How To Determine Which Clients to Let Go

As an entrepreneur, you likely worry about not having enough work to do or not enough clients.  However, if you're good at your job, you'll inevitably run into the opposite situation occasionally--you have too many jobs and clients. 

While letting clients go can be scary, that's just what you may need to do.  If you don't, you could become overwhelmed, and your work could suffer.

Here are the best ways to determine which clients to keep--and which ones to cut:

1.  Look at the money.  Of course, how much you make per job is an important consideration.  As you add new clients, you've likely been raising your rates.  If you have clients that are paying you much lower than other clients, those may be the ones you should consider letting go first.

2.  Look at the relationship.  Money shouldn't be the only factor in your decision, though.  Also consider your relationship with the client.  If you have a client that doesn't pay as well as the others but is flexible and you have a good relationship with him, keeping him on as a client may be better than keeping on a better paying client who is difficult to work with.

3.  Look at the exposure.  Another reason to keep a lower paying client is if the job provides you with good exposure.  For instance, if you're a freelance writer, maybe one client has a much larger audience base than another.  For this reason, you may want to keep the job with the larger audience base even though it pays less than another with a smaller audience.

When you've determined which clients you should let go, don't send out a notice that you're terminating your services. . .yet.  Instead, let the client know that you're raising your rates.  If the client agrees to the rate increase, don't cut her.  However, if she doesn't want to increase your rate, then you can go ahead and cut the job.  Just make sure to give at least a month's notice.

How do you determine which clients to let go when your business grows too large?  

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