Company takeovers: Firsts
Taking over a company is not easier or more difficult than creating a brand new company. Alexandra Kahn took over a chocolate factory in 2016 and had her fair share of firsts…
- The first things to check
- The first challenge after the takeover
- The first change after the takeover
- A first lesson
Alexandra Kahn is at the head of the Genaveh chocolate factory since 2016. Find the chocolates here: https://www.chocolaterie-genaveh.com.
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The first things to check
I liked the chocolate, so I started on a great basis. The existing team was fantastic. I got really lucky with the team because I didn’t choose it and it could have clashed, but it fits perfectly. All of that is important. Also, the brand’s reputation in Luxembourg was quite good.
The first challenge after the takeover?
I got here in the full swing of Christmas in November. So it was a pretty implausible takeover because companies had placed orders for the holidays and we needed to deliver. But when I arrived we were out of chocolate because the chocolate factory had been somewhat left aside by the former owner. So it was tough but the team was there. They were motivated, ready to produce! So we knuckled down, and made it through Christmas that actually went pretty well.
The first change after the takeover?
The first change I made, that I felt was the priority was the packaging, the whole brand identity. The main feedback I had from customers coming into the shop who I didn’t really know yet. “Your chocolates are very good, but you don’t expect them to be that good when you get the box.” I couldn’t leave it that way. I’m not a great sales rep and didn’t like it much starting out, and I thought: “I’ll never be able to sell a product I don’t like the look of.” Even if I know how good it tastes, etc. I needed to recreate its visual identity.
A first lesson
When you listen to your team, when you observe how things are done, and analyze things a bit you go with the flow and keep moving forward.