What is some advice for those founders who are having their companies acquired? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
First, be prepared: you're in for a ride. Clear your calendar from all non-essential commitments. Cancel travel and any vacation. Delegate running the operational business. Assume that you will become unreliable and sporadically available for anything that's not directly related to the acquisition. Prepare to have your business and everything you've done in the past put under a microscope. If you outsource key parts of your operation (legal, HR, accounting, etc.), let them know this is coming - you will rely on them heavily in the coming weeks. They have at least as much working coming as you do.
Secondly, be transparent to your team. This will be a big change for your team. They've worked hard to get the company to this point and deserve transparency. They've dedicated part of their lives to your vision, and the acquisition you're in probably wasn't part of the vision you used to recruit them. Your team is a key part of the acquisition, and you will rely on them heavily going forward. Understand what their priorities are in this process. For example, do they have a strong preference against relocating? Do they prefer one office over another? Is maternity leave important? Will their role change, and can you help them navigate the path between the direction they want to head and the new reality? You inevitably won't be able to get all the answers on what the new reality will look like, but you should aim to create as much clarity as possible.
Advocate for your team at every step in the acquisition process: they are relying on you to be their voice.
On the second point - if you are an employee working at a company that isn't transparently run, I encourage you to leave immediately. There are many great employers out there. Your life is too short and precious to waste part of it on a company that doesn't respect you.
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