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Painful client ~ turned partner - shall I give him the boot/fire him?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by JimmyWong, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. JimmyWong

    JimmyWong Registered Member

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    Hi,

    The lowdown: In the quest to find someone to work with in setting up a design agency, I ended up going against the rules and befriending a client. A young ambitious kid who runs a marketing company(middleman business model), but has no design skills or knowledge other than sales.

    Going back a year I cut him a good deal on a website and nutured the guy. I'm the director of a fairly large ecommerce setup (6 figure turnover), which is now at the point where I don't actually have to do much work, and thus have a lot of free time on my hands. Hence setting up of our agency (something I've always wanted to do & never have found the correct person to partner with).

    However we have a problem. This guy doesn't pay his bills to me (no matter how small) - even small bills such as £5/month for the hosting of his site. (A charge I set to test his integrity). I have to chase him for money. He cancelled his SEO service (the only time I've ever done this - which was a site redesign in HTML5) with no say-so, just stopped paying. Though, he finds funds for a holiday. He also took credit for my work, which came as a suprise.

    He's suggesting we launch a new website (which is already made by yours truly) and go 50/50 as a JV on an offline web design agency.

    So, would you get rid of him? Or acknowledge his flaws, but keep him for his sales enthusiasm.

    + He is good and consistent with sales. (He bagged me a job with one of the stars of a popular British television program).

    - The above paragraphs.

    Help much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  2. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    If the guys a sale machine and he can do can something that you can't do and you can do something he can't do then you have the basis of a partnership.

    If his foibles are only small things as listed above the I would suggest you can live with it. However I suspect you may have some more reservations than you are willing to say. At the end of the day it's a big commitment getting involved in a partnership with someone you don't like and respect and trust. Good sales people don't grow on trees though, if he is bringing in money I would be slightly more lenient .
     
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  3. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    C'mon. Salesman are notoriously "loose". And you hired him, which say to me you are extraordinarily "tight". Felix & Oscar.

    Put him in a box where you maximize his talents, and minimize the damage. Sounds to me like you feel like he owes you something intangible. Maybe he is supposed to act like a better "son" ?

    Find a good counselor, set-up 3 or so meetings and have an open conversation about what's going on. What you've been doing to this point obviously isn't working (cause here you are), and it's also pretty obvious that if "something" doesn't happen, this mutually beneficial relationship is going to explode.

    And your long-term success depends upon your ability to differentiate between profitable and unprofitable relationships, terminate the unprofitable ones and maintain the good ones. This one is a good one, so your challenge is to fix what is broken in order to sustain it for as long as possible.
     
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  4. orbit

    orbit Regular Member

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    Even though he stopped paying for SEO service, he doesnt sound like he is evil by nature. Possibly just forgetful or maybe lazy?? It sounds like you may be nit-picking the guy. Nobody is perfect. If you don't think this guy will rip you off then go for it. Sounds like his strong points that make up for his weak points.
     
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  5. JimmyWong

    JimmyWong Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply so far. Fantastics points made all round. I really appreciate it.
     
  6. steelballs

    steelballs BANNED BANNED

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    I have a long term solution to fix the problem - Hire Me - and phase him out gradually ;)
     
  7. roamer

    roamer Power Member

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    Occupation:
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    plɹoʍ ǝɥʇ punoɹɐ ƃuıɯɐoɹ
    Five words that keep $$ flowing in any venture:

    "Pamper Your Sales Force"
     
  8. JimmyWong

    JimmyWong Registered Member

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    Where are you in the world steelballs? If you have something to bring to the table....

    Here's a pic of the mainpage I'm working on. Orbits, B.Friendly and Steelballs, thanks again for the posts. You guys really put things into perspective.

    [​IMG]


    You're dead right. It's a mixure of things. After all he didn't ask for any favours. That said, I think I will make more money with him, and business aside - he is a pleasant guy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  9. knockoutlocal

    knockoutlocal Junior Member

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    Better to cut ties...it's gonna turn into some serious cancer later on.
     
  10. KINGCOS

    KINGCOS Junior Member

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    Don't cut him loose, you just have to re negotiate the partnership. You have to be honest and open with everything or else these small things will fester and you will blow up in the end halting all you IM gains.

    I speak from experience with partners. Be upfront as soon as you can and lay out the ground rules.

    Your the IM brain and he is the salesman. Sort of like Steve jobs and Wozniak (look it up of you need to)

    I have a friend who is a verified genius but his lack of sales ability stops him from really leveraging of his abilities. (he had 2,000 customers with his own ISP company when the Internet started going mainstream early 90's) he never acknowledged this and his marketing suffered.

    Don't lose him just give him boundaries. Hope this helped:)
     
  11. MrSmith

    MrSmith Newbie

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    Unreliable imo. I hate when people think that not paying their bills is alright, even if it's 50pence.

    Cut your losses and get rid of him. You're still sitting on 6 figures and can find another sales dude to handle your stuff.