For most young entrepreneurs out there getting acquired may be a final goal. You can always dream of the day your brainchild gets acquired by an online business tycoon maybe after one year or ten years (everybody wants to live the Mark Cuban story). But the time in between does not prepare you for the period immediately after the acquisition. And you cannot spend money you do not have! You are not the White House!
The best way to describe the experience is comparing it with a roller coaster ride; there are umpteen ups and downs, however it also comes with a profound sense of loss. Although this loss does not have to mean monetary loss but it is a feeling of bereavement from your creation. Here are a few pointers which should be helpful for you in case of an upcoming acquisition.
Again though, do not start counting your chickens before they hatch!
A major change in your role in the company
If you choose to stay on then be ready for some major changes. Since you are not the proprietor any longer you will be expected to report to someone instead of the other way round. For some marketers, it might be really difficult to be scrutinized or monitored by higher authorities after being their own bosses for prolonged periods of time in the same company.
In this regard, it is very necessary to be objective, you should weigh the pros and cons, and if you think it will be absolutely impossible for you to adjust to the new dynamics, then it is absolutely advisable that you structure your deal which gives you the desired control structure.
Welcome and adapt to the new company culture
It might sound very simple, yet the fusion of two completely different groups of employees from both sides can be extremely difficult. After any kind of merger it should be imperative to offer an adjustment period where the new employees get to know one another and co-create a productive environment.
The culture transition should be made as smooth as plausible since this change is absolutely normal. A better way to keep this smooth and progressing is to open new communication channels while working closely with your teams.
Learning to trust
During and after the acquisition is a challenging time during which new employees become a part of the company. However all smart young businessmen should remember that this factor should not waiver their trust. In order to gain maximum productivity from the old team and new you should closely monitor your team while allowing them to make their own decisions.
Keep your target in sight
Let’s be honest, it is almost impossible to get the right amount of money you had hoped for. But it is important not to beat yourself up once the deal has already been closed. If you are yet to sign the deal and are waiting for the right time, right amount and the right partner to simply land your way, then let us burst your bubble. That almost never happens. It is important that your make economically favorable decisions at the time while utilizing all the information you have and you will obtain the best deal.
You need to continue to work hard every day and do not assume anything. Do not count your chickens before they hatch. First off, if the larger entity sees this they may still make an offer but it will even be lower seeing how eager you are to ride off into the sunset. Do you want your partner(s) and employees to feel that you just cannot wait to take off and leave them? How does that make them feel?
So what’s next?
Now that you have sold your first business that does not mean you need to retire to a country club and bet on puts for the rest of your life. Uncle Sam is going to take his share and he has never been this greedy since he is massively in debt. This is the ideal time for you to analyze and understand the pulse of the market firsthand. Prepare the grounds for a new business venture. But if you are in a mood for a sabbatical you may as well enroll in some business classes or start reading Lee Child books.