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When your business relies on working with clients, you must establish a relationship with them. Hopefully that relationship is a good one and beneficial to everyone.

Of course there are times when conflicts occur that must be resolved. While you may be able to work through most of them, sometimes there is no resolution.

Here are some clues that will help you to know when you should drop a client immediately.

1. Refusal to Sign a Contract

Most clients understand that contracts are important and must be signed before work can begin. However there are times when you may run across a client who refuses to do so.

No matter that you’ve explained it’s for their protection as well as yours, they won’t budge on the issue. This is a clue that you should stop any work you are doing for this client.

With no contract it’s possible they will take the work you do for them and not pay you for it. Worse, since no contract is in place, you have nothing to hold them to their word. You certainly don’t want to work for free so don’t give away your services with no contract.

2. Paying Late

In the event you get a contract signed you will still have clients who pay late. Without a doubt there are circumstances when this is unavoidable and even understandable.

However, if it becomes a habit rather than an exception this is your clue to drop a client immediately.

3. Short Paying

Being short paid is nearly as bad as being paid late. If clients short pay you they better have a good reason for it.

Even then, you don’t have to accept it if the explanation is weak. In fact, this is a clue that you should drop them without hesitation. Then you can move on to a client who pays what you’re worth on time, every time.

4. Paying Too Little

This is not the same as short paying. Paying too little means they simply aren’t paying what you are worth. The best thing you can do is find a replacement client as soon as possible. Then, drop them as fast as you can.

5. Not Paying at All

Not paying at all is a no brainer. The client trusted you to do the work and you, in turn, trusted the client to pay you fairly. You held up your end of the bargain but they didn’t. This is an enormous clue that you should drop a client immediately.

6. Requesting More Work Than Agreed Upon

This is also known as scope creep and is so named because it creeps up on you. At first a client will ask for small changes to your work every once in a while.

Pretty soon you’re changing lots of things on each project and spending way too much time for the pay. This is something that should tell you to drop a client quickly.

7. Taking Advantage of Your Time

Obviously many people work remotely these days which means time lines don’t always line up. Still, some clients have no problem requesting you work through your lunch hour, supper, and even late into the evening.

They may even text or call at all hours. Some are oblivious to the fact that because they are working at midnight it doesn’t mean you are.

You don’t have to put up with it or let them take advantage of you and your time.

This is why regular office hours are important. However, if you can’t get cooperation it might be a clue to drop a client immediately.

Of course you want to have a good rapport with your clients. At the same time, there are sometimes clues that you should drop a client immediately. Otherwise you may risk loss of income or damage to your business.


Kayla is passionate about helping people get their finances in order so they can pursue a life of freedom. She quit her job to work for herself with over $148,000 of debt and swears it was the best decision she's ever made!

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