Many business owners just assume that you should take on every client that wants to work with you no questions asked! And while that may work out some of the time, there are also potential issues that can arise with that approach. You need to make sure that it is the right fit for both you and your potential client before moving forward with your partnership. There are many things to consider before you take on new clients that range from finances, to chemistry, to time constraints. All of these factors need to be considered before you take on a new client. You need to approach this decision with as much information as possible and with a clear, unbiased mind.
Can You Handle the Extra Work?
The first thing that you need to ask yourself before you consider taking on more clients is whether or not you actually have the time necessary to dedicate to this new client. Especially if you are running a new business with little to no help other than yourself, this is a really legitimate question when time is your biggest constraint! Of course taking on a big important client may be worth the extra hours you will have to put in, but you need to make sure that you can handle it physically, emotionally, and mentally or you can risk burn out. In the beginning phases of your business when you have to almost literally pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your work it is easy to get burnt out. You need to leave enough time aside to take care of yourself and not worry about work. Whether that means going for a walk outside, taking an exercise class, or going out to dinner with friends, it is important to leave enough time for you to establish a solid work-life balance and you should probably not take on a new client if all the extra work would jeopardize your work-life balance, your health, and your overall happiness.
Is It Worth It Financially?
Once you have established that you have enough time to bring on new clients you need to investigate whether or not it will be worth it for you financially to bring them on. A lot of the time, people just automatically assume that more clients will equal more profit, but that is not always the case. Sometimes a client will require so much extra work, investment, and resources that won’t end up being worth it financially to work with them. At the same time, you need to be willing to take chances in the initial phases of your startup business. If bringing on a new client will require a substantial amount of money upfront that you just don’t have, but you are confident that this client will eventually be profitable or lead to bigger projects and maybe even other clients, there are options for you to be able to work this out. You can consider taking out a startup business loan from a lending company like Seek Capital to cover the initial costs that you may incur initially after bringing on a new client. Once the client starts becoming profitable, not only will you be able to earn that money back and more but you will also be building a solid relationship with the client and gaining invaluable experience.
Do They Really Want to Work with Me?
The last question you need to ask yourself before bringing on a new client is whether or not they actually want to work with you because they believe in you and your business and believe that you can provide them with the best product or service…or whether they only want to work with you because you have offered them the best price. Some key giveaways that they might only be interested in your pricing would be if that is the first question they ask during a consultation. Another sign would then be them trying to negotiate on your prices once you tell them your rates. While you should not immediately disqualify a potential client who seems interested in saving money, it should pop up as a red flag for you to proceed with caution and maybe spend a little more time consulting with the client or doing research before you agree to work with them.
Will It Be a Good Relationship?
Finally, the last and maybe most important question you need to ask yourself before you bring on a new client is whether or not you will have a good relationship and positive partnership with this potential client. Not only does the partnership need to be beneficial to both you and the client, but you also need to have chemistry and share the same vision for the product or service that you will be providing them. You need to be excited about the partnership in order to do your best work and provide your client with the best services possible. If they are asking you to do something you don’t usually do and don’t really care about, really contemplate bringing them on as a client. It is also important to generally get along with your potential client and have similar communication styles and expectations. Of course this does not mean that you have to be best friends or anything, but you need to have some connections and ease of communication or else this partnership will be a painful one for you both.