Selling your business is a deeply conflicting and personal decision, and the ramifications affect not only yourself, but your staff as well.
Whether you have 3 or 300 staff working for your business, the decision to tell them you’re planning to sell is something many business owners will struggle with.
It begs the question: Should you tell your staff you are thinking of selling your business? If so, when?
Trying to find the words to tell your employees you are selling, and knowing the best time to do so is a challenge. One that there is no perfect answer to. It is a deeply personal decision for each business owner and only you can decide on how and when you will break the news.
Being honest and transparent about decisions which will affect your team may seem like the ethical thing to do. Especially if you have developed close working relationships.
But doing so also presents a large number of risks:
- Employees no longer feel like they have job security. They immediately start looking for another job.
- Competitors may find out, and try to use this information against you.
- Loyal customers may end up leaving you for competitors
If any of these outcomes were to occur, your potential buyer could use this information to their advantage in the transaction process. Depending on the severity of the loss, a worst-case scenario may result in an offer being withdrawn and the deal falling through altogether.