As our business grows we find more and more things that either change or situations that appear that require changes to our business. Whether you are a medical office or a billing service, things are always changing and it is necessary to find new solutions to problems and challenges that arise.
Something that is often not thought of when an office is small and has just a few employees is a non-compete agreement. But as you grow it is much more sensible to consider the problems that can arise as a result of not considering this agreement.
Our Big Lesson
Once your office is hiring employees you really need to consider a non-compete agreement. We once had an employee who had been with us for over five years decide she did not like a new employee we hired. Our new employee was with us only two weeks when the five year employee called our largest account and asked for a job. She didn’t discuss it with us or admit what she had done. To our surprise two weeks later our largest account called us and told us they had hired her. It is amazing how quickly someone you considered a trusted employee can become a threat to your existence. Three months later the account terminated our agreement to do the billing in-house.
We immediately wrote up a non-compete agreement and asked all our employees to sign it. If they were not willing to then they no longer had a job with us.
When you work with the same people every day you consider some of these people your friends as well as your co-workers. We usually spend more time with our fellow employees than we do with our spouses. It is difficult to believe that some people will do the things that some people will do. Having a non-compete agreement can prevent hurt feelings and a damaged business.
Thanks to one of our readers we were notified that in California non-compete agreements are not generally enforceable. So you might want to check with your attorney.