When it comes to being a service provider, sometimes it becomes necessary to end a business relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with the person as a human being, but it may mean that you’ve both outgrown each other. Or some other reason may have arisen that causes you to want to end the relationship.
Reasons to End a Client Relationship
You’re Suffering from Scope Creep
When you started with the client, you had well-defined responsibilities which you’ve allowed to get out of control. You’re now doing work far outside of your niche and you don’t enjoy it. You’re not being paid enough to outsource, and you’re starting to feel resentful.
They Make Unreasonable Demands
Remember that what is unreasonable to you is reasonable to them, so it’s best not to confront them on this behavior but rather try to set limits. If you try to set limits and they won’t let you, it may be time to end the relationship because you are a bad fit.
They Keep Trying to Make You Reduce Your Rates
Anyone who agrees on a rate, then keeps trying to talk you down, doesn’t respect your business. They may even think of you as an employee or a liability instead of a partner in their business, which may cause them to feel resentful of paying you at all. If the issue of pay comes up a lot, it may be a good idea to move on.
They Are Slow Payers
Any client who won’t pay on time on a consistent basis is a liability to your business and your cash flow. As a service provider, you need to get paid for the work you do on time. If you have an agreement to get paid in a certain way, you should get paid. Give your client a warning and set a three strikes and you’re out rule.
They Don’t Listen
When a client hires you as an expert in your niche but they will not listen to anything you have to contribute, yet they still want you to be responsible for ROI, you have a serious problem that has to be fixed. If you cannot fix it, let them go.
They Are Unresponsive
If you ask for information and they won’t ever give it to you or are often late with the information, and it affects how you perform your duties, it may be best to let the client go. Their unresponsiveness can ruin your schedule and affect not only the work you do for them but also the work you do for others.
They Are Disrespectful
You know when someone shows you contempt or disrespect. You are a business owner now and you don’t need to put up with any of that. When you feel as if someone is disrespecting you, ask them if they’re saying what you think they are saying so that they can clarify. If they are being disrespectful, it’s time to part ways.
The Best Ways to End the Client Relationship
Look at Your Contract
Check the contract to see what the rules and methods of ending the relationship are and stick to that.
Keep It Business Related
Even though sometimes ending a client relationship feels personal, it’s best if you don’t get personal but keep it all business. Only address business things in your notice. Don’t get personal. If you must be vague rather than detailed to keep it professional, do that.
In most cases it’s best to give notice according to the contract. In most cases you can safely give a month’s notice, which is longer than a typical employee relationship because it may take them time to find a replacement. But, if the relationship is contentious you may try to end it sooner.
Ending a relationship is never easy, but once you do let go of clients who aren’t ideal, you’re going to free up space to attract your ideal clients. Plus, once it’s over you’re going to feel so much better about your business and yourself.
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Offering an internship is beneficial to both your business and the people taking advantage of the internship offer. However, it does require a good deal of effort to run a successful intern program. The focus on any internship should be teaching a new generation of workers, not free labor.
Here's how to make the most of an internship program so that both businesses and interns gain maximum benefit.
Test Drive Future Contractors or Employees
If you are in the market for a new contractor or an employee, having an internship program is a great idea. You can hire two or three interns, with the idea that if one works out they will become permanent. Seeing more than one intern working can let you know if your expectations are too high or on target.
Get Short-Term Support
If you don’t need full-time support, but you have more work during summertime, then having interns during that time is a great way to give back to the community by training future workers, but without having to make promises of permanent work.
Find Low-Cost Labor
Due to lack of experience, interns often get paid less than someone you have to hire on a permanent basis. In some states it’s legal to use an intern free as long as you have approval from certain colleges so that the student can get credit. Plus, most states require you to be a non-profit before allowing you not to pay interns.
Get Fresh Ideas
Bringing in new blood often brings in new ideas. If you run your internship asking for fresh ideas from your interns, leaving the door open for them to bring their ideas into the mix instead of just focusing on tasks that you assign them, you’ll boost your business in ways you haven’t considered.
It feels great to help students and young people who haven’t started their career yet. Giving them information to put on their resume, even if you cannot hire them later, will help them in more ways than you can imagine. Experience is hard to come by but required for most large companies.
Attract Top Talent
If you are a small company, or even a work-from-home company, you likely cannot afford the best talent. But, with an internship program you can get top talent because they need experience to get those top-paying jobs.
Acquire New Technology Skills
If you’re short on new technology skills, by starting an internship program you can recruit interns who have outstanding technological skills to do the things you cannot do. Even if it’s short term, you can get a lot of things off the ground.
Improve Training Programs
Whether you hire contractors or employees, an internship program will help you improve your training programs. Upon doing an exit interview with the interns you hired, you can ask the right questions so that you can find out how you can do better.
Remember, internships aren’t free labor anymore. There have been several lawsuits against for-profit companies using interns as free labor who have been forced to pay the interns after the fact. Some companies under a very limited basis can get by with doing unpaid internships but only under very specific circumstances. So if you want to offer unpaid internships, make sure you consult a lawyer in your state who has experience in this area.
Market research is one of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your business. Unfortunately, Many small business owners often overlook market research. Market research is an essential and ongoing component of all successful businesses. Here are twelve ways to use market research to create more revenue for your business.
1. Discover Your Target Market
Many people make products, and then try to find a market for them. However, the truth is that you should first find the market you want to work with, then create products for it. Even if you skipped that, you can now find your target audience so that you can get your marketing materials right.
2. Get to Know Your Potential Customers
The market research that you conduct will allow you to get to know your potential customers better. When you know them better, you’ll be able to create customer personas that help with creating content and marketing which really gets results.
3. Develop New Complementary Products and/or Services
When you know what is going on in the marketplace you’ll get more ideas about products and services that your audience needs. You may get the ideas from reading industry news or from what the competition is doing. Try to add offerings that pair well with something that's already selling well.
4. Refresh Your Marketing Efforts
Sometimes marketing becomes stale and even though your audience doesn’t change who they are, they do change how they feel about things. For example, what was acceptable marketing for companies decades ago isn’t acceptable today. You need to refresh your marketing as needed and stay on top of changing social media trends.
5. Find Out Who Your Competitors Are
It’s important to identify your competitors so that you can keep an eye on them and what they are doing. Sign up for their lists and purchase some of their products. Don’t copy them, but do take note so you can be better.
6. Educate Yourself to Become an Expert
The more information you learn about your industry and the market for your products and/or services, the closer you’ll become to being an expert. Reading as much as possible keeps you up-to-date and knowledgeable.
7. Confirm Your Ideas
It’s important that when you have an idea or assumption about anything to do with your business, you do the research to determine if it’s right. Sometimes anecdotal stories are wrong; sometimes a result is an outlier and not true. Only market research can help determine what is genuinely right and wrong.
8. Discover New Opinions
During the market research you’ll also learn totally new ideas and opinions you never considered. You may find during your research that they are wrong or you may find out that they’re right. Only proper research will help.
9. Keep Up with New Technologies in Your Industry
Keeping up with market research will also help you learn about technology as it happens. Every day new technologies are being discovered that can help you with your business. Without research you won’t know about it. It’s easy to get trapped within your bubble and not realize what is happening.
10. Identify New Trends
As you’re doing your research, you’ll start to be able to identify new trends that are happening right now. These trends are things that you need to jump on because as fast as they come, they change.
11. Avoid Marketing Mistakes
Business owners who avoid market research are prone to making horrible marketing mistakes. They are at risk of believing their own biases. If you want a laugh and a cringe or two, see Ad Week’s list of advertising and marketing fails.
12. Track Your Own Brand
Many people don’t realize that during market research you’ll also be able to determine how you’re doing as a brand getting information out to the public. If you do not run into your own articles, interviews, blog posts and research while searching, then you need to start working harder.
The fact is, without market research your success is in jeopardy. Some business owners will achieve accidental success but it will be hard to keep up. If you plan for success by conducting market research for your business, you will be set up for success from day one. If you started already, it’s not too late to conduct market research to ensure that you achieve and maintain success.
As mobile continues to outshine desktops in the content delivery market, it’s important to be aware that if you’re not mobile-ready, you’re missing out on the potential revenue that mobile can bring. Being mobile-ready can mean many different things but the first thing is to build a responsive website. The next thing is to determine how to monetize mobile for your target audience.
Understand What Mobile Means
Any “on the go” devices constitutes mobile. It’s important to realize the difference between “optimized for” or “accessible to” mobile. You don’t need to be optimized for mobile to be available and usable on mobile devices. You just need to be accessible for mobile. Think of mobile as simply a new tool to view your content and offerings, not a whole new environment.
Make Your Content Mobile Ready
If you use a responsive design, you’ll be able to easily be viewable and usable on mobile devices. Ensure that any additional plugins, apps, and shops you add are also usable on mobile devices. If they’re not, find a different one because you’ll literally miss out on over half of your audience.
Release Your Own App
To earn money via mobile, one great way is to release your own mobile app that you charge for, offer a subscription to, use as a way to promote affiliate products, or for your audience to make in-app purchases to earn revenue. You don’t even need to know how to code. You can use PLR (private label) apps and rebrand them as your own.
Offer Mobile Checkout
If a shopping cart doesn’t allow for mobile purchasing, most shoppers will not go back to your site. In fact, they’ll likely complain about it all over social media too. To avoid this problem, ensure that people have the same experience on mobile that they have on their desktop.
Increase Social Media Activity
The truth is, most mobile users spend an enormous amount of time using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to encourage mobile use of your blog, promote a lot more on social media. When mobile users see your promotions and click through to your mobile-friendly options, they’ll be pleased.
Create Highly Digestible Content
Shorter content that is optimized for mobile will encourage more mobile users to consume your content and answer your calls to action. Content for mobile needs to be a little shorter, more concise, and targeted. This type of content will also work well for PC users, so including a variety of content that works for both is easy.
Use Images Wisely and Creatively
Today, images are very important to bring attention to content. People enjoy reading an infographic with lots of data more than they enjoy reading a boring blog post with the same data. The infographic brings that type of content new life while imparting important information to your audience. Mobile devices have lower resolutions than PCs for these images, though. Keep that in mind as you create the content so that your images are still viewable on mobile. Plus, don’t overload your site with irrelevant images. Choose which ones you use very carefully.
Avoid Using Flash
While Flash has been an important component in many types of content on desktops, the problem is that Flash is not compatible with mobile devices. So, if you have been using Flash on your websites and blogs, you’ll need to use HTML5 instead to ensure compatibility with mobile.
Mobile is a highly important and rapidly changing. The more popular it becomes, the more important it will be to learn all you can, optimize your websites for mobile, and realize that new tools will be invented in the future for people to access your information. Will you be ready for the increased revenue that mobile brings?
Getting everything done is causing a lot of depression among people today. Productivity is the new buzzword that has everyone driving themselves mad trying to do more things at once than is humanly possible. Some people call it multitasking but the truth is, it's a myth that multitasking is effective. If anything, multitasking is costing you big time. By some studies, multitasking is showing a decrease in productivity by 50% or more. Don't believe me? Take a look at just a few reasons why.
Multitasking Make You Lose IQ Points
When you try to do more than one thing at a time it actually makes you perform about as well as you would if you were drunk, using drugs, or lost some of your reasoning skills. This is the worst thing that you can do if you want to be a top performer in anything. Whether it’s running a business, parenting, or something else, you get about as much from it as you put into it. So, if you focus 100 percent, you’ll get a 100 percent back.
Multitasking Makes You Less Creative
When you can let go of the noise around you, you can also become much more creative. It’s very hard to get into a flow if the phone is ringing, the kids are interrupting you, or the notifications and the dings of social media are interrupting your train of thought. You not only need time to truly focus on a project, but you also need time to focus elsewhere between projects to kind of cleanse your brain a bit before moving on to the next thing.
Multitasking Is Dangerous
Not only is multitasking dangerous for your health in that it can make you ill, but it’s also dangerous to your safety. If you are driving and talking on the phone (or as is popular with some YouTube celebrities, making videos while driving), you are putting yourself in grave danger. You would not get behind a wheel drunk, so don’t get behind it and do anything but drive. Likewise when it comes to doing anything, focus on the task at hand and you’ll be less stressed, which will translate into being healthier and happier.
Your Brain Doesn’t Work That Way
No matter how you want it to work, no one’s brain can really focus on more than one thing at a time. Yes, of course you can talk and walk at the same time, but texting and talking is not something you should do. Writing a letter, spending time with your kids, focusing on data entry, making sales calls, bookkeeping... all should be done one thing at a time. If you learn to make your to-do list with this in mind, you’ll get more done faster and your work quality will go through the roof.
You Need 15 Minutes to Adjust to a New Task
A Microsoft study showed that when you’re interrupted by something like an email message, a beep from a phone, or by someone physically interrupting you, it can take 15 minutes to get back on task - meaning to get back into flow where you’re doing the task at the highest level that you can do it. It’s important to keep this in mind as you plan your day if you want to perform at your highest capability.
Don’t fall for the idea that multitasking is an ability that you should strive for. It’s not a good idea for anyone to multitask. It’s bad for your brain, it’s bad for your work, and it just isn’t really possible to start with.
What are you juggling in your business that is killing your performance? If it's financial worries or staying on top of your bookkeeping and accounting tasks, the best thing you can do is outsource those distractions to a competent bookkeeping team like the Bean Counters! Ready to finally have some relief? Give us a call and let's talk.