I have been in business for a long time. I've learned so much over those years that is never easy to pin-point one particular lesson that stands out for me. There is one lesson I have learned that I will never forget and I hope you realize as well... Great employees, talented employees are rarely easy to replace. Can you go out and find someone to fill their position? Sure. In today's economy there are plenty of people looking for jobs, but that doesn't mean you will get what you lost. When a business owner has the mindset that everyone is replaceable, it's a mistake. When you have an employee who knows your company, knows what you expect from them, knows how to work hard, is capable of delivering results, treats customers the right way, and sets a good example for other employees, can be trusted and is very good at what they do, it is your responsibility as the owner of the company to find a way to keep this person on board. Yes, employees can be difficult sometimes. But talented people who have all of the attributes listed above are worth dealing with 99% of the time. I am not suggesting that a talented, hard-working employee should be given the green light to be a pain in the behind, but dealing with a little attitude at times is still better than trying to start over and replace that person. I have also noticed that when a great employee is let go - either by my doing or by their choice - it has an impact on other employees in the company. They all recognize that this person was different and special, and if they were willing to leave or be let go, then the other employees start to wonder if their job is safe or if maybe there is something better out there because the great employee was willing to leave. When a great employee wants a little more money, give it to them. It is far easier to give a great employee a raise from $13.50 per hour to $15.00 per hour than it is to start over and find, hire, train and mold a new employee. Bottom line, you can have plenty of money to work with, top of the line trucks and equipment, a long list of clients and a fantastic marketing plan, but it is your employees who make the business run. Without good employees, your business is in trouble. When you have a great employee, do what you must to keep them on board.