If you are coming from a corporate environment or a standard job, it is easy to think that you need to say yes to all potential clients.
Let’s go with this thought:
You have a client who pays you a lot of money. However, the client takes up 80% of your time, is someone you want to hide from when they drop by or call, your blood pressure goes through the roof. BUT they pay well. You know the type.
Do you keep the client or tell them they are not a good fit?
You are the boss.
You can decide to have them “move along” to another company.
But… “They pay me on time, they pay the full price, and I need money.”
If you haven’t had this situation before, you will at some time in your business career. It’s a hard decision. Here are a few tips to help you decide what is best for you.
1. Start tracking how many hours you spend with this client. This may surprise you. You may spend more or less hours than you think. Your time is valuable. Having facts to work with help in making wise decisions.
2. Analyze why they take up so much of your time.
Clients take up time for different reasons. Sometimes they are simply controlling. Other times it may be that they are not getting enough information up front in understanding your process. They might have needs or questions that are not being addressed.
Think about why they are contacting you so often. Are they asking the same questions? Do they want details that most of your clients don’t ask about? Do they have a fear that you can address? See if there is something you can do to help them from taking up your time.
3. Is someone else a better fit?
If you have a team of people who work with you, another person may be a better fit. Delegate and filter your involvement with the client. Remember the boss does not have to work with every client. If you don’t have a team, you can look into having a Virtual Assistant help you with paperwork as well as time-consuming clients.
4. Find out how much money you are losing
If you are spending a significant amount of time working with a problem client, then you are not getting your work done. Your time is valuable. If you charge a client $175 an hour and you are spending 5 hours a week with this difficult client, then you are losing $875 a week. Or you it may cause you to work 10 hours extra in a week making up for lost time which cuts into your family time. Is this client worth missing time with your family?
5. Don’t be afraid to send them on their way
You probably did not start your business so you could be stressed and work a ton of hours. They may be a nice client but anyone taking up too much of your time is probably not worth it. It is okay for you to decide not to work with a particular client. There is plenty of business to be had. Bringing in more clients will make letting go of the troublemaker a much easier choice.
As a business owner, you can determine who you want to work with and who you don’t. Give yourself permission to be picky. Always make sure you are making money, not losing it by trying to keep a difficult client.