Here’s a scenario:
You have four clients.
- One low maintenance client, who only requires a little work each month
- One great client who brings in about a third of your income and requires about a third of your time
- One occasional client, who tends to pop in with work that needs a very quick turnaround
- One client who sits at the high end of the maintenance scale, and makes up over half of your monthly income
Juggling several clients can be difficult, and no client is the same. High maintenance clients are fine – as long as the pay off is good and you know how to deal with them! Equally, low maintenance clients are a dream, but don’t fall into the habit of dropping your standards or your fees for them.
So, how do you juggle a varied selection of clients?
- Analyse your clients, their needs and how much time they’ll require. Stick it in a fancy diagram if that’s your bag
- Set boundaries. If a client pays for three days a month, make it clear that any extra over that will be charged (or that they’ll have to wait until the following month for you to continue). There are a bundle of apps for tracking how long you’ve worked.
- Set contact hours. If a client is being high maintenance, make sure you’ve set hours that you can be contacted.
- Contact ALL your clients on a regular basis. A simple email to update or check in can pick up on any problems early, and keep your clients happy
- That occasional client? Suggest a retainer. If work tends to pop up on a monthly basis, charging a retainer may encourage them to think ahead a little more (call me an optimist!)
- Work in blocks of time where possible. Dedicating a morning to one client and an afternoon to another can make it easier to separate workloads. Easier than jumping between lots of different tasks
- Manage your email smarter. If you find you’re a slave to your email, consider restricting checking your email to blocks in the day.