View Full Version : When to Let a Project or Client Go?
11-18-2011, 05:45 PM
My Expert Briefs post this week was about how to know what to focus on and what should just go (http://www.nicoleonthenet.com/10067/when-to-cut-a-project-client-or-program/).
As always, I thought I would come over her to see what you guys and gals thought.
With the new year looming and the holidays coming into swing - are you finding it time to cut the fat?
I'd love to hear how you choose... especially since so many of you are in multiple niches.
11-19-2011, 09:52 AM
Most of my experience with regular clients is from my financial services biz but I think it could apply to any business. Challenging clients will cost you emotionally and also lower your productivity and creativity far more than you will make from them monetarily. They will steal your joy and promote burn out.
I'm not talking about challenging projects but rather irritating clients. You know who they are. You cringe when you see their number on your caller id or their from address in your email. You spend twice as much time on their projects as a similar one for someone else. Even if you charge them twice as much, you still feel "cheated".
There once was a time in my early career in my own business when I wouldn't fire a client thinking I needed as many clients as I could get. But when I got over that clinging feeling and suggested to a few clients that they would be better served with someone else, my business boomed. I can't really put into words how exhilarating it is to prune the irritants in your business. Why did my business boom? Because my work for my other clients took on a new dimension in their favor and when you do great work for clients, they tend to refer friends that are a lot like them.
So, if you have one of these thorny clients, I encourage you to politely send them a Dear John letter and give your great clients all that energy.
11-20-2011, 03:29 PM
I agree completely with Chris on this topic. I thought I couldn't afford to turn anyone away during my first year online. Now I am able to spot an incorrect fit right away and politely say no thank you. There is great comfort in having the confidence to work with only those people with whom you resonate and align with. It seemed like once I did this many more people found me and valued what I had to offer them.
11-26-2011, 09:42 AM
Connie makes a good point. You do learn (if you pay attention) the warning signs of a client that will cost you more in stress and aggravation than one you can develop a great, mutually beneficial relationship with. Yes, early on, I also wouldn't turn down a client, but I learned quick that some people just are worth working with.
I have also fired clients (not in the middle of a project, of course) that have driven me nuts. But that hasn't happened in a long time. I can pretty much spot the ones I don't want to work with by what they put in their very first couple of email conversations.
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