Do you need to fire a customer?

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Are you tolerating one of those clients that fills your stomach or your chest with dread every time you see their name on your cell phone or your email notifications? Hi, this is Judi Otton with GrowthCast.

When do you fire a customer? This is a hard question for many business owners, but there are good reasons to fire a customer. First of all, it frees you up to handle your good customers.

Second of all, they’re probably draining resources. It’s very likely and common for the most difficult customers to be the least profitable ones. They also may be keeping you from getting new customers. If you or your sales folks are spending a lot of time dealing with them, you’re not spending time out getting new customers.

And finally, it’s really not great for your mental health. But it’s not easy. Believe me, even as someone who makes all the decisions for myself and my own business, it’s not easy.

So first of all, make sure you have buy in. If you’re an employee of a company, don’t do this on your own. Talk through all the issues with your management, your supervisors and other groups in the company.

There are some ways to do it that, that are easier and harder. One way to do it is to raise your prices on renewal. And even if they do stay at least, maybe you’ll be compensated appropriately for the extra effort and the extra stress. You may choose not to offer a renewal. If you do decide that you have to just terminate the relationship, I highly encourage you to do it face to face and, and sometimes these days that may be zoom and if that’s what it is, that’s ok. Don’t make it personal, be calm and professional and really focus on the fit. You’re not a good fit for each other and that doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything negative about either one of you. Recommend an alternative if you can. For me, I know a lot of other fractional CFOs and I do recommend other fractional CFOs in some cases. Follow up in writing, and finally be gracious. There’s no reason to be rude or mean or inappropriate, be professional kind and respectful.

This is Judi Otton with GrowthCast and I’ll be back next week with a new Fiscal Fitness Tip of the Week.

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