Selling the business is a big moment in the life of any business owner, and many varied emotions can be present as a result. Even if you're ready to move on, you might be sad about selling — or, if you need to sell but don't necessarily want to, you might be really upset. In either case, it's imperative that you practice good etiquette during the sale. Poor etiquette is not only a bad way to treat the future owner of the business, but can also sully your reputation in the community —which can be detrimental even if you aren't staying in the same industry. Here are some examples of poor etiquette that you should avoid:
Not Disclosing Everything
Legally, there are many things that you have to disclose when you sell your business. However, there are also things that fall more into the business etiquette category that you should share with the buyer. For example, if you have certain suppliers, you shouldn't keep these a secret. Knowing the suppliers that you've used will allow the new owner to enjoy a transition that is as seamless as possible. It's worthwhile to sit down with a notepad and list every detail, even those that are small, that you think would benefit the new owner.
Taking Clients With You
In some cases, you may be selling your current business and starting a new business in a similar industry. Even though it may be tempting, it's poor etiquette to take clients with you. For example, you might think to contact some of your higher-end clients, explain that you're selling the business, and then ask them to cease their partnership with the business and, instead, become clients of your new business. This move will result in a rude awakening for the new owner and is definitely a poor idea.
Not Helping With A Transition
Often, there will be a transition period when you sell your business. For example, if you're the owner, you might leave upon the sale, but work out a deal so that your management stays on with the business for a certain amount of time to make the transition as easy as possible. It's not good etiquette to set up the sale so that there's no transition period, as the new owner will take over and really be at ground zero, which will be more of a challenge than it has to be.
Contact a company like The Enterprise Group for more information and assistance.