The ‘now what’ moment often describes a state in which you’ve achieved your goals and are unsure of the direction you should take next. It is often the moment that precedes a state of confusion during which ill-informed decisions can lead to dramatic consequences. Indeed, most people tend to develop a detailed strategy to reach their objectives, but fail to consider the repercussions of the post-goal phenomenon. How do you secure your results when you don’t know how to pursue the journey?
This is a question that many business acquirers ask. ’I’ve bought a new business. Now, what do I do?’
If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s fair to mention that while business acquisition might be your ultimate goal, it is by no means the end of your business ride. On the contrary, it marks the beginning of a new and exciting journey. Here’s a little more to help you figure out your ‘now what’ confusion.
Consider integrating it into your structure
One of the main reasons why entrepreneurs consider acquiring a business is to expand their market presence. Imagine for instance that you run software vending company. Buying the local development agency can not only secure your access to new and high-quality products, but it can also cut down supply costs.
However, if you want the merger to be a success, you need to establish a system that keeps both the vending side and the developing side informed so that you can make the most of the market research, process and know-how available. In the business environment, you need to rely on leadership at different board levels to maintain the flow of information, from organizing interim CIO services in a newly acquired business to ensuring that marketing and finance directors are collaborating. In short, the next step is to make sure you evaluate the best route for smooth and frictionless integration. Here’s a hint: You need experts to identify problematic areas!
Keep it safe even if you’re not there yet
It can take time to organize a successful merger. That’s why most acquired businesses continue to run day-to-day tasks as per usual until they are ready to join forces. If this is the case, you might want to provide additional security to your new business. It’s a good idea to run a thorough risk assessment after the acquisition, as you are now responsible for every issue in the new company.
For instance, offices and stores that are accessible from the ground floor need sturdy metal shutters to protect their belongings. The addition of a CCTV camera system and a sensor-triggered alarm can also provide the safety you need – and significantly discourage criminals from trying their luck! You should also check for IT threats to make sure the data you’re acquiring are secured.
Make sure to keep your staff informed
Employees go through a lot of stress during merger. It’s not uncommon for teams to resign once they know the company has been acquired even though the new employer had no intention of making them redundant. What does this happen?
Departures tend to be the result of high stress and uncertainty in those cases. It is primordial that you begin your journey as new employer by ensuring that everyone knows what is happening, what you intend to do, and when specific events are set to happen. Effective communication can secure your employee loyalty and trust throughout the process.
Measuring and buying success are two different things
You’ve dreamed for years of purchasing a company, but now that the acquisition has happened, don’t be too quick to call the merger a success. Indeed, the process of purchasing a business begins with your financial evaluation of how much you can afford and then how much the company is worth. Keeping a close eye on your capital structure will ensure that you can plan for additional strain. If the acquisition leaves you out of pocket with no way of regaining your capital, it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been successful. Additionally, you should embrace the new business adventure with a clear strategy of SMART goals, which you can measure and action accordingly.
Who are we now?
Last, but not least, acquiring a new company means combining forces. Successful mergers are never a case of phagocytizing an existing entity but of building something new together, starting by your merger identity. Indeed, you need to figure out what the merger brand is going to be, from fusing two personalities to designing something else.
Nobody likes a ‘now what’ moment. But hopefully, these points about merger identity, integration, communication, and overall success can provide with the sufficient guidance to find the next step of your business journey.