We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share their experiences in dealing with crucial decisions.
"Our company has grown from one to 15 team members in less than three years. After our first year, we were billing big, had momentum in the market, and our company was quickly becoming recognized as one that drives results. But as we grew to over 10 employees, our team dynamic changed. Cliques started to form and personality conflicts were inhibiting peoples' effectiveness, resulting in managers allocating a significant amount of time toward resolution."
"Initially, I thought these were the normal growing pains of any small business. But when I had a closer look, the problems were centered on one individual who was not only a friend but also happened to be a tremendous revenue driver for us. The decision to cut ties, though straightforward, was very difficult to come to terms with. That said, our team is happy again and empowered by one another, poised to grow in 2015."
Erik Simins, EO Toronto
President, MAGNUS Personnel Corporation
"We learned the hard way that there are some businesses which respect the work they engage agencies for, and others which consider the relationship similar to a master and servant's. Several years ago, one of our clients represented a large portion of our revenue and in our haste to offset this imbalance, we began working with a company of the master and servant mindset."
"Initially, we were all in the honeymoon phase and didn't have any issues, but after a year, we realized our client counterparts were unprofessional and verbally abusive to our staff. As much as we needed the revenue and wanted this high-profile client on our roster, we decided that integrity and respect is more important than money. We ended the relationship amicably, and despite the drop in revenue, it was the best move we could have made."
Lauren Boyer, EO New York
CEO, Underscore Marketing
"Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to expand our service offerings beyond healthcare IT, a critical decision because it would change the entire face of our company. Our messaging, branding, sales strategy, staff, and culture would need to think bigger, see bigger, and essentially become bigger.
"Expanding meant we'd become a global competitor in the applications space. Exciting? Yes! Difficult? Absolutely. Since making this decision one month ago though, we have increased our revenue by a quarter of a million dollars. I have also added two new members to our team and they have fit right into our culture. We're excited about what the future holds, across multiple areas in this industry."
April Cleek, EO Atlanta
President and CEO, EHR Concepts