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Buying into a new business can be an exciting and lucrative venture, but it also comes with a host of unique responsibilities. Failing to take the right actions upon taking ownership of the business can lead to trouble down the road. Fortunately, the experiences of other small business owners can provide the guidance you need to avoid these pitfalls.

Observe and learn

The first thing you should do is spend some time learning about the business from the inside. Ask questions of your employees and watch how they work. Learn a little something about every aspect of the business. It will be easier for you to determine what works and what doesn’t when you have a better understanding of the business.

Communicate with your new team

The key to a successful transition is communication with the business’s existing staff. There will undoubtedly be plenty of rumors circulating about you and your plans for the business. These rumors can leave employees feeling nervous about their jobs and uncertain about what you expect from them. Taking the time to communicate directly with each employee can resolve these issues and help everyone work together more efficiently. It can also help you understand your new business a little better.

Manage change carefully

Making changes in the business can be a tricky situation. If the business is performing well, seasoned entrepreneurs recommend waiting for at least six months before making any significant changes to the business. However, if the business is performing poorly, you don’t want to wait. Your ability to solve problems quickly will inspire confidence among your employees.

Transparency is important

Whether dealing with employees or making other changes to the business, being transparent with your staff can help things run more smoothly. This doesn’t mean you have to explain everything to each employee, but, at the very least, your managers should understand why you’re making changes. This can help them communicate more effectively with their teams, and it can help ensure your changes are implemented with greater ease.

When you buy a business from someone else, you have to expect that you’ll be inheriting their problems. However, if you go into the business with your eyes open, you won’t get blindsided by potential issues. Taking steps to learn about the business’s past and addressing problems can help you give the business more growth potential.