If the Relationship Is Beyond Repair

It’s probably time to cut ties with your client after all.

If you’re …

  • Not getting paid for delivering quality work
  • Working on projects that are no longer fun because there are too many cooks spoiling the broth
  • Running on constant urgency because your client is disorganized and doesn’t respect your time
  • Unable to move steadily through a project because you cannot get timely feedback
  • Always having to deal with clients who expect you to go the extra mile and deliver extra work for free
  • Just generally finding the client unpleasant to work with… then, there really is no point working with that client.

But before you pull the trigger and fire your client, just make sure you’re going about it the right way:

  • Check to see that you’re not breaking your contract
  • Finish all client work that has been paid for
  • Give the client advance notice that you’re ending the relationship so they can plan accordingly
  • Finish any existing projects at a suitable milestone to ensure a smooth transition. You want to maintain professionalism and ensure you don’t leave them out to dry
  • When breaking the news to the client, be polite, honest and firm in your communication. Explain that, unfortunately, you can’t continue working with them but that you are willing to help tie up any loose ends

Here is a template you can use to fire a client without burning any bridges:

Notice how we started and ended the email on a positive tone, and remained professional and polite throughout, while still being honest and direct in our communication?

And how we also made sure not to leave the client in the lurch by telling them we’ll complete all existing assignments?

These small things matter and ensure that your client continues to see your work and relationship in a positive light.

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