The daily life of a found of a startup can be hectic with meetings, pitches, and various obligations that come from running a business. Issues can arise for a founder as at smaller startups the founder will have to play multiple roles from HR to accountant. The manner in which these issues are dealt with is important as to avoid similar issues coming up in the future. Proactively planning cannot always prevent issues from happening so having a plan in case a disaster is looming is imperative. The following are issues founders can face at a startup as well as an actionable plan to deal with said issues.
Addiction In The Office
Working hard and partying hard is the mantra of many startups as the demographic of employees at certain startups are quite young. There is not a problem with this type of attitude but for some people it can be difficult to stop the party. Going out a few times a week to happy hour can help staff bond but if certain people stay out until 3AM multiple times per night with their work suffering it can be an issue. Addiction in the office can be tough to spot but it needs to be dealt with appropriately and swiftly. A drunk or high employee can lose a client by being rude or the client not wanting to work with a company that allows their employees to do so.
Staff Undermining Decisions or Vocally Disagreeing
Staff undermining decisions or vocally disagreeing in non-constructive ways can hurt company morale. Undermining decisions should be confronted and the staff member should be written up if it is genuine insubordination. A small warning can work but a write up works even better to show this staff member they have crossed a line that they never will again. Vocally disagreeing or talking bad about the company needs to be addressed immediately so sit this person down and talk to them. Most people will change their attitude with a private conversation rather than a public verbal lashing. If the person continues to do this it is time to make an example out of them in front of staff and potentially firing them. This will quell any of this negative behavior in the future.
Disgruntled Former Employee Suing
Employees are going to be fired due to losing need for their role or poor performance/harassment. Regardless of what the reasoning is for letting someone go the appropriate processes have to be maintained. Write ups should be signed by the employee so they cannot feign ignorance when being told that they were warned. Even some of the most amicable people can start a lawsuit if they are in a financial bind due to losing their job.
A Large Client Opting For Another Company
Diversifying a client base can help a startup take some pressure off when a large client leaves. If the client is the only revenue generator the startup is in essence only depending on them. Find a few clients that will lessen the blow if a client does not resign a contract or needs a few months before putting in another order. Keep the sales team running at a high level in order to find clients month after month. This combined with high client retention can set a business up for success for years to come.
Issues are abundant for startup founders so make sure you deal with them promptly and appropriately. Founders have more important things to deal with!