A business merger can be a beneficial transaction. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to go into a merger with unrealistic expectations and not enough information. In such cases, merging can cause tremendous stress, cost you money or even lead to the end of your business. Some research and planning can help to make sure everyone is satisfied and that you obtain the results you seek. Here are three considerations for a smooth transition when merging your company for the first time.
1. Make Sure the Terms Are Clear
Know what you hope to obtain through this merger. While it may seem obvious, straightforward discussion and a thorough negotiation of terms ahead of time is essential. Often, one party will make assumptions about what they are receiving in the deal only to be disappointed after it’s all wrapped up. Such issues can be avoided by being specific and upfront. Along these lines, look for the use of vague language in contract provisions, non-disclosure agreements, and other official documents, as they can lead to problems should a future legal dispute arise.
2. Be Aware of Company Cultures
Failure to research the company culture of a potential partner is one of the most common mistakes business make in mergers. It’s important to look beyond whether the numbers look good on paper. If the philosophies and work practices of the two companies don’t mesh well, the merger is bound to struggle. You don’t want to set yourself up for struggles from the very beginning. You do want to provide a transition that is smooth for everyone, including your employees. Due diligence is important here as well. Research merger partners to be sure there is no conflict of interest in business philosophy or ethical standards.
3. Protect Your Assets
While a merger involves uniting to become one entity, there are ways to structure the deal that can protect your individual assets. You can always institute a trial period in which each company works alongside the other before official merging. It’s also wise to develop an exit strategy that spells out what will occur should the merger not work out in the long run. Both of these strategies will increase your odds of keeping what you’ve worked so hard for in your current company.
These three tips provide a framework for conducting a successful first-time merger. If you need help orchestrating a company merger, visit a business consulting firm like Lucintel. Obtaining legal counsel you trust and following your instincts will also help to guide you toward a successful merger.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer based in Arizona, USA