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How do you know it’s time to fire a client

Firing a client

Many business gurus mistakenly say, “The client is always right.” Work for a few months on your own and you will soon discover that there are many clients who simply sap your energies and waste your time. In fact they are also wasting their own time but somehow they don’t realize it.

Clients are important, let there be no doubt about that. You need clients for your business because they pay for your services. When a client is causing trouble to you it doesn’t always mean that he or she is in the wrong. Maybe there is a communication gap. Maybe you didn’t deliver what he or she thought you would. Maybe you underperformed and you didn’t realize it, but even if you realized it, you didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. So before you fire a client you have to be pretty sure that it’s the client who deserves the firing and not the other way around.

The Pareto principle says that 20% of your clients bring you 80% of your revenue and more or less this is true. So should you fire the remaining 80% clients? Not at all. One never knows when a few of those 80% would join the league of your 20%. You should always nurture your client base. Nonetheless there are some clients not worth pursuing. You should stop working with them because they themselves are not serious about their own work.

For example, if you are a web designer and you are working for this client who every second day wants you to change the layout. At every stage he interferes knowing pretty well that you are the professional who knows how the website must be made. Although he doesn’t want to pay you what you deserve he wants you to spend all the time you have in the world addressing to all his whims and fancies. He is constantly unsatisfied and even if he likes something, he never as much as acknowledges it.

Why you should fire this client?

In case you fire this client, you are not being unreasonable or unfair. Instead of making money, you’re losing money. Instead of having a productive experience, he is draining your energies and wasting your time. Just imagine if you could spend all this time on a project that actually makes you money.

So if you want to fire a client, make a list of the following:

  • Is the problem from your side or from the client side?
  • Is it a circumstantial problem or an attitudinal problem?
  • Is there a chance that this problem can be solved?
  • Is the client really serious about completing the project?
  • Is he or she eager to pay you the remuneration you have asked for?

If you are unsatisfied with most of the answers, you should fire this client as soon as possible.