The reality of running a business is that sometimes relationships end. This might be a long-term client relationship, a valued customer, or something a little bit more personal such as a staff member who has worked with you for many years leaving your business. If you are a small family-run business, this can be a particularly tough pill to swallow. It can catch you off guard and has the potential to take the wind out of your sails and leave you wondering what the heck just happened.
Having relationships end is as much a part of business as starting new relationships. We can find the perfect staff member at just the right time, or we find the right client when we need one, and although any relationship coming to an end can be a mixed bag of emotions, it’s how we move forward from this that ultimately sets us up for success in business.
You might have mixed emotions about the relationship ending and you might be completely caught off guard and not ready for the change, but in life as well as in business change is a constant. This means that people will come, people will go, and situations will change.
The good news is that there’s an opportunity in every situation if you choose to look at it that way. If it’s a staff member that is leaving you, it’s time for a fresh start with someone new. It also might make you think about the way you lead your team, the processes and procedure that you put into place, and help to devise ways to make sure that future relationships are successful ones.
If it’s a client or customer relationship coming to an end, it opens the doors to new opportunities; a chance to evaluate and to continually improve your procedures and process to deliver a more exceptional and fresher service or product. It can help you avoid being complacent in your operations and help streamline your business offering. It can also spur you to be creative about the way you do things in the future.
Often there will be a much better suited client waiting for you if you take the time to refine and change your processes. As long as we take on board the learnings that are offered in endings instead of making it personal and letting it get us down, we can be objective about endings knowing they are as much a part of business as beginnings.
There’s an opportunity in every situation if you just choose to look at it that way. And when one door closes, another one is sure to open again.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: