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So you’re wondering how to fire a bad client or difficult clients…without it being totally #awks? 

Now, there is no perfect solution to avoid bad clients. But, there is a way to end client relationships while keeping your professional reputation intact. 💁🏽‍♀️

You can avoid the drama and part ways gracefully. While moving your business forward in the most aligned way possible. There are so many reasons why you might be considering it’s time to fire a client.

Maybe you’re tired of the late-night Slack pings, phone calls, or weekend work requests (because weekends are meant for brunching…not hustling, riiiight?!) 🥞🥂

Maybe you’ve decided to raise your rights or change your services altogether, and you don’t think this client will fit with your new way of working. Or maybe it’s just not a vibe anymore. And that’s a perfectly fine reason to fire a client, too. Not every client will be a dream client.

It’s your business, sis! So let’s make sure we’re running it in a way that feels good for you. ✨

Follow these steps to break up with a client (nicely) and end the relationship without burning any bridges! Even when it’s a tough call.

How to Fire A Client Professionally

See If the Relationship Can Be Salvaged

First things first, you might want to ask yourself…

Are you sure you want to fire your client? Or is there something you can do to salvage the relationship? There are certain instances where you just know you’re at the end of the rope with a client.

Maybe you’ve tried to enforce boundaries or make your policies clear, and they refused to listen. Or maybe you aren’t having great client communication with them.

But if you haven’t, it might be useful to try and give your client the benefit of the doubt. If you think there’s a chance the relationship could be salvaged, it pays to have a conversation with your client.

In your conversation, make sure you let them know:

  • What you love about working with them (start with gratitude first, always!
  • What’s currently not working when it comes to your arrangement 
  • What needs to change in order to improve your working relationship 

If this is a client you’ve been working with for a while, why not give it one more shot? If after this conversation, you’re not seeing any changes from your client, you’re ready to move on to step number two. 👇🏽

Check Your Contract

When it comes to knowing how to fire a client, your contract is the first place you’ll want to check. 

If you don’t have much time left in your contract, it makes sense to just ride it out and then discontinue services with your client.

However, if your contract is ongoing, you might want to check out our contract release and modification template for a smooth exit. 

Your contract is your compass and will show you exactly where you need to go. 

For example, if your contract states that either party needs to give 14 days in order to end the working relationship, follow the policy that was set out.

Adhering to the terms of your contract is the best way to #stayclassy and come out on the other side with a spotless reputation, especially if you’re a small business. 💁🏽‍♀️

Always give proper notice (the more, the better) and make sure you’re not leaving your client stranded. Be a pro and complete all deliverables owed to your client to the highest standard. This is not the time to start slacking, sis. 

Your client can either be a lifelong fan who refers you to all of their biz besties…

Or

A bridge you burned. Someone you had a bad falling out with, who you pray doesn’t badmouth you (because people talk) to others and limits your cash flow.

It all depends on how you end the relationship. So we urge you to end it with care, grace, and intentionality like the pro you really are! 💛

Stay Calm and Professional 

If you’ve read through your contract and now you’re ready to learn how to fire a problem client, here’s the next thing you need to remember…

Stay calm and level-headed, always. Do not play the blame game.

Remind yourself, this is a business decision. Not a personal one.

When you start thinking about your business as an entity separate from yourself these decisions become easier. If you’ve decided working with this client is no longer in the best interest of your business, then it’s time to detach from your personal feelings about your client breakup. 

We recommend letting your client know over the phone, especially if this is someone you have an established business relationship with. 

Let them know you have some upcoming changes to the scope of work you’d like to go over with them. If your client reacts emotionally when you break the news or starts to get angry, stay even-keeled.

Remind them how much gratitude you have for your time together and ease their mind about the transition. Reassure your client you won’t leave them high and dry and you’ll be there for them to support them through this change!

Which brings us to our next tip…👇🏽

Reach Out to Your Community

If you’re wondering how to fire a dear client without leaving them hanging, your referral community is the absolute best place to turn to!

If your client was pleasant to work with, but just no longer a fit, why not refer them to a biz bestie (who might be a great client to them) and share the love? 💛

We recommend cultivating a network of professionals you can turn to so you can confidently refer out to clients. This will put your client’s mind at ease and release them from the burden of having to find someone on their own.

PLUS, it’ll put some moolah in a fellow woman business owner’s pocket. 💰

Talk about a win-win, riiight? 😍

We’re ALL about leveraging the power of community here at Coaches & Co. If you don’t already have a pre-vetted community of badass business owners to send your clients, we’ve got you covered, sis! 

We launched our Crème de la Crème verified business directory to showcase the best of the best in online business.

We’ve done all the work of pre-vetted these pros for you, so you can refer them to your clients with confidence. Or shop around for some online biz support yourself! 😉

👉🏽 Check Out Our Verified Business Directory.


Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Protected & Profitable™✨

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Guide to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now!

*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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