A bad client can turn into a money maker. How’s that? Get rid of the bad client and implement a new policy.
Early in my consulting career, a prospective client asked to hire me for 30 minutes, just to see what I could do. It was late on a Friday and I figured I could use the extra money to splurge on dinner. The guy sent over a deposit within the hour, since he was in a tower down the road. I got to work and delivered the mini project on time.
The client phoned me back and said he loved my work. But now he wanted to see what I could do in 15-minutes. Realizing that administration of the project would soon overtake the time of the project, I declined. I immediately implemented a minimum charge. The client wasn’t willing to commit to such terms. So we parted on good terms. I was happy, because I’d just warded off future five-minute and perhaps even one-minute projects.
All these years later, I still have that minimum charge. It’s allowed me to eliminate clients who have projects that take more time to administrate than to do. As a result, my earning power has increased, since I’ve minimized non-billable work.
What do you think of minimum charges?