Steps to a successful business transfer:
Step 1 – Deciding to move forward
Research and reading, worker ownership succession options workshop (for owner and their leadership team), initial owner conversation with employees
Step 2 – Getting ready: employee training and business valuation
Financial training for employees, business and industry training, cooperative trainings for employees, business valuation process, business valuation or owner’s price, determine financing options, review and revise current business plan.
Step 3 – Defining structures
Document current management plan, draft cooperative by-laws, define post-transition management
Step 4 – Finalize the transition
Transfer business ownership, negotiate final price, seek financing, future members approve final price and financing, structure, complete the transaction, transfer governance and elect new board, transfer management as necessary.
Step 5 – Follow through and monitoring
Possible ongoing training with current employees.