The Joys of Firing Contractors and How to Do It

I’m not going to hide it but Darling Betty had a rough time at her start up. Two contractors – one a sales rep and another one a sewing facility – were just not up to scratch.

What’s a scientist-turned-business owner to do?OH-HAI!-YOU'RE-FIRED!

Fire them. Effective immediately.

Here is the story on both contractors.

The sales rep agreed to take on my line and I scrambled to send him my samples and swatches via expedited means, which cost me an arm and a leg. I spent almost $70 FedExing him an envelope with swatches which he claimed did not arrive until 3 days after the show. I have the Fed Ex tracking which showed it was delivered to the market show premises 3 days before the END of the show. He just didn’t go and bother to pick it up from the front desk.

This guy would not answer his phone. He did not have voice mail set up on his phone either. He never once corresponded with me via email despite me emailing him tracking numbers and asking him for feedback.

So I fired him in an email in the nicest way possible of course. As much as you still want to swear, scream and slap them you still have to be diplomatic. It still took this tool weeks to send my samples back and of course he did it at my expense using my FedEx account. Dick.

The sewing contractor initially had good promise. The owner always answered her phone and she did a few samples in a quick turnaround time. Then the threads started to come loose, so to speak.

The quality of the samples was not good. The linings of the dresses did not match and it looked like some of the material was dirtied. Then came the excuses about additional samples not being sent with the promise that they were completed. She lied constantly about this. The samples were not completed after I PAID her for them 4 weeks prior to her saying that they were going to be sent. The owner had hay fever. She had the flu. There was a mess up with another one of her clients. I don’t care. Where are my damn samples?!

I put my foot down and requested my inputs back after weeks of this ridiculous merry-go-round.

Here’s a handy dandy guide to firing your contractors if they are not delivering to an expected standard.

1) Look for red flags. These include not answering phone calls or emails, constant excuses and sub par work or non delivery. A good contractor will always return your emails and answer your calls.

2) Grow some balls. You are the business owner and you are in charge.

3) Call AND email. Politely state that you will no longer be needing their services.

4) Or say that your business arrangement is not working out and you wish to terminate the relationship.

5) Write them out an inventory list of equipment or materials that they may have of yours and say that you want this returned within 7 days. A slap on the wrist to you if you didn’t already do this!

6) Expect to pay for any previously done work otherwise you will enter into a Mexican standoff.

Don’t muck around with crappy contractors. It’s not worth it. Just get your stuff back and go and find a contractor that does great work. They are there and they want your business. If you are in the garment trade and want to know who these persons are, just ask 😉