I remember the way I used to think when I started out in my business in direct contrast to the way I think now in my business. When I started out (quite reasonably) I remember being totally desperate for clients. I was lucky to pick up some great people at the start.
I was also not so lucky to pick up some “Not so Great” people at the start too. The “Great” people were very much just like me. Hard Working, Kind, Respectful, Believe in Paying Invoices and would try and refer me work.
The “Not so Great” were the direct opposite.
They would use me for my time, knowledge and then do whatever they can to weasel out of paying their invoices. As I matured in my own business and then used my own lessons to support my clients – it became very evident (very quickly) that none of us just “Want Clients”.
We want Profitable / High Value / Ethical Clients that reflect our own values and integrity. These days, I am very glad to be working with some amazing people.
What kind of prompted me to talk about this topic was the bittersweet emotions I have been through today. I was thanking Jesus Christ for the great new clients I have picked up over the last 2 months. They are kind, respectful, brilliant and lovely people – just like me and the best start to 2015 I could hope for. They are happy, I am happy and my bank account is very happy.
On the sadder flip side of the coin I got a phone call from a colleague that I have a lot of respect for. Keeping it confidential, they privately confessed to me the mistakes they made in their business last year. They discounted, chased the wrong type of work and basically are in a lot of Financial Trouble right now. They had a stack of their “Not so Great” type of clients not pay them over Christmas and they are struggling to stay afloat.
Understandably, the person felt a great deal of shame and in the 25 minutes I could spare till my next meeting – I gave them as much advice / support I could over the phone. They will be fine and they have learned their lesson – but seeing their pain inspired me to write this post.
In short, you have to make sure you HAVE THE RIGHT CLIENTS in business. You can have the best service, best products and best technology but let’s say you are selling to Tight Ass / Cheapskates or people without integrity that will get you to do lots of work – then try and con their way out of paying your invoices. If say a massive chunk of your client base are like that – and let’s say they don’t pay, you can easily run out of money one month and be in lots of trouble. This happened to my friend and I can only feel pain for them (but I think they will be fine thank God).
My advice and thinking? Be Ethical, Kind and Hardworking. Then expect your Clients to be Ethical, Kind and Hardworking. Only work with the best and give them the best. Sure – starting out in business is always a challenge, but once you build your powerhouse client base – you can be more selective.
One of my oldest clients to this day (he was #2) is Matt Craig from MindArc Digital Agency. Kind, ethical and brilliant – I am very lucky to have a great client base today who are just as awesome and him. My dedication here!
Thank you for the read and love your work!
About the Author:
Edward Zia is a Marketing Mentor, Business Commentator, Blogger and 4Networking Regional Leader. He loves working with Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs helping with Top Sales & Marketing Strategies. Edward also loves working with high value awesome people like him.
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