Stop Your Employee From Becoming Your
by Woody Quinones
You know the routine. You've hired an eager individual
willing to come onboard and learn the business. You've
taught them, trained them, worked hand in hand and side
by side for 2 solid years. Then all of a sudden your employee
quits for no apparent reason.
To your disbelief and utter amazement, you realize that
you have just wasted the last 2 years of your life. A
week or so goes by and you learn that your former employee
has started a similar business and there's nothing you
can do to stop them. Or is there?
The questions start racing through your mind at light
speed. "Why did they just up and quit without notice?"
"I thought they liked working here?" "How
come I didn't see this coming?" "What could
I have done differently?" "Could I have been
better prepared for this?"
Then the worst possible thought hits you. "They know
all my clients!" "Which clients of mine are
they going after?" "Will my customers stick
with me or go with the new kid on the block?"
Still confused at their abrupt departure from your employ,
you start contacting all of your regular clients. You
begin learning that many of them have already been solicited
by your former employee. Your fears are confirmed and
the pain hits you like a knife in the back.
To add insult to injury the new rates quoted are nearly
half what you charge and your clients are wanting some
fast answers to your much higher fees. Some thinking that
you are gouging them start jumping ship faster than rats
on a sinking and burning ship.
Upon examining your options you discover that it's to
late. Now you're considering that maybe you should have
put together that "Non-Compete"..., "Non-Solicit"
... or "Non-Divulge" contract.
You could of had that individual sign it, before they
worked one minute for you. At least that's what some business
owners have told you they do. In hind sight that solution
now seems fair and reasonable.
Well it's reasonable until you learn that your state,
county or city laws no longer allow such binding contracts.
Or local laws do not prevent such contracts, but the courts
find in favor of your competitor's claims.
Claims that you are preventing them from obtaining gainful
employment, that they have trained for, even if it means
they have become your newest competitor. Not to mention
that your existing clients are not under written contract
with you to remain your clients.
If this has happened to you, understand that you are not
alone in this. You are but one more in the vicious cycle
of abuse, that other businessmen and women have suffered,
at the outright betrayal from their so called "Trusted
So what's a business owner or manager to do? How do you
even the playing field without violating the law or swaying
a court of law against you? How can you slow down or stop
employees from becoming the competition?
With the possibility of "Non-Compete"..., "Non-Solicit"
... or "Non-Divulge" contracts being contested,
then the alternative would need to be a contract that
cannot be contested in any court.
To protect your interests and assets there is a legal
and binding way that will not violate either parties employment
rights but provide you legal recourse. Do you want to
know what it is?
Before you move forward with any pre-employment contract
development stop and consider what you as the employer
provide for your hired staff. Items that show your business
value has grown, due to your provisions, but does suffer
lose when an employee quits.
What types of provisions could build value into your business?
Do you provide paid and continued education? Do you provide
tools and equipment? How about a company vehicle? Company
phone? Company Uniforms? Access to client files and data?
All of these items are but part of your company's assets
that you provide and must be well documented that you
provide them. Even the education you provide for your
employees, whether directly through hands on or indirectly
such as a company paid class or seminar. Without these
items the employee would be helpless to perform their
needed and required tasks.
So how can you protect these assets from going out the
door and preventing employees from soliciting your clients?
Would you be surprised if I said, "PROMISSORY NOTE".
That's correct. A promise of payment from a promissory
note is a legal binding contract and will stand up in
The reason it is binding is that the person signing it
agrees to pay the predetermined maximum amount allowable
by law and then the note is filed at your local courthouse
and is on file as a legal binding debt and is payable
on demand to the holder of the note.
The quickest way to implement this procedure is to go
down to your local office supply store and pick up the
notes. Before hiring any individual, inform them that
they are required to sign a note and must provide their
bank account information.
Once information is gathered, file the paperwork at the
courthouse so that you have an official record of the
promise to pay. Inform the employee that if he/she quits
and does not return the company assets entrusted to them
you will call in the note.
Explain that if they quit your employ to start a business
and solicit your existing clients you will take them into
court to collect on the note. Also you will be contacting
their bank of the outstanding note which could put a freeze
on their account.
It should give your employees some food for thought. If
they do not return company property they risk going into
court and having the note called in. If they solicit your
customers they risk going into court and having the note
On final point. If the employee wants the note cancelled
then they would be required to pay the maximum allowable
amount on the note to the note holder. But only if the
note holder is willing to cancel the note.
Once paid, the note becomes null and void and is destroyed.
It also allows the employee the freedom to become a competitor
without legal recourse against them from the former note
Make sure to check with a local attorney to determine
what guidelines to follow when implementing a promissory
note agreement. Also check with your local small claims
court to learn what the maximum allowable amount a note
can be issued on an individual. Become familiar with the
filing process at your local courthouse.
About the Author
About the Author: Woody Quiñones has been selling
to the public since the age of 10. With over 36 years
of marketing experience he has started several businesses
with little or no money. Including his popular website,
www.ImpactYourArea.com Woody is also an Authorized Kaeser
& Blair Dealer, a published online writer, a licensed
and certified locksmith of 17 years and can be located
on numerous online business forums.