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Is It Time to Fire Your Agency’s Bad Clients? [+Video]

By Jason Swenk

Is It Time to Fire Your Agency’s Bad Clients? [+Video]

How are you doing on your 2019 goals?

I know what you’re thinking… “Jason, it’s only April, I’m not measuring my 2019 goals yet!”

But as a matter of fact, you should be!

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

The problem is, if you’re working with some bad clients, they’re likely holding you back from achieving even the smallest of agency goals. more.

So yes, it's only the end of the first quarter of 2019, but this is the perfect time to take stock of where you are, where you’re headed, and what (or who) might be standing in your way.

Bad Clients: It's Not You, It’s Them

Clients -- they provide us with the opportunity to do what we love and showcase our skills for the marketing of their brand, but sometimes we get stuck with a nightmare or two.

That’s why it’s a good idea to take stock in your clients every once in a while and even get rid of some of the misfits.

I mean, we’re all going to work with clients who are not totally ideal at some point, but if they are actually inhibiting your ability to achieve your growth goals, they gotta go.

What Makes A Bad Client?

I always say, there’s no such thing as a bad client -- only a bad prospect or a bad process.

If you have a bad process that has allowed a couple of bad clients to slip by that’s okay, It happens.

But, bad clients are the ones who won’t pay what you’re worth and want to negotiate on pricing.

They are the ones that extend your delivery far longer than it needs to be because they aren’t getting you materials, copy, or approvals.

They’re also the ones who have a ton of “tiny” requests that cut into your profit margin due to scope creep.

These are the “bad clients” you need to cut loose.

Let me guess.

You’re afraid to fire your bad client(s) because you need them for cash flow. This couldn’t be more false.

You need to get rid of them so you can spend time working with the clients who understand the value your agency provides.

Besides, trust me - it feels so good when you’re free from working with a client you know you shouldn’t be.

Are You Working With the Clients Who Will Help Achieve Your Goals?

There are actually two ways to achieve your financial goals and grow your agency; you can scale by doing more work or by increasing what you charge.

Let’s assume you don’t want to work more than you already do, because who does? :)

The obvious choice is to increase your prices.

Most agencies are hesitant to do that because they’re afraid of losing existing clients to a significant increase and that’s a totally valid point.

Some will leave; possibly even half of them.

But, you have to know not all the clients you have are the perfect ones for you.

Do a client audit and see which ones are right for your agency and its strengths.

Be honest, and ask yourself:

  • Which clients are getting the biggest value from our services?

  • Which clients are the easiest and most enjoyable to work with?

  • Which clients have the biggest opportunities for additional or expanded projects?

  • Which clients are we losing money on?

This exercise is great because it gives you the chance to look at your opportunity costs.

If you're working with the wrong clients, you're sacrificing major opportunities to work with the right clients, on the right projects.

When you are saying “yes” to the wrong clients, you end up having to say “no” to the right ones.

The wrong clients drain your resources, your time, your energy, bringing your team down as well. So...

Fire the Wrong Fit

Not all the client you have now are the right fit for your agency.

Sometimes there are instances when your agency grows at a different pace than your clients do. Those who were once a good fit initially may not be anymore. Clients outgrow agencies, likewise, agencies outgrow clients - we’re just usually too afraid to fire them.

In the end, if you have clients that are holding your agency back from achieving growth goals then you have to take action.

Do you have an annual revenue goal for 2019? Are you at least one-quarter of the way there? If not, I want you to do a client audit and see if there are misfit clients that are holding you back.

Don’t let 2019 be another year you didn’t hit the mark!

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.


Coaches, Consultants & Strategists
Published on April 2, 2019

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