You’ve just left the closing table, and now you are the proud owner of your very own small business. Is it time to celebrate? Sure, but you also need to hit the ground running.
Why? I’ve bought an existing business, how hard can it be to just take over the seller’s responsibilities?
Really, really hard – especially if you make the mistake of taking your seller for granted during the previously negotiated training period.
Most training periods are only two weeks long, and learning every last aspect of your new business in that short amount of time can only happen if you buckle down and take full advantage of the plethora of information a seller has to give you.
You need to learn how to do things as simple as unlocking all of the doors and disarming the alarms to as difficult as how to put together the weekly payroll. You need to learn what licenses you will need to renew and when, how to set up and pay for utilities, how to order new inventory, how to run the website and social media accounts, what customers are regulars and what they expect, who the staff are and what they bring to the table, where all of the supplies are kept… you get the idea. It’s a lot.
The list is seemingly endless, but it is absolutely manageable in the typical two week training period – you as a buyer just have to make the most of every second of that two weeks.
Why can’t I just have a much longer training period?
First and foremost because if you apply yourself, two weeks is plenty of time. Secondly, it isn’t fair to keep a seller tied to a business they no longer own for longer than 99% of new business owners are able to learn the reins.
What about the 1% who didn’t learn the reins in two weeks? What happened there?
To be completely honest, buyers who weren’t able to get it together in a typical two weeks just didn’t try. They let the seller continue to run the business for that first two weeks like the seller was going to be there forever. They didn’t bother showing up, didn’t bother putting together a list of questions and didn’t work side by side with the seller to see everything they do and why. When the two weeks were up they were handed the keys to a business they knew almost nothing about – then blamed everyone but themselves for the mess they were now in.
The lesson here is that no one knows your new business better than the person you just bought it from – so use your training period to absorb every last drop of information you can from them, before it’s too late.
Are you considering buying a business and think two weeks isn’t enough time for training? Would you like to know more about the business buying process? Please ask us! Leave any questions or concerns here and we would be happy to help.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907