Good businesses outlive their owners. The problem is who gets to own it when the original owner dies. A will and a designated successor usually resolve this. In the best circumstances, the new owner should know the business and was part of the company before the owner died. However, things can be unpredictable, and sometimes unknowing people end up inheriting a business. If you are one of those people, it can be a challenge.
Make A Decision
The first thing you have to decide is whether you will keep the business or sell it. The easier option would be to sell the business. A good business has assets and can be a good investment for many people. For example, if you inherited a bakery, it is not just the physical location and equipment you inherited. You also received the customers, the suppliers, the employees, and more. That is often the result of years of work. Selling it would mean you get an easy payout. But keeping it can be even more profitable. You have to invest time and effort into it, but the rewards can be worth it.
Review Everything With Professional Help
Whether you decide to keep or sell, there is another thing you must do. You have to go through all the company’s documents with a good business attorney and a skilled accountant. These two are very important since they will be able to look over them and identify the important documents and information. You want to know exactly what the business owns, any debts it has, and what it takes to run the business. This will influence your decision on whether to run it or sell it.
Learn As Much As You Can
If you do decide to run the business, then you have to do a lot of work. Normal circumstances would have you be trained by the previous owner before you inherit the business. Now, you have to learn about it on your own. Fortunately, unless it is a really small business, you have several resources. First, there are the employees there to help you out. Talk with them and see them at work. This will allow you to learn more about the business and know what is going on. Additionally, you can also learn about the business through outside sources and business mentors. This is important since it will allow you to make better decisions as you lead the company.
Consider A Business Partner
Another option would be to bring in a business partner. While giving up sole ownership of a business may sound like a bad idea, deciding with no experience in the industry is an even worse idea. If possible, look for an experienced business partner. For example, if you inherited a restaurant, you should seek a partner that knows how to manage and run restaurants. You might consider looking into the local competitors. They might want to invest in the business to expand their operations.
Decide On A Direction
The next move you should make is to come up with a business plan. If you want to succeed, this is important since it will guide the company for some time. As the new owner, you have to think about how the business will operate. The previous owner likely had their business plans, but circumstances have changed. When you are the new owner, you might want to decide on a different plan. New products, new markets, and new policies can allow a business to progress into the future. For example, if you inherit a car repair shop, you might offer additional services to expand the customer base.
Ensure A Smooth Transition
As part of your taking ownership of the business, you should avoid any problems your death may cause. Working on a proper transition plan ensures that whoever inherits the business won’t be surprised by the new responsibilities. If possible, you should be training your successor for several years before they can take over, either by your death or voluntary exit from the company. The transition also eliminates any worries and risks about the survival of the business.
A business is a major responsibility. It is also a big opportunity. A ready-made business that you can start running immediately can be a great source of income. If you are willing to quit your current job and run it full-time, you have a chance at being a great success. The tips above should help through the rough patches and set you up properly.