“We decided to formalize the management process by holding quarterly meetings for financial, operational, and company strategy discussions,” said Chapman.
According to Chapman, the success, or failure, of a company really comes down to three main tenets: 1) clarity of business strategy; 2) having the right people on the team in the right roles; and 3) a disciplined execution of the plan. Once they opened the lines of communications with regular management meetings, ideas and energy began to flow in a positive direction.
The founders and prospective owners also defined the leadership and management skills necessary to successfully run and manage a business of this size.

No matter who’s buying or selling, the fundamentals of
good business management still apply. You’ve got to
have a clear strategy for the business, the right
people, and the discipline to execute the plan.

Chapman’s past corporate experience as a senior executive officer proved valuable when it came to evaluating talent levels and leadership potential.

Light at the End of the Tunnel
Over the course of this two-year process, one regional manager emerged who clearly demonstrated the financial, managerial, and leadership skills to follow through with a purchase agreement. The deal closed successfully and the founders placed Chem-Trol safely in the hands of a qualified and committed new owner.

“We had been through the ringer by the time Bill (Chapman) got involved and I wasn’t sure we were ever going to reach an agreement,” said Joe White, the new owner of Chem-Trol. “He listened, he provided valuable insight, and got us focused on the right things. His unbiased perspective and candid advice was a huge help.”

Chapman still meets with White on a regular basis to track progress on specific goals and serve as a sounding board. In fact, post-transition executive coaching can provide the new owner with a valuable source of critical thinking expertise.

Start early. Successful transitions can take up to
five years or more to plan and implement.

Whether it is new capital, new managers, or new markets, outside executive counsel can deliver the network and the knowledge to help drive results.

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