You bought a business with the intent to increase the one you had. The acquisition of a complimentary business is the most efficient way of growing your income and equity. Theoretically you can increase sales and reduce administrative costs. In reality, integrating a new business will be the biggest challenge to your management skills so far, and now that your business is twice the size, the potential losses are scary. It is tempting to impose your leadership by implementing new policies. Some leaders take the approach to remain status quo until they can formulate a plan. Whichever your approach, the best way to integrate your new business under your leadership is to share what you are thinking with your staff.
Sharing is sometimes outside the skill-set of an entrepreneur, but so is managing a bigger business without the help of others. People are the key to business growth and people prefer to work for a leader with vision. You might be content with the added revenue of the new addition, but if you handle this transition well, it can propel your business even further. Probably for the first time in your history, you will have overhead staff to do the work of government compliance and financial analysis that you had to do in the past. The question is, which people to keep and who to fire. The answer is, let them decide by their performance. Give them all a chance to keep their jobs by increasing your income.
Convene a meeting to welcome all the newcomers, but don’t linger on the details of integration. Instead, tell them that you intend to grow the new business by five times. Then ask them what must be done to make that happen. The high achievers will want to demonstrate their creativity and they should promote a dynamic discussion. Decide what needs to be done, then delegate the tasks. Those that are reluctant to assume new responsibilities are revealing that they probably shouldn’t remain. Negotiate deadlines with the new assignments. Keep a record of the tasks and their deadlines. Every quarter, meet again and determine which of the staff is performing. Within a few meetings you will know who to keep and who to let go.
Of course there will be details like combining checking accounts and bookkeeping. Bean-counters i.e. accountants are best for such things. Consolidate the minutia into a list so completion is easily monitored. The book Best Practices of High Performance Entrepreneurs contains a list of more strategic items that you should also implement. You can also find software to manage the implementation of this growth plan at www.russallred.com. It is very inexpensive and very effective.