When you’re in business and someone wants to pay you to do a job, you’re usually going to take their money and do the job. Yet sometimes walking away from business makes more sense and is more profitable in the long run.
We’ve all had nightmare clients. They demand too much and nothing you do keeps them happy. They’re rude and generally difficult to deal with. But despite this, as long as they’re paying you, the temptation is to keep them on.
The Real Cost To Your Business
It’s worth taking the time to work out how much this sort of client costs your business. You might find that some of your most annoying clients are costing you more than you’ve earned from them.
But there’s more than the dollar cost involved. There’s also the cost of your staff who deal with the client. A rude and abrasive client will eat away at your team’s morale. They will also cause all sorts of other problems within your business.
Sometimes the smartest move you can make is to get rid of a client that’s making you and your team’s lives a living hell.
Watch For Warning Signs
Sometimes it’s your instinct that sets off alarm bells about a client. Although you might ignore this, there are always other warning signs, such as –
- Not returning calls or emails about payment or support queries.
- Trying to dictate how they deal with your business and ignoring your rules and processes.
- They have a demanding tone or sarcastic manner.
- Refusing to pay for services that you provided in good faith.
- They use CAPS when TALKING TO YOU and DEMAND that you FIX something NOW!
- Never satisfied with your efforts to keep them happy.
Deciding Whether To Fire Your Client
Ask yourself this question: Is this client adding value to your business or reducing it? If it’s costing you more to support this client than you’re earning from them, the answer is clear.
If you’re worried the client will start spreading negative comments around town – don’t. This type of client has likely already been bagging you even when you were trying to keep them happy.
But BEWARE – if you have more complaining clients than happy ones it’s time to take stock. Look at your offerings, services and operating principles. Check everything to see if there’s something you need to improve. And do it fast.
At the end of the day you’re in your own business because you’re passionate about it. You also want to improve your lifestyle and be in control. A client that causes you and your team stress and money will erode your passion. It will also put you back to the days of employment when you had no real control at all. Is that where you want to be?