Your employees are the backbone of your business. Some of the most prosperous companies have achieved success by creating a culture of ownership and a comfortable working environment. Naturally, trucking business owners who care about their workers will want to ensure those employees are protected in a sale. But while you may feel inclined to share news of an impending ownership change with key employees, staying mum may be the smartest move for your business – and your team.
When employees know your business is for sale, their incentives change. In a stable business environment, workers are motivated by the possibility of praise and promotions. But when the future of a trucking business is uncertain, motivations shift to basic survival. Even the most loyal workers are likely to consider other employment options in order to ensure a steady paycheck. When employees get word that their employer is considering putting a trucking business for sale, they may make hasty decisions that could be detrimental to their future – and the future of a new owner.
If employees flee because they believe their jobs are in jeopardy, business momentum – and buyer interest – could decline sharply as a result. But employees aren’t the only ones who can create pre-sale problems for a business. Owners who don’t take steps to protect confidentiality through the use of tools like confidential offering memorandums and non-disclosure agreements could allow information to be leaked to competitors, triggering the loss of customers and suppliers. Sudden changes in customer concentration or the supply chain can lower trucking company valuation, putting employee jobs at risk whether or not the business changes hands.
While there’s no way to guarantee that a new owner will retain your employees in the long-term, there are steps sellers can take to increase the odds that their staff will thrive under new leadership. By thoroughly screening buyers, sellers can get a better idea of their motives. For instance, while some companies may want to replace your management team with their own in order to cut costs, others may want to leverage the unique skills of your workers to reach a new market. Often times, individual buyers who purchase your truck business to obtain an income stream, rather than to enjoy cost advantages, will be more likely to keep your employees on board. In addition, taking care to ensure a buyer is qualified and trustworthy increases the odds that your legacy – and your employees – will remain well taken care of when you’re gone.
When you entrust your trucking business sale to a truck business broker, you can be rest assured that your company – and the employees who keep it running smoothly – will remain protected during the transition.