It’s amazing to me, how people want millions of clients to use their service based business, but are scared to fire bad clients that cause strife and stress to their business. Your peace of mind is essential to your success, and that means firing bad clients.
Even if you paid me $1000 an hour that doesn’t mean I should sign you as a client. Many service businesses are deseparate for clients, so they sign everyone because they need the money. Trust, I will never be hurting that bad to sign on just any clients. I would rather go flip burgers for minimum wage than to bring on someone that will bring drama and stress. There are a couple of preventative measures you can create that can help you take on the right client versus having to fire people.
- Define your ideal client – who are they as business, who are they as a person, what is their financial situation
- Know if you’re willing to do a discount for services. If so, how much?
- Establish boundaries for business
- Notice little details – are they swift responded to emails, how many times do you have to discuss paying deposit
- Create mandatory rules for working for you – i.e.: having to pay hourly rate no discount, hours of operation, consult days etc.
- Layout your company mission, values and why honesty and trust are important to you.
- Create guidelines and contracts in regards to working with you.
Now if you do all the preventative measures and you do get in the situations where you need to fire your client there are a couple ways to go about it. Trust, I have pride myself in making sure I have the right clients , but I had to fire several clients too.
Options For Firing Clients
There are three ways to fire clients and keep peace of mind. This is something important to me when it comes to peace of mind. I want to know I did right by myself when I lay my head down at night. We especially as women tend to put others needs over ours because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. We enduring suffering even longer.
- Email Communication
- In Person
- Phone Conversation
No matter, how which way of the three you chose you need to be ready for all things that can happen. I have had people call me out my name and pay their remaining balance. Then weeks later them apologize and say how much they want to work with me. Yeah, then I had people cry and others say thank you and own up to their shit.
When you see the relationship is not going the right way, start documenting everything that is going on. Each one of my client has a section in my binder. Notes and interactions are stored in there. This helps me reference things later. You can always share the exact day and time if necessary.
People really believe handshakes and verbal agreements are great and never get anything in writing. This is a huge no, no. This is why I am glad Brandi Howard Law is established and helping provide legal education to small business owners. In your client contracts, you need to outline a lot of things. Your contract is to protect you not your client. It has your best interest at heart. In your contract note payment schedule, how payments should be made, time frame of contract, have a kill fee if necessary, have clauses and rules. If a client breaks a clause or guideline in your contract it makes it to let them go.
Don’t Attack Them
Most people have reach wits end when it comes to a client that they are ready to yell, cuss and let their anger out. Regardless, of how much they have attacked you, caused stressed, and push you to a corner don’t do it back to them. Most times hurt people, hurt others. They don’t know how to communicate and release their problems in a constructive meaningful way in communication. If necessary, practice having the conversation with someone else. Role play it out from all stand points. Outline why the situation is no longer working and its best that you part ways.
To be honest, we stress out more when it comes to firing them than they do for being a bad client. We lose sleep, post on social media asking for advice and the list goes on. Keep your peace of mind when firing bad clients.