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Knowing when to part ways with a mis-aligned client

🎶Breaking up is hard to do…🎶


That's true even with client relationships.


While it can be challenging to let go of a client, especially when you rely on their income, sometimes it becomes necessary for the sake of your well-being and the continued success of your business. Sometimes you will just know that you need to let a client go, and other times it isn’t always so clear or straightforward - especially if you like them as a person!


So, what are some of the signs that it’s time to get rid?


1. Consistent late payments

If you have a client who you repeatedly have to chase for payment, then it may be time to reconsider your working relationship. Financial stability is crucial for any business, and timely payments are a sign of respect and professionalism. Checking invoices and chasing late payers takes up your valuable time and headspace, so is it time to get rid?


2. Ignoring communication

Effective communication is vital for any successful collaboration. If a client consistently ignores your emails, messages, or queries, it may be a sign of disrespect or lack of support for your efforts. A communication gap like this can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and frustration, making it challenging to maintain a productive working relationship. It can also negatively impact your output, which in turn can make you question your abilities - and no client is worth that.


3. Disregarding your boundaries

If you have received my emails for a while, or connected with me on socials, then you know I love to talk about business boundaries and this situation is no different! As a virtual assistant, you set boundaries for your work hours, pricing, scope of services, and availability. If a client consistently disregards these boundaries by making unreasonable demands or expecting you to be available beyond agreed-upon hours, it can lead to burnout (if you allow it) or a negative self-image (if you are frequently having to reinforce those boundaries). Far better to have a client who respects your boundaries and isn’t always challenging you.


4. Constant criticism

There is a good way, and a bad way to deliver feedback. When you find yourself receiving critical feedback more often than not, then it might be time to review if you and this client are a good fit, especially if it’s being delivered in a way that affects your confidence and self-esteem. Is the criticism justified and do you need to make changes? Or is the client overly critical, and do you need to change clients?

Alternatively, you may find yourself in the situation of dealing with a rude client. Thankfully these are few and far between, but they do exist. No one should be expected to put up with this type of behaviour in a professional setting, and such clients may not be worth the stress they bring to your business.


5. Clients with No 'Click' or Solidarity:

Building a positive working relationship requires some level of connection between you and the client. If you find that you don't resonate with the client's values, communication style, or business goals, it may be challenging to deliver your best work consistently. They may be a lovely person, but if you haven’t clicked, your motivation, engagement and performance may be affected, and it might be time to move on, for both of your benefit.


6. When You Dread Working with a Client:

One of the clearest signs that it's time to part ways with a client is if you dread working with them or your heart sinks a little when you get a new message from them. If the thought of working with a particular client fills you with anxiety, frustration, or stress, it's clear that this client is not the best fit for you and your business!


If any of the above situations ring true with you, it might be time to re-evaluate your working relationship with that client.


While it's never easy to let go of a client, sometimes it's necessary for your professional growth and overall well-being. Recognising any of these red flags early on can help you avoid unhealthy working relationships and focus on clients who appreciate your skills and professionalism.


Remember, parting ways with a problematic client can create space for more fulfilling partnerships that contribute positively to your business journey.


Do you know the expression that ‘when one door closes, another one opens’? Try and use any challenging client experiences as a chance to reach out to new clients, explore a new skill, or let existing clients know of your new availability. You may find that letting that tricky client go was the best decision you have made for your business.


Have you ever let a client go, or chosen not to work with them in the first place?


How did you find the experience?


If you think it’s time to get rid of a mis-aligned client and make space for a dreamy, aligned client, but you aren’t sure how, then get in touch with me and I’ll support you through it.


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