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Is it Time to ‘Break Up’ With a Client. Here are 3 Signs to watch for.

As a business owner, you've probably endured situations of dealing with clients who actually create more troubles than they are worth. There are several issues that you need to keep watch out for in telling you when it may be time to cut ties. This may seem harsh, but let's face it. You're running a business. When you fail to adhere to these signs, these trouble-clients/customers could be the very reason why your business is failing or may fail.

1. Late payments

Some clients or customers may make a few late-payments. That's not what's concerning. If you have a client that continuously make their payments, but sometimes it's a few days late, that's fine. Those are good clients.

What we are talking about are clients who avoid their payments and when confronted about it, try to find reasons to justify why they have not paid. It can help to create some specific terms and policies in your agreements which detail late fees and penalties if not paid within accordance of the agreement. You may also want to ensure that your clients make an upfront payment that will cover their fees or expenses when they fail to make due on their agreements.

In some circumstances, you might just need to end the relationship if it's costing your more time to collect the late payments. We can assist you in creating solid agreements to help ensure that late payments never become anything more than a minor oversight.

2. Not being paid enough

It’s absolutely vital to get paid the appropriate amount for your work. Many entrepreneurs not only have failed to create a good relationship around money, but also have an issue of devaluing themselves and their services.

It's important to evaluate your client or customer base, the work that you're performing for them and the time it takes to accomplish certain tasks. If your fees are not equaling the value of the time it takes to accomplish certain goals, you are not getting paid enough.

Do not be pressured by potentials saying that "you charge too much" or that the other "professional down the street charges 50% less." Allow them to walk out the door and take the deal they are referring to. When you value your expertise and time, and price your services accordingly, others who engage you will do the same.

3. Scope creep

This is all too familiar in small businesses. This customer or client retains you, you clearly list out the services you will provide and somewhere down the line, they are asking for small things that are outside of the agreement.

Make sure that you anticipate the needs of any client and let them know that there may come a time when they will need additional services, however, you cannot provide anything additional that goes beyond what you have outlined.

If you're not sure whether a certain service is included in the scope of services previously agreed to, take the time to pull out your agreement and ensure that you will be paid according to your terms.

Respect yourself and the rest will follow. While it can be painful to sever ties with problem clients, as with ending any dysfunctional relationship, you’ll be better off in the long run. You can always find new clients, but you can never recover the time, energy, and attention wasted by staying with a lousy client any longer than necessary.

Whether it’s creating airtight sales agreements, assisting you in overcoming your subconscious anxieties over money, or helping convince wayward clients to pay you what they’ve agreed upon, you can count on us to always have your back. Schedule a visit with us today to get started with a Business Protection Session.


This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Planning Session or Business Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.

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