HomeTony TalksSometimes it’s hard to say goodbye

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye

When you start out in practice the one thing you are always short of is clients. Some say there aren’t enough hours in a day but by using up as many of the 24 available you manage to cope but nothing stops a fledgling practice from developing as a lack of clients.

So you ratchet up the marketing budget, get the App working on all the platforms, get Hootsuite working overtime to keep the social media output going and you use all your powers of persuasion with existing clients to get them to recommend you to their family and friends.

This way you build up the practice and you value every single client and you nurture them and do your best for them.

Then as time moves on and the pressure on getting new clients eases off you find yourself struggling with the hours in a day question for the first time.

So what do you do? You look at the time records and you spend some quality time on introspection and it dawns on you that some clients frankly get more of your valuable time than the fee warrants.

You recognise that they are constantly on the ‘phone with questions about their tax, their friend’s tax and their family’s tax. They don’t bring their records in on time but always have an excuse which most of the time you don’t believe and their records leave shall we say a lot to be desired and leave it at that. Then the clincher a little bit of checking reveals that they never seem capable of paying you bill on time, always turn up at the office spending even more valuable time explaining why they can’t pay the bill now but they will do everything they can to “sort you out something” when they can.

It’s obvious they have to go and yet a part of you thinks no it’s a client and I need every one of them but that doesn’t last long does it.

You decide that they definitely must go fee or not and then after much ado you draft the letter and make the call.

As the years go by these issues become easier and easier to resolve and you spot these clients sooner rather than later and you find that drafting the letter and making the call get easier and easier and occasionally just occasionally you think about that very first time and you wonder how on earth did you let it go so long.

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