My key employee has left with a quarter of my business. How do I shore up the business?

Dear Aunty B,

A staff member who is the key to critical client relationships has just walked out my door with a quarter of my business!

I actually used to work with this person at our old job and trusted them implicitly, so I never made her sign any documents except a simple employment contract. I feel shattered, as I didn’t even see it coming!

Apart from licking my wounds, what can I do to make sure she doesn’t damage my business? She is really good at getting clients but really bad at follow through.

Not purring,

Dear Not purring,

Thanks for sharing a valuable lesson with all entrepreneurs. Make sure you have a lawyer draw up a proper contract for key staff. As for now? You take that hurt and you channel it into pure, focused energy. You are going to make sure that she doesn’t win a single client. You need to go aggressively after new accounts, do a lot of marketing so the marketplace is full of your brand and show great love to existing clients.

You have a number of things in your favor. You are established. She’s new and facing all the growth pains that you once faced. You have a track record, so make sure you have case studies on your website talking about trusted relationships. You also know her weaknesses. So stress your reputation for delivery and exceptional service. Don’t worry. The renewed focus is going to help your business get to the next level and next Christmas, as you lift your champagne glass, you will be toasting her departure!

Good luck!

Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

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