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Aug 14, 201812:33 PMExit Stage Right

with Martha Sullivan

What happens after the champagne is popped?

(page 1 of 2)

Buying a business is an exciting time. The process itself has many different layers and aspects to it. You need to set your goals and objectives first. What is it you are looking to achieve and why? Then comes defining, identifying, and courting your ideal targets. Once you’ve found your match, the focus shifts into performing more due diligence and hammering out the agreements, financing, and other aspects needed for a successful close of the transaction.

Each step along the way demands time, experience, expertise, and a bucketful of patience and perseverance. But then the transaction closes, the champagne bottles pop, and life is good, right?

Well, yes, life is good as a matter of speaking. But your “real work” has just begun. The real work of buying a business starts when you begin planning and preparing for taking on the actual responsibility for running the business. Integrating the new company into other operations, opportunities, and markets is complex. If you’ve waited to put down your champagne glass to get those preparations underway, you’re going to be in a world of hurt.

You want to begin earning the return on your investment in your new business investment as quickly as possible after the ink dries. To make that happen, you need to have planned for the goals and activities for:

  • “Day one”
  • First 90–100 days
  • Year one (and beyond)

Today’s article launches a series on the post-close aspects of buying a company.

“Day one”

The initial days after the close of the transaction are intense. There are many logistical aspects and communication components that demand attention, finesse, and care. Today, we will highlight just three of the mechanical/logistical aspects. (The next post will highlight communication considerations.)

To put day one into perspective, think about the last time you moved and then multiply that 100-fold in terms of the complexities. You have to cut off the phone/internet, water, gas, and electricity at the old place and make sure it’s all turned on at the new. Assuming the transaction is an asset purchase, and most deals are, you must do this same kind of work when buying a company, so services and billings are transferred to the new company.

(Continued)

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About This Blog

Spending half her career as an advisor to privately-held and family businesses and the other half in CFO/COO roles, Martha Sullivan is a partner and the succession planning practice leader in the business transition strategies group at Honkamp, Krueger & Co., P.C. She and her team have extensive experience assisting business owners achieve their personal, business, and transition goals. “Don’t think of the 'exit' from your business like it’s a four-letter word. Make it your next adventure!”

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