Unfortunately, even if you are working as a freelancer, you will have to face some unpleasant situations and when you do, you will always feel that even working on your terms is as difficult as working for someone else. We all know that there are advantages and disadvantages attached with everything and same goes for freelancing. Being your own boss is not as easy as it might sound to most of the people. In any case, bad clients do come in the package and it has nothing to do with being a freelancer or a full-time employee. Avoiding bad with situations with bad clients is somewhat inevitable. You should always be prepared for such difficult situations and no matter what, as a professional, deal with them professionally. If a client wants you to continually redesign layouts for items such as booklet printing orders and other printed materials, they can be tough but not impossible to work with.
Dealing with bad clients can be a nightmare depending on how you deal with the situation. At times, they can really have a negative impact on your business and even on your entire personality. In this article we will be discussing some points on how to deal with bad clients and these points will definitely help you in dealing with the situation in a far better way. Following are a few ways to deal with bad clients effectively:
A Cursed Client or a Cursed Situation
Such clients are known as clients from hell and dealing with them is definitely very difficult. Clients can be of various kinds. Some clients will constantly interrupt in your which can get very annoying. They will let you do your work first and later on will request to change a lot of things because this is not what they wanted. Such clients are hard to live with or without. You cannot just let go off every client because they are giving you a tough time. You need to deal with them professionally. If a client is making you suffer a lot, it is high time that you analyze the situation and identify where the situation lies.
If a client is getting on your nerves, you need to ask yourself a few questions regarding that particular client. First of all, you need to make sure if the client is worth all the effort you are putting into his work. Is he actually profitable and will bring more business your way or will just bring lots and lots of useless problems your way. If the client is not so profitable, you can be humble and let go off the client. You can even try raising your rates.
Also, as a freelance you will have other projects on hand too so is this particular client taking too much of time? Are there a lot of queries from the client that you are replying to and wasting your time? Last but not the least, if there are too many inconvenient requests coming from the client, you need to get straight with the client and tell him that he needs to let you do your work. If things are just not working out with the two of you and client isn’t really profitable you need to part your ways with the client instead of letting your entire work routine suffer.
Conducting a Detail Audit
If you have a feeling that a lot of your time is consumed by a particular client, you need to revise your working strategies. As mentioned earlier, you need to analyze if the client is worth it or not and if you can afford to spend so much time on his project. While working on his project, conduct a detail audit of your 2-3 weeks work routine. For instance, your client comes to you with a simple brochure or flyer design job and creates a lot of fuss during it, however, when it come to the printing of this material (which is much profitable job than designing), he outsources another vendor and gives this job to him. This audit will prove to be very beneficial for you as it will help you in understanding where your time is spent. You need to make sure that one client is not getting all your attention because this will make your other projects suffer. If this is the case, you will have to make some adjustment and do not entertain any useless demands from that client.
Your every minute is precious and make sure you are being paid for your hard work. Do not let such clients waste your time and energy. Conducting a detail audit will make you more organized and you will know how much time a certain project needs and how much time was being wasted on the same project earlier.
Pay Cheques Matters a Lot
A delay in pay checks is expected but it should not be made a habit by clients. Even your best clients will sometime not deliver the check on time. However, as a professional if you have delivered the project on time, you deserve to get paid for it on time too. You should always have a few safety funds in case of late payments so that it does not affect your personal life.
Even if a client is delaying the payment, you should wait for some time. If a client is doing it often, you need to inform him that this cannot happen. Tracking down clients and pending payments can take a lot of your time and you surely don’t want it. If you have such clients, you either need to get straight with him or keep them away in future.
Avoid any Kind of Politics
The best thing about being a freelancer is that you do not get involved into any kind of politics which full time employees have to face in offices. Since you became a freelancer to avoid such situations, you should not allow your clients to drag you into their official politics or gossiping. Avoid taking anyone’s side if you are working with two teams for the same project. All you need to do is work on the project and deliver the work on time. Anything else related with the project good or bad, especially bad should be none of your business. Do not get caught up in client’s issues as you have nothing to do with them.
Realize When to Cut the Cord
No one likes to lose out on a client which is exactly why every employee or a freelancer avoids conflicts with the people they are working with. However, if a client has been bagging you constantly and is putting a bad impact on your over-all work, you need to finally cut the cords. You too can fire a client but you need to do professionally.
You should try your level best to come across as humble as possible and avoid getting into any details as it might give a birth to an argument which can lead to a bigger conflict and you surely don’t want it. Such conversations can be a little hard but in order to survive in the professional world, you will have to make such conversations and take such decisions.
Avoiding bad clients is the best way if you want to survive as a freelancer. You do not have to drag the unwanted work relationship with any bad client. They will take up all your energy and will leave you with all the negativity which will surely affect your work. You should know when to say bye and you should know how to do it in a dignified way.