Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Some Clients Drive You Nuts?
Take a Quick Quiz
By Victoria Munro
Do you love working with most of your
clients, but have a few who cause undue stress? If so,
you’re not alone. We often hear from business
owners who love what they do,
but struggle with one or two difficult clients.
Sometimes, they’re slow to pay or difficult to
work with – they demand more time and cause more
emotional turmoil than they are worth. Others routinely
fail to get needed work in when promised, forcing the
business owner to put other work aside and rush to complete
projects by the due date.
If you have
even a few clients like this, it may be worth
taking time out to step back and think about what is
happening. You may need to “fire” some and
make room for new and better clients you’ll enjoy.
To pinpoint areas where you could
improve your odds of enjoying healthy, happy and less-stressful
client relationships, take
the Quick Quiz below.
you defined the types of people or companies you
do and don’t want to work with?
you have a written ideal client profile?
you crystal clear about what clients may expect
from your company and what you expect from them?
you have appropriate client agreements*,
contracts or letters of understanding?
these clear, well-written and easy to understand?
your terms plainly printed on invoices, statements,
your invoices clear and easy to understand with
a consistent format?
you offer early payment incentives, is this information
clearly stated on invoices?
If you answered no to any of the questions
above, make plans now to shore
up these areas.
If you have clients who demand a lot
of time but generate little profit, ask yourself if
in the past you’ve given in to unreasonable requests
that might have encouraged them to think that you’re
comfortable with these demands. Having
and clearly stating boundaries around time and money
form a solid foundation for healthy business relationships.
As a new business owner, it can be
tempting to take on clients you know you probably shouldn’t
accept. If you offer a first-class service or product,
be selective about the clients you work with and lay
a solid foundation for great client relationships. They
will respect you for it and you will enjoy working with
all of them.
asking clients to sign your agreement, it’s
wise to go over important points with them, answer any
questions they might have and get their verbal agreement
since some people may not carefully read through a document
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
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