5 Reasons it May Be Time to Fire Your Client
If you’re a small business owner, there may come a time when you wish you could fire your client. Don’t worry! The customer from hell happens to almost every entrepreneur at some point.
You have an instinct from the onset that a client is going to be difficult. They will require more time than the rest of your customers, but you could use the extra money.
Should I fire my client?
There are myths about the difficult client. The first is that if you work harder, it will be worth it. But as you know, this is rarely the case.
A terrible client may disrupt your life and cost you time and money:
• Sometimes you can simply bill them for wasted time, and they’re happy with it.
• Other times, they may get angry when they see your invoices and not understand why there are billable hours not involving actual work.
• Many times there can be difficulties in communication. Misunderstandings can arise, and soon feathers are ruffled, and one or both parties has no intention of mending the breach.
If you have a nightmare client and need words of advice, watch this video:
It’s certainly possible to cut all ties and fire your client. While this may seem distasteful to you, it can be worse continuing with the business arrangement.
So, how do you know when it’s time to let go?
Here are 5 reasons that it may be time to fire your client
1. Their life is chaos.
You know the type. They’re constantly on the telephone, and their life is chaotic. They show up two hours late to a meeting. Then, they forget to email you key documents to start the project or leave out vital information.
In many cases, this type of client is a godsend because they give you full reign over what you need to do. Some people enjoy this type, while others need some form of direction. There is a fine line between working independently, and genuinely needing their information to complete the project.
Before you end the arrangement, consider whether you can complete the project on your own. If so, will the client be happy? If not, then it may be too stressful tracking them down to answer questions or get the information you need.
2. They’re controlling and abusive.
Abuse isn’t always obvious. When people picture abusive clients, they think of them throwing things and hitting people. Abuse can be intangible. So, what things do you need to be aware of?
• When you’re running your B2B company, you call the shots. A client should never make demands on your time, telling you when you can be with your spouse, pick up the kids, or take a vacation. This is controlling.
• Racist comments or jokes are not acceptable in the workplace, on the phone, or through email, texting, or Skyping. If you’ve repeatedly warned your client, and they disregard you, then get rid of them.
• Abuse can also take the form of unwanted touching, possibly “accidental” or even having items slammed down in front of you.
• Threats, whether veiled or not, can be grounds for dismissal. If they say they’ll withhold payment or give you a good or bad review, then they are threatening you.
If you want to see if you’re overreacting, watch this video:
Chances are if it’s something frightens you or makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is considered controlling or abusive.
3. They don’t pay on time.
This can be a tricky situation, particularly when you’re working for a well-established business. The problem may not be your client, but their accountant.
You’ve repeatedly asked for payment, but they refuse, even though you add cumulative interest. This may signal the end. Finish up the last bit of work, then announce that you’re no longer working for them.
4. They left bad reviews.
Do you work for a client who is never happy with your work, but they keep asking you to do more? Maybe you doubled your rates, and they’re fine with that. But they ask you to do better but are vague when you ask for specifics.
The bad reviews may be something posted on Yelp or other review sites. It’s perplexing why they want to continue working together.
5. Their work is time-consuming.
When you decided to start your business, you wanted to work with a variety of clients, not just one. Yet, you may have someone who takes up more of your time that you can’t bill for. You’re working overtime hours that impact your family life or other clients.
Is it time to cut your client loose?
It’s better to do it as soon as possible.
Send any remaining work. If it’s due to a personality conflict, then recommend one of your colleagues. Otherwise, fire them happily. Soon, you’ll notice how relaxed your working life is. Plus, you’ll have extra time to find new clients.
Still not sure about firing your client? Here are Entrepreneur’s 6 Signs It’s Time to Fire a Client.
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