Negotiating With Vendors and Contractors

I had an interesting conversation this past week with the vendor of a client and it made me think of this post.  I have a client that’s growing by leaps and bounds, but they’re still a small company with just a handful of people, and those handful of people are literally scattered all over the world.  One reason they are growing is that the owners are working very hard and spending tons of time traveling and drumming up business.  Because they are spending so much time traveling, sometimes out of the country, we utilize online billpay to pay our vendors and contractors.

While online billpay is extremely convenient for us and solves a lot of problems, it can also be a bit of a problem because it can take up to five to seven business days for the check to reach the vendor after we release the payment.  Which means, we can pay it on time and yet the vendor gets it late.  And, yes, I know, we should be able to prepare for that time lag.  But, sometimes life happens and you can’t.

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Might Be Time…To Say Goodbye

Nah, I’m not going anywhere!

Today, I’m talking about how to fire someone. Believe it or not, this is one of the hardest things to do when you’re a small business owner. Small Businesses are a community in and of themselves, and the people who join that community become important not just to the rest of the team, but because what they do directly contributes to the bottom line of the business. Additionally, small businesses can become little “families”. When individuals work side by side for forty plus hours a week strong bonds of friendship are also often formed. People start doing things outside of the work place, meet up for dinner, even exchange birthday and Christmas presents. As a matter of fact, I met some of my best friends working at a small company.

So, when someone isn’t cutting it, or when the business needs to contract a bit (i.e. lay someone off) in order to re-group and come back strong, it’s hard for both the community and for the person having to do the firing. Even when it’s necessary.

No Matter the Reason, Letting Someone Go is Never Easy

I’ve had to fire people the week of Christmas, when they’re pregnant, knowing they are the only paycheck for their household, and, my least favorite, when they are a supposed partner of the business. (Okay, we bought them out, but it’s still essentially firing someone.) It’s never fun, there’s never a good time to do it, and it’s never easy.

But, sometimes it has to be done.

So, how do you do it?

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