Resilience is a defining characteristic of a good entrepreneur. It’s that one thing aspirants strive to develop before they delve into the world of business.
It’s not a secret as to why this is the case: entrepreneurship is a series of hardships. It’s riddled with tough decisions to make. If you want to thrive in your industry, you should be able to get yourself ready for these dilemmas coming your way sooner or later.
It’s never easy to lay off an employee. It’s tricky in both the legal and emotional aspects. But there really are times when you would need to weed out members, especially when they’re already a risk to business growth. So how do you do this with as little as negative impact as possible?
The first step is to be clear with your employee. Tell them that they’re fired and why they’re being fired. If it’s a case of unproductivity, show them their latest performance assessment reports. If it’s due to threatening behavior, refer them to your company policies.
It should be clear to them what’s going on and why it’s happening. The other thing you should remember is never to humiliate them. Break the news in private and not in team meetings, no matter how exasperated you are at an employee.
Expanding, downsizing or selling your company completely
Any change in the business structure will obviously make a big impact, often an uncomfortable one, to your employees. When you expand, it might mean changing existing roles and adding new ones (and new hires). In this case, your goal is to rally your team towards your vision of growth. You have to get their buy-in on the goal you’re trying to achieve.
On the other hand, when you downsize, it means laying off people and probably cutting down on bonuses or incentives. In this situation, you have to be transparent to your team about it. You should be able to provide support programs, like job search assistance, career coaching or business grants for people exiting.
The change in business structure may be a total change in leadership, too. If your business is at great financial stress or on the flip side, a massive economic value, the thought of “selling my business in Park City” probably crossed your mind. If you’ll pursue this, know that this might entail employees resigning because of the potentially uncomfortable transition. The best strategy here is to talk to key team members and secure their commitment to the organization once the sale is made.
Breaking up with a bad client
Maybe they weren’t always that way, but as your relationship got deeper, things changed. They probably have gone too demanding already. They’ve become disrespectful for your work and service. Or, they may have been the reason some of your employees are suffering poor morale.
In these situations, it’s wiser to cut off ties with that client. It’s best to do this face to face, being straight-up honest with them on why you’re severing the relationship, for example, the expectations on both parties that weren’t being met. At the same time though, reassure them that you’re going to complete the pending tasks on your projects with them.
As much as you want to break off ties instantly, help them transition smoothly. No matter how sour your relationship has gone with the client, don’t end it with a bad note. You never know, your professionalism during this fragile time may just be a compelling reason for the client to recommend you to others.
Hard choices mark the life of an entrepreneur. But these are often situations where most of the rewarding learning happens. So don’t cower to these defining moments. Let your wisdom and good character shine in these tough business decisions.