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What Would You Tell Your Best Friend?

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From time to time, many of my clients come to me with a difficult decision they need to make.  They have thought through all sides of the decision and are struggling with what to do.

They ask my advice.

  • Do I shut down my start-up and disappoint my employees and customers?  I don't think I can make it.
  • Do I let my co-founder know she or he needs to leave? That the company has out grown them and they are limiting the company? She or he is part of what got us here.
  • Do I fire the motivated salesperson who is not performing? Everyone likes them.
  • Do I tell the customer no? We can't meet his needs, but I desperately need the revenue.

Recognize any of these? Here is a good test. If your best friend came to you with the problem you are facing, what would you recommend? Would you take your own advice and:

  • Shut down your start-up and disappoint your customers and friends?
  • Tell my co-founder it is time they leave?
  • Fire the salesperson?
  • Tell the customer no and fine another?

Well, would you? Or do you continue to hide from the issue and pretend you can't make the call. You own the business. You have to make the call. 

Mike Colwell
www.bizci.org

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Comments

Mike, This reminds me of the Good to Great maxim, "confront the brutal facts (yet never lose faith)." Of course, confronting the brutal facts will often require that we set aside the story we are telling ourselves so that we can deal with the real issues, make better decisions, and press on.

This is a tough one...

•Shut down your start-up and disappoint your customers and friends?
My answer: If the revenue/profit is just not there and that's why you are doing it, everyone will understand - probably be hurt at first, but will get over it.

•Tell my co-founder it is time they leave?
My answer: Unless there has always been complete honesty among partners all along, this will be a hard thing to do.

•Fire the salesperson?
It's all about revenue/profit. If the salesperson is not performing, you can not pay the employees-like him/her or not. When it comes to pay or no pay, people will always elect to get paid!

•Tell the customer no and fine another?
We struggle with this in our business. When things are slow, it is hard to resit the revenue that could be generated from a known "bad client". But when business is good, it's easier to just say no. Keep looking for that ideal customer who you like and pays.

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