When you’re getting a new business up and running, there’s nothing more dangerous than wasting your time on clients that aren’t going to offer the kinds of returns you need. Yet, many small business owners are so desperate to start growing, they will try to make things right with “problem clients”, when really, the best option is to simply move on from them. Here, we’re going to look at how you avoid them and ensure that your business only works with the best.
Set your own standards
Rule number one: never let clients dictate how you work or how much you work for. Setting a price for your services can be tough, but the client should be the last person you listen to when configuring your prices. They will naturally want more for less, and the worst of them will insist that you drop your prices. Worse, still, they might insist you do work that you prefer not to. If a client is trying to dictate your terms, you are better off dropping them on the spot.
Know your clients
Other clients may be quite happy to work with you, but the trust is that they’re not being entirely honest. Fraudulent clients may lie about their identity or their credit status in order to get your services without being able to pay. A KYC check, also known as a know your customer check, can do a quick verification. You can make sure that your client is who they say they are and there aren’t any financial red flags indicating that they can’t pay you. It’s a small step but it could be vital in ensuring you’re not getting ripped off.
Keep communication clear
When you or a client make a decision, make sure that it is a) communicated and understood by both sides and b) documented in some fashion. When it comes to agreeing what you’re going to do, how much you’re going to do it for, and when payment is due, writing a contract is the most effective way to ensure both parties agree and consent to it. Always be wary of clients who don’t want to sign any contracts. It could be a sign that they’re unwilling to commit and may be inclined to change their story further down the line.
Ensure you always have options
Problem clients don’t always show their face immediately. They might start becoming more unreasonable after you’ve worked with them several times in the past. This is why it’s important that no business should ever tie their fortunes to one client. You need to diversify and work to build relationships, little and large, with different clients. That way, if you need to lose one because they are no longer good to work with, it doesn’t become an existential crisis for the business.
Your clients are your business’s lifeblood and they deserve your support. However, that’s only true if they are the kind of clients you need. Be careful how you spend your time and efforts and who you spend them with.