Why this entrepreneur let go of his sales team – even though they hit targets

Pivots are necessary in business and sometimes that means letting valued team members go. Before this becomes a problem, invest in your culture and honesty with employees. If the time comes where they have to leave, at least you have the chance of leaving as friends

“When you’re letting go of an employee, you never want it to come as a surprise to them,” Josh Walters. “Or else you didn’t do your job as a manager well enough.” As founder of Toronto-based food ordering startup Feedback App, Walters found himself in the middle of a strategic pivot that meant he needed to let go of the two members of the sales team out of his eight total employees. The only problem: they were hitting their targets and were valued members of the team.

smart pricing was the rallying cry of the sales team
Source: FeedbackApp

Speaking to PulseBlueprint, Walters shared the exact process he used to let people go and why he still feels it was the right call despite the pain it caused.

It all started with a student and a pizza

“I was travelling with some friends and we went for late night pizza – the restaurant owner offered us all the pizza he had left at a fraction of the normal price,” Walters said as he recounted Feedback’s founding story. “It got me thinking there was an opportunity to use technology to connect people like me, who were happy to pick up surplus food, with the restaurant owner. Both parties benefit.”

After getting the initial spark, Walters and his co-founder cousin:

  1. Conducted market research to see if any app existed tackling food waste (very few in the way they had planned for Feedback)
  2. Talked to restaurant owners to to see if they actually cared about this problem (they very much did).
  3. Then they found an outsourced tech team in Ukraine via a recommendation from someone they met at a meetup, and got the minimum viable product for Feedback built.

All the while Walters continued “knocking on doors” of restaurant owners to get them to sign up to the platform.

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