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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my family owns two hair salons. We treat the employees well (we pay well, give raises, bring them lunch, lots of breaks, minimal chores...) Recently, One of our best stylists went crazy. He started stealing clients, talking bad about us, spreading rumors, etc. We fired him and he opened up his own salon. He talked most of our stylists into working for him. Now we might need to close. Now we only have about three employees. We lost most of our business. The whole town thinks we are awful people (idk why? Rumors. Rumors. Rumors.) This guy convinced many people to write horrible things about us on Yelp, so no new clients will come. We are so in debt. We might lose our house. Idk what to do.
 

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What on earth? Have you possibly looked into a slander suit against him? What could have possibly triggered this whole thing?
 

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A slander suit is exactly what I was thinking, but lawyers cost money. Have you talked to any of the employees that left? Simple mediation to find what the issue was could do a lot of good. Unfortunately, this is why a lot of companies use non-compete clauses in employee contracts. I typically hate going into salons because everyone has an attitude (and usually ego) that is too big for their britches if you know what I mean. You may not have done anything wrong, but people like that will find things to complain about one way or another.
 

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Oh, no. It sounds like there is a chance this guy might be a sociopath or psychopath! If that's the case, these people are very manipulative (while being superficially charming), have no conscience, and will set out to destroy reputations when the claws come out. I'm so sorry.

I suggest a slander suit as well. You may want to look into whether you are eligible for pro bono or low-cost legal representation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What on earth? Have you possibly looked into a slander suit against him? What could have possibly triggered this whole thing?
He has always had some anger issues, though we never thought he would be this crazy. We have looked into slanders suits but lawyers cost money, and we are already in debt.
We never did anything bad to him. He was our employee for about seven years. He got the most pay, the most breaks, etc. He is just crazy. Somehow he lured our stylists to his new salon. Even our most loyal and trusted employees followed him.

He spread so many rumors. When we walk our dogs, our former clients run away (literally) from us. Its awful.
 

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You won't be able to prove a slander suit, since most will claim they are stating an opinion, which is legal. You have to show what he said, then prove its not only untrue, but said with intent to harm. It's better to go for intentional business interference, but that's hard to prove as well. You need to show that he intended to hurt the business, and then prove damages, which is actually pretty hard to quantify. I'm studying law, and I can't think of many successful suits of either claim when it comes to damaging a business. It sucks, but I highly recommend constituting a lawyer. Some will do initial consult for free or cheap. Most communities have lawyers who participate in volunteer programs where people can get free legal advice.
 

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Employees steal customers all of the time, but for the most part the customers come home, mostly because even good employees don't usually make good employers and don't survive in business on their own.

Run some adds, have a sale to bring your customers home and attract new ones and if there is something on social media that is untrue get ahead of it with the truth. Take the high road and wish your deserters well... while promoting your own new talent.

Memories are short, and people buy value. A $10.00 loyalty reward for each returning customer will go a long way to smooth over ruffled feathers. Remind people that their great hair cuts were because your salon had great management, training and provided them a great experience... and you still have that. Most new businesses fail, it gets harder to succeed when the established ones cut the rates and run promos.

Some years ago, I had an employee steal one of my bigger dollar customers, she was good but never made a full 5 day week and sometimes I had to pick her up from her house and bring her to her jobs... Sure my client thought they were getting a bargain, but they soon found out that without our other staff covering for her and constant support she was unreliable. Her new business lasted for all of about 3 weeks, util her car died again or her kid was sick. No I didn't get the customer back, nor did it want them... I was best rid of both.

Desertion is a risk you run when you have a staff in a business where your staff can strike out on their own. It's going to happen again.

Your salon window should have a big sign in it welcoming your new talent, advertising your new lower prices and announcing free champagne for the celebration, so your old customers can see that things actually got better without the deserters that were holding you back.

Best luck.
 
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