September 28, 2015

This Simple Formula Lets You Know When to Ditch Potential Clients


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If you’re in business for yourself, you’ve experienced that client. The one you took on that you knew you shouldn’t. Maybe you felt you needed the money at the time. Perhaps they did a good job of “low-balling you.”

Whatever the reason, there are simply clients that cost too much to work with.

Yes, you heard me right. Even clients that pay you in cold hard cash can cost you too much.

There are many different kinds of costs. One is the “emotional cost,” and this should not be underestimated. When a client is unreasonable or demands too much time for non-meaningful (and often unpaid for) activities, the drain on your energy also impacts your performance for other accounts that you simply can’t afford.

But sometimes there are hidden hard costs as well.

A fully loaded cost on a client project is the all-in cost for what it takes to deliver. This includes the cost of sales, delivery to market, overhead, and so on. Some would even say it includes emotional cost.

I tell every one of my fractional CFO and consulting clients the same thing I would remind every CFO I worked with in the corporate sphere…look at your fully loaded cost before deciding whether or not to take on a new client engagement.

If the fully loaded cost is ever more than what you’re planning to charge your client, ditch ‘em.

It’s a simple equation.


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