Do you own your own business? Then you probably have wondered at some point in your life when should you fire a client? Tough question isn’t it? It is for many who don’t see the red flags and warnings that are often present and end up in unhealthy relationships with ungrateful clients. . . or worse, like Andrea Polito. [backstory and inspiration for my post today here] (thanks again to you Simon for sharing this story!)
There is something that makes answering this question difficult for most. Why? Well, we have been taught to think and behave as if the client is always right, even when they’re not.
As a small business owner you have two very precious things that you need to fiercely protect both online and off – your time, and your health. If a client takes up more time than they are paying you for, is difficult to communicate with, or overtly hostile – you need to ask yourself some serious questions before your second resource is threatened. . . your health.
The biggest question to answer for yourself and your company is this; ‘What immovable obstacles push you to the point of saying goodbye to a client?’
As you begin to recognize what these answers are, and establish the boundaries for your business, I hope that the articles I’ve shared below help you have better working relationships. . . whether or not you decide to fire a client.
Annie Infinite of Business2Community shares how you should be ‘Firing Clients Gracefully’
“The truth is some clients just suck you dry one way or another, the worst client of all is the control freak in my mind – you know that client for whom nothing you do it right, every thing has to be challenged and changed to suit them even though they hired you as the expert in your area?” [read more]
Maria Malidaki of Six Revisions shares ‘How to Fire Bad Clients’
“In your career, you’ll come across people who don’t quite understand what you do. A disrespectful client does not treat you like a professional and does not understand that you want to collaborate and offer your knowledge to the project. They will act bossy, insist that they know what’s best for their web presence, assign you tasks without consultation, and neglect to ask your opinion on key matters. Even worse, they might communicate with you disrespectfully.” [read more]
Joshua Johnson from Design Shack poses ‘5 Questions to Ask for Deciding When to Fire a Client’
“When someone hires you to do work for them they either see it as a partnership wherein two parties work together in a mutually beneficial relationship towards a common goal, or a monarchy in which they have ultimate rule over you, the lesser subject and grunt worker.” [read more]
Nellie Akalp a contributor to Forbes offers you ‘6 Reasons To Fire A Client’
“If you’ve been working long enough, you are bound to run across clients who don’t follow your advice, are resistant to change, or simply think they know better (even though they hired you for your expertise in the first place). Perhaps they edit and revise your work beyond all recognition. Or, they don’t listen to your advice in the first place and then expect you to fix everything when things go wrong.” [read more]
If you are struggling on what to say to a client that will be fired, Nick Reese offers‘3 Painless Scripts To Free Yourself Of Problem Clients’
Coleen Francis, Special to The Globe and Mail, introduces you to ‘The four types of clients you should fire immediately‘
If you use Quora, you may appreciate (and offer an answer) for this question: What’s the most graceful, tactful way to fire a client?
“A particular client of mine is exhibiting an inability (or unwillingness) to accept my support, suggestions, or to learn to use the tools that I’m being paid to set-up for them.” [read more]