Firing Your Client, Designer

a desk with books and a lamp

When to Consider Firing Your Client: Designer’s Guide

Relationships with clients are very important! It’s like dating! They are used to form bridges with other people and other sections of the industry. You can literally expand your horizons due to your clients, and it is true, sometimes the client is more important than earning money through them. They can give you connections and they can increase the reputation of your brand which is very important for small businesses. That is why they say, if you win a client as a startup, you increase your brand awareness, and more people will come to you for it.

But if you are opting for the opposite, where the client is just too much and you want to fire a client, then this is the right place to be. You just see no way out of it, nothing positive will come from it, then it is time to let them go.

Why you should fire your client:

Firing a client sounds incredibly uncanny, no one *wants* to fire a client. You fire an employee, but in a way, a client is somewhat an employee too, and if they do not do their part after opting for you, they are just not right for you,, and you are not right for them. At some point if the relationship goes sour, someone has to be the one to cut the tie. If they are just causing roadblocks after roadblocks, then it is time to let them go and find another designer who can work best with them, especially if you are in the following situations.

  • Your client just does not listen to you.

If your client does not listen to you, does not take heed of your suggestions and is always recommending you over your expert opinions then that is when you should let your client go. If they are always micromanaging stuff, then that means they hired you just to show that they know better than you. If they know better than you, why did they hire you in the first place? It is quite unprofessional, and if you are seeing this behavior, then you should fire your client.

  • There is no one-to-one communication.

There is no direct communication with your client. This happens over a course of a week or so, you plan a meeting and they do not show up. This wastes your time, and you are always trying to do things by yourself, only to listen that the work you did is not according to them. If they were there for the meeting, for the calls, the result would have been like how they wanted. Then sometimes, they show up and say, they needed another thing, not the one you chose. It is a big problem if this happens. Cut the rope, fire your client as poor communication is happening between the two parties.

  • They take a lot of time.

Many clients are the opposite, they are always calling you, always making demands, and are always meddling in your plans. Even the tasks that are not related to them. They will show up on meetings when you have planned other meetings. This can be too much, and can affect the flow of work for you.

If you are experiencing all of these reasons, it is time to let them go.

Here is what you need to do to fire them gracefully:

  • Complete the contract with them somehow.

Whatever contract you set with them, complete it. Make sure that no loopholes are left, finish their task so they do not put a fake bad review on the internet. You will even have to not get paid so that they can leave you easily, and there are no bad feelings between the two. 

  • Be professional, don’t show your true feelings. Emotions = bad breakups.

Let your client know that the relationship between you two is not working out. Do not get angry, do not show your emotions, just tell them that you cannot work with them, because of your reasons, not your client. That way, the client won’t get mad, and will leave you in peace.

  • Give them a replacement.

Whenever you are letting a client go, always give them an alternate business that can do their work. This way they won’t be angry, and won’t fixate on you for not doing their work properly, despite your client being the main reason for their work not being done according to them.

Follow these rules to safeguard your business’s reputation from a dreadful client. Trust us, it’s not easy! And we never wish this on anyone. But The above advice should help you navigate those murky waters safely so you can move on. 🙂