When selling a business there’s a transition (“training” and/or “consulting”) period. Dependent on the size of the company and the role of the owner, the transition may be just a few weeks or up to a few months. In most situations, the buyer wants the seller to remain on board to shorten the learning curve and help with the smooth transfer of key relationships.
In the typical business sale, there is an on-site component to training and then a “telephone consulting period” is added at the end. Also, the seller may additionally be retained as a consultant at a negotiated rate. In some instances, a long-term employment contract is negotiated and the seller maintains daily involvement for a much longer period of time.
For the owner who wants to sell the company and leave quickly, the focus should be on the development of a strong management team. Be sure to introduce key employees/managers to your major customers and vendors and look at ways to delegate responsibilities. The more the customers think they are interacting with “the company” versus the “owner” the easier the transition.