Guest Blogpost by Laura Wallace, Owner and Creative Director, Worx Graphic Design, based in Hagerstown MD. Laura is a branding expert, author and speaker.
Let’s face it. No one looks forward to a breakup. It’s uncomfortable and makes everyone involved feel icky. Unless of course you’re the one cutting the ties with someone who’s made your life miserable; then you may be celebrating with a dance party! But what happens when this person is a client? Can you breakup with a client and still carry forward full steam? Of course you can. In fact, it’s an opportunity for both of you.
Breaking up doesn’t always mean something has gone wrong, but rather that everything has gone just right. Sometimes your client outgrows you, or you outgrow your client. Here are a few cues that it may be time to consider transitioning a client:
- They have grown to need more services than your team is able to provide
- The hourly demand of their projects exceeds your team’s capabilities
- Leadership or point of contact has changed and you’re no longer a good fit
- Your company focus has changed – you no longer offer a service your client needs
- They’ve grown so much that they have enough work to hire someone in-house
From time to time, the breakup is inevitable. If things aren’t going well, it’s best to face the situation first to see if it’s a one-time issue or if there are deeper issues that need attended to. By cutting ties and moving on, both you and the client have the opportunity to find the right partners to continue to grow both businesses. Here are a few signs that you and a client need to go separate ways:
- Your style doesn’t match their expectations
- You’re going over budget but the client doesn’t want to pay for justified extra time
- There is a lack of communication, from either party
- They don’t see the value in investing in suggested marketing or branding materials
- You’re being micromanaged resulting in work you aren’t proud of
- They don’t respect you – cursing or yelling on the phone or in person
Regardless of the reason for change, always set your client up for their next success. What can you do to make their transition smoother? How will you take the high road and leave a positive impression? Once a client, always a possibility. If you treat this person with respect and give a positive experience all the way until the last interaction, this person or company will be more willing to refer you to other clients, provide testimonials and will continue to support your businesses growth.