Avoiding Pesky Clients

09/20/07 :: by Patrick

Here’s a brief excerpt from the book, The Web Design Business Kit, 2.0. If only it were as easy as the author makes it sound:

Tips & Tricks: Avoiding Pesky Clients

You’ll pick up pesky clients here and there as you grow your client numbers. Pesky clients will drain your energy, money, focus, creativity, morale, and more. So, how can you avoid them?

These are the characteristics of previous clients who have turned out to be less than fun for my business:

  • someone who has zero Internet experience
  • someone who doesn’t know what they want beyond “I want a web site”
  • someone who has completely unrealistic expectations
  • someone who’s aggressive
  • someone who suggests paying us from the profits that their new web site — the one that we’ll be developing — will make
  • someone who doesn’t trust us from the very start

Once we’ve identified a client as potentially pesky using these criteria, we perform a risk assessment in order to ascertain what benefit our business will receive for the amount of resources we’ll need to invest in them. Our risk assessment involves four factors:

  • our gut feeling
  • the profitability of the project
  • the likelihood of payment
  • the potential for ongoing work with the client

By reviewing the red flags I mentioned above, and undertaking this simple four-step risk assessment, you’ll have a clear picture of whether a client will be a dream or a nightmare.

Don’t hesitate to reject the person or company you identify as a potential pesky client. You know exactly what a pesky client can do to your business!

One Response to “Avoiding Pesky Clients”

  1. moquito Says:

    i would also add portfolio worthiness to the factors. but it’s good to hear that we’re not alone - we do screen for these things now!

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