It’s more important than ever to nurture and retain clients in the increasingly competitive business environment. Unfortunately, some clients can be more trouble than they’re worth, they can cost more than they bring in. ‘Not all clients are right for you’ is important to keep in mind while growing your business and trying to make sure you get to and stay in the green. Here are signs it’s time to fire a client.
You should fire a client if they are physically or mentally abusive. Abuse is a broad term that includes threats, sexual harassment, continuous belittling, and making disparaging remarks about workers’ race, gender, or appearance. You can also let them go if they are excessively rude or demanding to your workers in a way that makes the office a toxic workplace. It’s enough if they’re just too unpleasant to work with for all involved.
Never satisfied or make unreasonable demands
It may be time to fire a client if they are never satisfied even after changes are made to their specifications. It is within a client’s right to have high expectations, however, if they consistently make unreasonable demands, it may be time to let them go. Unreasonable demands include constantly adding more to the project without paying more and expecting instant results. There’s just no pleasing some people and in the end, such clients will cost you more than they’re worth.
Some clients may be right for you at some point in your business but as you grow, they no longer fit. This may be one of the few times where ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ may actually be an honest reason for a breakup. If you no longer believe in their product or see no way to continue to be of benefit to them or no longer have the creative power to do great work for them, it may be time to fire a client. You should also terminate the relationship if continuing to work with them can get you into legal trouble because of their activities.
Can’t make up their minds
Clients who can’t make up their minds and keep changing their decisions throughout the process can end up costing you more. If you’re charging by the hour and they’re willing to pay and you can handle the frustration of all the changes, it may make sense to continue working with them. Otherwise, it may just be best to fire a client who cannot or refuses to make a decision and stick to it.
You can and should fire a client who consistently fails to pay on time thus interfering with your business’ cash flow. A client who also consistently nit-picks or disputes your invoices after previously agreeing to the costs is also a candidate for the boot. If you’re also losing money on that client because you’re undercharging and can’t raise it, for whatever reason, you may have to let them go.
Don’t respect your time and expertise
If you have a client who micromanages you and cannot let go of control or trust you to do the work they’re paying you to do, it may be time to let them go. Some clients also refuse to follow your instructions even after you’ve shared your expertise and then expect you to fix it when things go wrong.
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