not positive for either party.

It is important that the role is challenging and fulfilling while you make the visible and meaningful contribution you seek.

My next blog post will discuss the “do’s” and “dont’s” of conducting an effective Due Diligence process for the seller.

If you have any immediate needs or want to schedule a meeting to discuss your specific business, please don’t hesitate to email me today.