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Buying an Existing Business? Here’s How to Start Strong

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 Headshot of Rob Wozny, an Arizona franchise owner of Apex Leadership, a school fundraising franchise.

In addition to introducing yourself and talking to employees, Rob Wozny, a franchise owner of Apex Leadership, urges new business owners to talk at length with customers as well. — Rob Wozny

If you could create your own fantasy board of directors, who would be on it? CO— connects you with thought leaders from across the business spectrum and asks them to help solve your biggest business challenges. In this edition, we ask an expert about how you can build trust with employees when buying an existing business.

This edition of “Ask the Board” features Rob Wozny, an Arizona franchise owner of Apex Leadership, a school fundraising brand. Rob dives into how you can build trust among employees once you take over an existing venture.

At some point, you may decide to take over an existing business instead of starting your own from scratch. If you do, these tips can help you build trust and set yourself up for success.

Introduce yourself

Properly introducing yourself is a great first step in building a trusting relationship. The importance of this can sometimes be overlooked, but as we all know, first impressions can last a lifetime! Take the time to sit down with key employees and hear any concerns or input, as this allows them to feel valued, and it can ease any tensions they have about new ownership.

Don’t forget to introduce yourself to existing customers as well! Many times, taking this a step further and having more extensive chats with several customers can be greatly beneficial. Doing so not only shows the existing customers your level of commitment to the business, but it also gives you the chance to introduce your vision and goals for the company, along with how you will bring even more value to them.


Clear communication with both customers and employees, starting with the initial introduction, is vital to building lasting, trusting relationships.

Rob Wozny, a franchise owner of Apex Leadership

Be ready to listen and learn

Many times when you take over an existing business, there may be several key employees who have more direct experience in the field than you. Be ready and willing to hear these people out.

Seek out advice or consult with these key figures when changing or implementing new procedures and ideas. Doing this will make them feel valued and overall more likely to accept the changes, as well as build trust that these changes are done with the right intentions.

Listening and learning from existing customers is vital as well. This helps you understand what has worked in the past and what areas may need improvement. It also shows your existing customer base that you are dedicated to improving your products and/or services. The more committed your customers feel you are, the more trust they will put in you!

Communicate clearly

No one likes confusion! Clear communication with both customers and employees, starting with the initial introduction, is vital to building lasting, trusting relationships. Be clear when you define your mission and set goals. Casting this clear vision helps both employees and customers believe in you as a leader and see your commitment to improvement.

Underpromise and overdeliver

This is the golden rule! The fastest way to lose trust in any relationship is to break a promise, especially when you are the “new kid on the block.”

Always keep promises within reason. If it is going to be a stretch to make it happen, don’t promise it. You would much rather someone feel surprised that it worked out better than expected rather than let them down because you fell short of what was promised. The temptation to promise the world is always there, but you will build more trust when you set proper expectations and then blow them out of the water.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Apply for the CO—100!

The CO—100 is an exclusive list of the 100 best and brightest small and mid-sized businesses in America. Enter today to share your story and get recognized.

Published

Anna Baluch

This post was originally published on this site

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