There comes a time when in every business owners life when they need to or feel like they have to pass on, or pass down their business to other members of their family, be it their sons and daughters or nieces and nephews. Personally I have had a business handed down to me, and I passed a business onto new owners, and let me tell you the process is far from clean cut, simple and easy.
Passing down a business requires preparation and planning as there are so many areas to consider from costs to staffing, not to mention the history of the business. When I passed down my business I knew how hard it was mainly to let go of the control I had over it. Even though I knew it was time for me to find the business new owners it still made the process no easier. It was like sending a child off to college or watching them leave home.
When I prepared my business to be passed on to new owners I thought long and hard about what needed doing. For example I made sure all my business and financial accounts were in date and up to date, I also made sure to let my longstanding and valued customers know in advance that the business would be having new customers, as to me their trust and custom is what my business was centred around. As well as these basics I had to prepare to hand over the reins. I did this gradually, initially by letting the new owners handle sales calls and transactions, to letting them manage the premises for hours, and then days on end. For me, it was personally about making sure they knew the business as well as I did. Even the software that I used is being considered. For example, ticket management system is specifically designed to organize issues. This will help the new owner in his or her business operation.
When I passed my business down I knew roughly how stressful and time consuming the whole process was as one of my businesses was passed down to me by a member of family. Witnessing the process allowed me to get an insight as to how I should manage the changeover.
When it comes to planning and getting your business ready for the next generation or a new set of owners you have to know your business in and out. There will be lots of questions that the new owners will ask, so you have to ensure you have all the answers to hand. You also need to know how and when to hand over control of your business and its assets. Handing over control may sound easy enough, but you have to be prepared, as it is tougher than you think. So, with this in mind brace yourself, and handover your business bit by bit to ensure you do it at a pace you are comfortable with.