As a Home based business entrepreneur, solopreneur or freelancer, your number one task is to cope with your clients. Whether you are a Graphic Designer, an Illustrator, a web developer, a life coach, a writer or even an accountant, if you can’t communicate properly with your clients, soon you won’t have a business. The problem is that many times, misunderstanding is not your fault but your client’s. Although as a Solopreneur or Freelancer you feel the urge to please every client that comes to your door, you need to understand that it is for your own and your client’s benefit to choose with whom you are working and with whom you are not. Here are the top 5 signs that show you it is time to fire your client:
Sign #1: Your client demands a lot more time and service than what it is agreed that it would be delivered.
As a boss of your own, it is important to keep track on where your time and energy goes. These two together are what actually bring food on your table. So, if you afraid to quit working for one client, because of scarcity beliefs, ask yourself: If you didn’t have to work for this X-client for Z-amount of time and didn’t get this Y-money, how many more clients would you be able to serve and how much more money would you earn? You’ve got the point. Bad clients cost you money. You need to get rid of them for the same reasons you feel afraid to do so.
Sign #2: Your client has an over aggressive attitude and tends to blame his/her associates.
Let’s be honest. You might be a little flattered when you hear how all the other professionals couldn’t deliver your expertise. But beware. Before you agree to work with this person (because this type of client needs to be fired before you even start working with) take under serious consideration that it is impossible all the other professionals to be so terrible. Most likely this client is unable to communicate his/her needs. In addition to this, that type of client tends to refuse to pay after the service is delivered with the “being unsatisfied” excuse. Do you really think you are the only one who will manage to get away from this person’s horrible attitude? No. Of course not. Furthermore, after working hard to please this client, not only will you end up underpaid but you will also have someone spreading bad reputation against you.
Sign #3: Your client is easily influenced by people to whom you have no communication access.
Although this seems not a big deal, it is always proven to be a very tough reason for which you should fire your client. Just imagine this scenario: you meet with your client. You discuss the service you will deliver, you agree, and you start working. Then the client asks a couple of friends, relatives etc. their opinion, and comes back with a distorted request. Ok, you try to please your client so you start all over again. The problem is that what you now create or deliver is not what your client really needs. So the client is not pleased with the results and tries to find out a solution by asking advice–again- from all his/her relatives and friends. I believe you got the idea. After hours of hard work you will have to face the fact that your client with his/her 2000 or more “advisors from Facebook” will never be completely pleased and this might cost you your good reputation as well as your completion fee.
Sign #4: Your client doesn’t worth your service as high as you do.
You might have faced an attitude like this: “Why so expensive? It won’t cost you more than a day of work” or “Oh, Come on, my nephew can do this for free, why should you charge that much?” or even worse “I’ve done my research and I know other professionals charge less than half for what you do”. I am sure you have done your research as well. And I am sure that your price is compatible with what you offer. So, avoid working with such clients because you will be forced to low you prices and next time a client comes to you, for reliability reasons you will have to charge them the same low amount of money. This will not only limit your income but it will decrease your self-esteem and your authority status.
Sign #5: You are unable to deliver what the client needs because of limited knowledge or time from your behalf.
All the previous signs and reasons (for firing your client) supported your own interests as a Solopreneur, Entrepreneur or Freelancer. This final paragraph is dedicated to your client’s rights. If you really want to have a good reputation and a continuous stream of work you need to consider this carefully. Let’s assume that your client has a request which you obviously can’t deliver for the above reasons. You need to be honest with this person and explain exactly what is going on. Although you will not earn money from this particular task, you obviously prove how trustworthy you are. This client will definitely come back to you when he/she needs something of your expertise. In addition to this you will avoid a lot of frustration and anxiety and you will keep on working with other clients on the areas that you are most familiar at, resulting raving testimonials for your services.
When you have conflict with clients of yours, you need to consider very carefully whether you can cope with it or you should proceed on firing them. Of course whatever you decide you need to do it in professional style. You don’t want to break their heart as these very people will spread specific reputation for you and your services. Thus, if they leave lighthearted they might suggest your services to their friends. Sounds Creazy? No, it is not. For more information on this topic you might enjoy reading my next article: “How to Fire your client in Professional Style».