How do you get out without hard feelings?
Hi, Business Owners – Jessica Here.
There’s not always signs early on that a relationship with a customer or vendor needs to end. The relationship might be great, but services and budget aren’t a match. Or, vice versa. The services are great, but you can’t stand the person you’re working with. Over time, these begin to wear on each of you and someone needs to be the person to set-up and have “the talk.”
It’s Not Me. It’s You.
The hardest part is recognizing that it’s time to get out. In most cases, switching vendors is a tremendous pain in the ass. And if you’re thinking about breaking up with a client, it’s hard to say, “I don’t need to money – it’s not worth it.”
Keep the following in mind:
Your time is valuable. If your vendor or your client (depending on what side you’re on) is eating up more time than it’s worth, then you need to have a conversation with them. If all the talking in the world hasn’t helped, then it’s time to break up.
You should, as a business owner have guiding principles that you stand by. Communicate these to your business partners, your employees, and to your customers. If they don’t get it, get out. They’re not a good fit for your organization, and will not help you achieve your vision and may even hurt your reputation.
Something better is around the corner. If you’re ending a client relationship that was not a great fit, you’ve made space for the better client. If you’re ending a vendor relationship, it’s likely you’ll open yourself up to finding someone that can better help you and your needs.
Your needs may have just changed. If your business grew or declined in size, then the services may not be a fit for you anymore. Same applies if a client is on an old plan that didn’t evolve when their needs evolved. Things change and the best way to avoid nasty breakups is to recognize that evolution and change things to meet your new needs.
Regardless of the reason to get out, make sure you do it gracefully. Your reputation in business is everything and every move you make during delicate situations like this can be an indication of what the “real you” is really like. And people talk.