It's official, we are for sale!

Well we are officially for sale. We are telling the employees tomorrow.

We decided on 199,000 (real estate & equipment NOT the business)

I imagine it will take some time to find a buyer as we are in a small rural town. Who knows though, it is a heck of a deal. We decided to price it to sell and walk away instead of what we think it is worth. I tell ya what though it is going to be a heck of a deal for someone.

We shall see.

Kris

I’m not sure what protocol is in this instance, but are you sure about informing the employees without a buyer in hand?

Why are you going to tell your employees?

This is something personal, and telling them may cause some problems.

They may quit or put in a subpar effort knowing they’re job might not be there tomorrow.

Telling the employees is the right thing to do. In a small town they are going to hear it anyway; it really should come from you. Telling them yourself shows them respect. This way you can position the decision and answer questions.

I announced the same thing to our employees back in February. There have been no issues.

Trust me they will all find out anyway…and better to hear it from us than another source.

They are good people and some will probably move on and some may stay…either way I think it is the right thing to do. It could take years to actually sell so some may not feel panicked but some probably will. They will get 30 days notice from the time we accept an offer. They have been great to us and our venture and I wouldn’t want them to feel as though we don’t respect them.

It was a tough call for the first couple of minutes but sometimes the right thing to do is the harder path to take.

Kris

I think you’re taking a huge risk telling your employees. I have seen and been a part of several companies that sold or closed all or part of their operations. If you leave it up to your employees to decide when and how to leave, you stand a very good chance of hurting your operation, possibly to the degree that you are forced to close. At the very least, employees may not work as hard, give things away, or steal money or inventory. I think you will pay a penalty if you leave it to chance.

I understand that you want to tell your employees in the hope that they will stay on your side. Since that seems to be your chosen path, let me suggest this: Rather than just “hoping” they will stay, continue to work hard and treat your customers well, why not align your employees’ interest with yours? If you give them a reason to stay and do a good job, you stand a far better chance of having things work out well.

What about some sort of stay bonus, performance bonus or other mechanism where your employees personally benefit by sticking it out to the end?

I can’t figure out why you don’t want to sell the business. Are you going to move it, sell it to someone else, or do it again later? If the business has value, you are leaving money on the table by not selling it. Certainly your business has more value than the stuff in your store is worth!

Jeff,

I had posted in another thread some information. We aren’t selling the business because we have 2 locations and the other one will stay open.

We will give them the option to go to the other store, although it probably won’t be a solution for most employees because it is about 35 miles away.

We told our “shift” leaders this morning. We explained we plan on building business as usual and taking care of business as usual. They will have 30 days notice before we close. They were, of course shocked, but I really think they will stay.

The misconception most employees will have is that it is going to sell in a few weeks. I really doubt it will happen. Fine if it does but I doubt it. I think honesty is always the best policy. There is NO DOUBT they will find out within a couple of weeks anyway. It is such a small town, news travels fast. Not to mention they are showing it to a group of realtors tuesday morning.

We shall see. Telling the rest tonight and tomorrow. Thanks for all the input.

kris

I can’t figure out why you don’t want to sell the business. Are you going to move it, sell it to someone else, or do it again later? If the business has value, you are leaving money on the table by not selling it. Certainly your business has more value than the stuff in your store is worth!

I’ve kind of wondered about that myself (and I’m not questioning your judgement here, either…just curious).

As for whether or not to inform or not, I’ve been wrestling with that same issue as I plan to sell one of my locations as a franchise in the near future, and while I’ve been pretty open about my intentions with those in the community, I’ve never sat down with my staff to explain the details. While I totally agree with being honest and upfront, even the best laid plans usually take longer to develop than we’d like. I’d hate to have a staff disintegrate 3-6 months before a change actually occurs.

If only we knew the future…

Besides owning two stores (that are for sale), I am a licensed broker in Colorado doing business brokerage and commercial real estate and leasing. I can assure you that the word will get out if you are actively trying to sell a business or real property (how else will you find a buyer?)

Telling the crew is the right thing to do. Yes there is a risk, but risk involvedf with not telling them is greater. The suggestion to offer them an incentive is a good one though.

Okay, have you approached your manager about possibly buying the store? With a decent down payment, he should have the experience required to get an SBA loan. It might be worth persuing.