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Nobody likes saying goodbye.
Sometimes, whether the relationship is of a personal or business nature, the ultimate ending of it is inevitable. Being an entrepreneur you may find it necessary to cut ties with associates due to a variety of reasons – personality clashes, they aren’t prompt with payments, or they are inconsistent with every aspect of their business, which affects your business. Whatever the reason may be, here are four reasons to help you identify when it’s time to part ways with a client.
1) The client is not putting forth an effort
It is hard to put your all in into a project when the client is continually late with details and objectives, or does not bother to show up at all. One does needs some detail for any project, not a “here’s a task .. run with it” mentality. Granted, the longer you work with someone, the more you can be proactive and have a solid idea of the details behind that project. However, a blank slate causes constant delays that cost you time and money … and your time is valuable! They should respect that. Be specific from the beginning about what you expect from them and make sure they are doing their part.
2) The project keeps changing
I’ve written in the past about “scope creep” .. and this is just another effect of it. Giving their input and contributing new and/or fresher ideas along the way are one thing, but when the project has taken a completely different direction, that is quite another. The client should have one vision they are focused on and be consistent with it. Again, time is money and a change will only cause delays.
3) When the cost becomes a constant issue
Prices and costs should be set in stone and specified in a signed contract from the get go. When the client is constantly questioning or complaining about the cost of every single invoice, it wastes time, and also adds unneeded stress. Nitpicking about high cost is also a sign the relationship may need to be halted.
Good work costs money, time costs money, and arguing over something petty when it is required for quality work, is a definite deal breaker.
4) The contract is broken or there is a breach
Hopefully this never happens to you, but you should be prepared if it does so that you can end the business deal without hesitation. If the client is not doing their part and holding up their end of the bargain, it may be time to go your separate ways.
The client deserves your full attention and 100 percent. If you cannot hold up your end, are overwhelmed or feel you are just not suitable, be honest and professional about it and tell the client. They will appreciate your integrity and this will allow ample time to find a replacement who is better suited for the job.
Bottom line, you want to do the best job possible and your clients deserve it. Be professional and you will maintain your reputation. The client may even recommend you to another business or want to use you for something different in the future. Never burn your bridges!