If you’ve ever seen a sign outside a business stating “Under New Management” then you know things change.
Starting and operating a successful business is a unique proposition. For those of you who have done it, you know what I mean. For those of you who have not – either congrats or please withhold your opinions when someone does in fact sell their business to another.
There’s a lot of movement right now in beer – one beer business (read: brewery) selling to another person or entity. It’s really no one’s business except the parties involved.
Say you start Beer Business A. Your plan – aka dream – had long been to open your own brewery, employee people, bring the neighborhood together and build your dream. It’s a noble and common actuality.
Say you don’t have any inkling when you first develop your business plan on the exit strategy. Fine. Say you’re 5 years in and it’s a lot of work and you either keep your head down and keep plowing ahead trying to figure it out or you start thinking ‘what’s my bigger plan?’ Say from there you decide to build it to the point where you can in fact sell it. All your hard work, thousands of hours of sweat equity and money can come back to you in the form of a sale. That sound rather good to some people. And some have planned for that eventuality to begin with, having had this particular exit strategy in mind all along.
Would you begrudge a hardworking friend the benefit of the fruits of their labors?
It’s what some would say is part of the America Dream: create a business from nothing, build it to the point of viable attractiveness to another person and then sell it. Kudos to you if that’s your plan: it’s a solid ordinary occurrence.
With all the kerfuffle lately over beer businesses deciding to sell to other parties, I’d take this tact: those maneuvers are theirs and theirs alone to determine. Anyone outside of the founders and owners are really not in a position to make any sort of armchair judgement or comments on who sold or, more inaccurately and cattily – ‘sold out’ – to others. Leave it alone.
The comments by a new owner or previous owner may ring hollow with the “nothing will change” line. of course things will change – there’s a new owner, how could things not change! Swing with the punches you’ve set yourself for. When you sell something, you no longer have control.
The beer community is better when we all support and sip as we so choose. When we judge, comment, and make unkind remarks about people who have built their own American dream we bring it all down.
Like the beer you like, accept who makes it or choose something else politely and kindly. With the virtually endless choices these days, we can play nice and still build diplomacy and community by welcoming everyone who wants to partake to do so in their own way.