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  • Writer's pictureDave Fuller

12 Things You Need to Do AFTER Buying a Business

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Negotiating a deal and buying a business is an exciting time for entrepreneurs, however what you do in the first few months after your acquisition can play a critical role

in your future success or possible failure. Let's face it you have a lot riding on this investment so you want to make sure to get it right!! Here are some tips on what you might consider doing in the first days, weeks and months of your business ownership that will help set you up for success.

  1. Work with the previous owner to ensure a smooth transition - While your letter of intent and contract of purchase and sale of the business will outline the amount of support you get from the sellers; you will want to make the most of this time. Ask lots of questions and take lots of notes. This is precious time, don’t let it go to waste. Have a list ready of questions that you want answers to and knowledge you need to know.

  1. Have a communication Plan ready to go. Once you have removed your subjects you should start working with the current owners about how and when you are going to communicate with the staff, suppliers and customers about the transition. Having a communications plan, even if it is simple, is critical.

  1. Meet with your staff - Your new team is going to be nervous when they hear that the owners have sold the business. Imagine what it must feel like when someone new is taking over the business. They are worried that they might lose their job, that there will be cutbacks, new wage schemes, and new work requirements. Most people are fearful of change and your purchase of the business has the potential for considerable change in their lives. Put them at ease by sharing your vision for the business. Let them get to know you and empower them to grow your business. Yes, change will come but before you make significant changes to your staff, you will need to know who is key to the success of your new business.

  1. Contact your vendors: Your vendors like your staff are going to be wary of change. They had a relationship with the previous owner and will be unsure of you. You will need to establish credit and trust. This may require lines of credit or credit cards. In some cases, your vendors may not want to extend credit or the same terms as they did to the previous owners. It will take work to ensure that it is business as usual.

  1. Ensure The Business Can Operate: You will immediately need to make sure that your doors stay open in the transition and that you are getting paid. To do this you will need some basic business

    1. Get your Bank Set up and ensure you can take money. This will include deposits from your point of sale and merchant credit card accounts.

    2. Ensure your payroll is set up properly- Your new staff will want to be paid and failure to do so will have catastrophic consequences.

    3. Business Insurance is necessary and you will want to have this in place. It may take a week or so to get a couple of quotes. Check with the sellers to see if the insurance can be transferred over to you. At a minimum find out who they have purchased insurance from and the cost so you have a reference point.

    4. Tax accounts. Governments frown on businesses that don’t pay taxes. Having your accountant set up your tax accounts is important.

    5. Business Licenses: Most municipalities require businesses to have a business license. Ensuring that you have the right permits to operate your business will save you plenty of grief.

This should get you through the first week…but over the upcoming months you will want to:

  1. Meet your key customers, and put them at ease

  2. Ensure your record keeping is working and your files are kept up to date and following processes that have been established and are the foundation of your new business.

  3. Review your customer service policies to ensure that your customers are feeling the love.

  4. Learn the business so that you can consider ways to trim the fat in the future. Making changes too quickly may be a mistake, however making notes about questions you might have about certain aspects of the business as you see them provides great discussions with the previous owner during their time of support.

  5. Develop a marketing plan: You have communicated with your team by now, but letting the world know about the business will be important and a marketing plan is crucial to that success.

  6. Create a 90 day plan for your new team: Sitting down with your new management team and coming up with a 90 day plan that looks at what is working well, not working and needs to change and then picking 3-4 things you can do over the next 90 days sets the team in motion.

  7. Get Financial updates and Meet with your Bankers: So now the business has been operating with you as the CEO for a few weeks or months, put your investors at ease by giving them an update.

Of course, there are other little details that are unique to each business purchase. However, the key is knowing what you are going to be doing in the first few hours, days and weeks of the takeover. Business ownership and acquisition can be exciting and profitable. Having a plan will reduce your stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Dave Fuller, is a Commercial and Business Realtor as well as an award-winning business coach and business author. Questions or comments email

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