The actions you take in the first 90 days after you have purchased a business are crucial for its long-term success. We showed what things you need to take care of in the first 30 days after you buy the business. I asked you not to take any major decision in that time, but to learn and document everything about the business by asking questions and observing. By the end of 30 days you should have a plan of action to improve the business in the coming days and months. The plan of action needs to fall in two categories – short-term tactical improvements and long-term strategic direction.
Your focus in the first 90 days should mostly focus on short-term improvements. The idea is to get quick benefits by taking advantage of “low hanging fruits”, while at the same time keeping long-term direction in mind. These steps you take in the first 90 days will position your business well for coming months and years.
Let me emphasize that you still want to refrain from making very sweeping changes in the first 90 days, but rather take baby steps towards long-term vision so that you can backtrack and change direction, if needed. With that in mind, here is a list of what you should focus on in the first 90 days.
- Employees – At the end of 30 days you should have a pretty good idea about who your best employees are and which ones will not cut it. Now it’s a good time to incentivize the best employees by giving them performance based bonus plan. You also need to make decision about what to do with the rest – most likely letting them go. If you have any trusted employees from past ventures you should bring them in at this time. Also, if you have asked previous owner to stay on during transition, now is the time to release him.
- Customers – You should also have a good understanding of your best customers at the end of 30 days. You need to ensure they continue to do business with you by working closely with them in the 90 days. Now is also the time to make any changes to the terms and conditions to contracts, if necessary. Also, it is important to prepare a marketing plan to attract new customers. Having a “Grand Opening” day to appreciate existing customers and attract new ones after 30-40 days is a proven technique.
- Vendors – I suggested in the last post that you should refrain from signing any long-term contracts with the vendors in the first 30 days. Within 90 days you should still try to stay away from signing 2-3 year contracts. Your needs will change based on the strategic changes you will implement after 90 days, so you don’t want to get locked in. In addition, you should explore other vendors to see if you can obtain better pricing and terms compared to existing ones.
- Facility – It may be a good idea to repair and spruce up the facility and equipments in the first 90 days if you have not taken care of already. You want to give the place your own signature look. Finish the remodeling before Grand Opening day to get maximum benefit out of it.
Did we miss any important points? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.