As a business owner or any professional for that matter, at some point in time, you are likely to experience the need to cut ties with a client. Maybe you’ve outgrown each other, maybe the relationships just is not working anymore.It can be any reason, really.
Letting a client go is not a bad thing. In fact, it can be a necessary step if your business is to ever get to the point that you would have envisioned it. The key is to wrap up the relationship with the client properly and professionally once this can be done. To avoid burning bridges, you will want to ensure that all unfinished work is wrapped up, possibly assist in finding a replacement and just generally doing things that will demonstrate that there are no hard feelings. However, if the relationship has not been amicable, these may not be possible at all. Based on my experience, here are my top 9 signs that it is time to let a client go.
1- Consistently pays late and probably never paid an invoice on time. Need I say more?
2- Talking to the client or checking your inbox and seeing an email from them fills you with dread. There is no joy in working for and communicating with the client. Client can be considered a ‘buzz-kill’.
3- Client is disrespectful and prone to abusive and foul language. The client tends to have no qualms swearing like a sailor and lack basic communication and problem-solving skills.
4- Client cannot seem to understand that you are a business person and not their employee and consistently attempts to treat you like a staff member and not an independent professional.
5-Client’s work and or behavior are preventing you from taking on new work. This client always needs something done ASAP or as of yesterday or will send work at the last moment and expects you to make a miracle.
6-Client seems to lack honesty. I’m sure you know this client. You know, the one that says he never read the email despite you having received a read receipt from him. Perhaps he’s the client that will swear that your last invoice was paid on time, yet you bank receipt tells a different story.
7-Client is an expert micro-manager and needs to be involved in every step of every process, sometimes down to the minutest details, despite them hiring you do the job and make decisions.
8- Your business has taken a different direction from when you would have originally started working with the client and as such, you would have outgrown the client. Perhaps you’ve just pinned down your niche and it’s not in the area the client needs support.
9- You’ve lost your passion for providing the service the client requires. Always give your best to each client. Why continue offering a service you are no longer excited or passionate about? It would make better sense to let the client go and maintain your standard as opposed to continuing and the lack of passion and interest show through the quality of work you produce or the level of service you give.
Have you ever had to part ways with a client? How did it go? I’d love to hear of your experience. Chime in below in the comments section.