Dealing With Your Employees

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Whether you have few employees or many employees, a good relationship with those employees is important for a successful business. That relationship is also important for you and the purchaser when you sell your business.

Your personality, as a business owner, affects your employees and how you deal with them.  You may prefer to have a line between you and the people who work for you.  You feel it is important to be the boss and not get too close or become friends outside of the business. This does not mean the atmosphere has to be cold.  If this is your preference, the employees must know they have a job to do and that they will be rewarded for their efforts.  As a business grows and the number of employees increases, the chain of command increases. This naturally causes more distance between you and the lower level of employees and challenges you to make sure that each employee feels needed and appreciated.

Most small businesses have a flat chain of command, which means the owner has more day-to-day contact with each employee.  The atmosphere becomes like a family, and the employees feel loved and cared for.  Employers are likely to provide more perks, like fully-paid health insurance, more time off for holidays and vacations, and flexible schedules to provide better opportunities to attend school activities for their children.  Under these circumstances, business owners feel a close connection and believe the close-knit family of employees feel an ownership in the business and strive harder to make it successful.  Many times the extra freedoms are worth more than additional pay to employees.

The attitudes and behaviors of employees have a direct impact on a business.  Probably everyone reading this has had good and bad experiences with employees when shopping in businesses.  When customers are greeted with a smile and an offer to help, they enjoy the experience and want to go back.  If they are ignored or receive bad or unfriendly service, they never go back.  Unfortunately, most customers don’t report a bad experience to the owner of the business; they just never go back.  Even though an employee may have only been working a short time, customers see that employee as the business.  As an example, if a customer goes into a retail store and no one offers to help because several employees are in a group talking and laughing and totally ignoring the customer, he or she will likely just leave, never to return again.  The customer is unhappy, and the business owner suffers because of the behavior of the employees.

A good relationship with employees is important for a successful business, and it is also important when you decide to sell your business.  Although you cannot guarantee your employees will remain in the event of selling the business, it is good if you can say there is no reason they would not stay.  It is very important to keep the listing of your business a secret when you get ready to sell.  A good business broker will help you do this.  You do not want your employees, customers, suppliers, or anyone to know, as it could hurt your business before you sell and also your purchaser after you sell.  You do not want the chance of false rumors getting out that you are not doing well or that you are closing.  No matter how close you are to your employees, you do not want to tell them, as they might become nervous about their future and how the sale will affect them.  They could seek other employment, and you want the business to continue to operate as usual with the employees and good atmosphere until and after closing.  Most business sellers and purchasers meet together with the employees immediately following the closing to announce the sale and assure them of the future of their jobs.  Of course, when the seller continues to be present during the training period, it helps the employees become familiar with the purchaser and provides a smooth transition.

A good relationship with employees is important for a successful business, both in the operation of the business and the sale of the business.  Enjoy working with your employees and show your appreciation for them.

  • Author: Pat Jones
  • Title: President/Owner - Business Broker
  • Company: Pat Jones Business Brokers
  • Company Website:
  • Date: December 28, 2016
  • Category: Buying a Franchise or Business
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