In the Explore stage, the owner learns the benefits and options of employee ownership and decides whether to invest further time and resources. During this stage it is helpful to have a knowledgeable local champion of the idea to speak to in confidence, and an opportunity to see how other businesses have made the transition. The essential question is whether employee ownership will meet the outcomes desired by the seller. Outcomes may be financial security, community benefit, or maintaining the legacy of the business.
- WHAT: Key stakeholders, generally the owners, study the idea and decide that it is worth pursuing
- WHO: The selling owner; a local advisor who can offer confidential guidance; sometimes key employees