It is a tough emotional day when you have to fire a client. When we started in this business, we had one or no customers. It was scary. I can remember waking up in the middle of the night and asking myself why I ever left my regular job to go out on my own. No clients means no income. A truly humbling but, electric experience. Small victories mean more when you have little.
So, we all remember that time. As we mature as business owners, we soon discover an ugly fact. There are client who aren’t partners. They see us as a resource to be managed. There is no warmth or well wish from them. They use us for our service and nothing more. Add to that late pay or payment that is often disputed and you really see the effect of keeping this client as a customer. Hours taken up discussing on non-billable issues. When the problems are not your fault, reality collides with that emotion cited above. You know you must take action.
Firing a client is not natural. It is conflict and most people shy away from conflict. People seek positive environments and skirt unfriendly ones. Ask anyone who has married the wrong person and subsequently divorced. They weren’t consistently home on time. There were other places they went to before going into that unwelcome home environment.
There is a lot of detail here. Several sub-steps need to be executed. However, unleashing the drag of a bad client from your business is one of the best decisions you can make. As you and I have great fear about firing a client, Believe me when I tell you that you will have greater joy and relief when it is done. I have experienced it and know it helped me in many professional and personal ways.