No one likes to lose a web design client. Especially when you consider the hard work that goes into finding one. And we can’t forget about all of the efforts it takes to provide them with great service.
The whole experience can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Not to mention a hole in your revenue stream and a void in your schedule.
It’s an unfortunate part of running a business. But it doesn’t have to be all negative.
The reality is that there are times when losing a client is a net positive. It could, for instance, lead you to explore new opportunities. There’s also a chance for some self-reflection.
Today, we’ll look past the downside and focus on how losing a client can potentially help your web design business.
You Might Find Growth Opportunities
Working with a client for a long time helps to build a sense of security. They’re someone you can count on for continued business. But that comfort can also limit your upward mobility.
This is especially so when a project involves repeatedly doing the same tasks. A big maintenance contract, for example, is a source of steady income. Yet it also leaves little room for growth.
When this type of client leaves, you may suddenly find yourself with a lot more free time. This provides the necessary space to determine what comes next. It could be just the thing you need to refine your growth strategy.
Sure, it’s possible to simply fill that spot in your daily routine with a similar client. But, even with a small revenue bump, it’s not exactly a case of moving up.
The idea is to find ways to steadily increase profit while avoiding the previous time trap. That could mean offering services with recurring fees or even outsourcing some of the grunt work.
Sometimes it takes losing your security blanket to make positive change.
There Can Be Valuable Lessons To Learn
Running a web design business is a constant learning experience. And while we may associate it with gaining technical knowledge, there’s more to it.
Take client relationships. Not all of them are healthy, and some can be downright toxic. But even the worst ones contain valuable lessons.
You’ll learn to navigate common issues like design politics, and how to stand up for yourself when a client crosses a line. Plus, the experience might help you recognize the warning signs of a potentially bad situation. It could save you from a lot of future headaches.
Losing a client also gives you a chance to look at your business practices. Any insight you can pick up regarding why they left could provide clues on what went wrong. From there, you can make some necessary tweaks and strengthen any weak spots in your service.
Whether the lesson is, “I don’t want to go through that again” or “Here’s what happened,” there is plenty to learn.
There’s Less Weight on Your Shoulders
We’ve all dealt with clients who stress us out. You know, the ones who are highly demanding and yet always seem to be late in paying invoices.
In these situations, even a high-revenue client is likely more trouble than they’re worth. Money is great, but peace of mind has value too. Thus, watching them leave may feel more liberating than sad.
Indeed, ridding yourself of their bad behavior is a boon to creativity. Now that you’re no longer saddled with that heavy weight, you can focus on doing the parts of your job that you love most. At the very least, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Plus, despite what a client may think, some projects are simply a higher priority. Those that pay well (not to mention on-time) and are willing to collaborate belong at the top of your list. Losing someone that is not in this category is no reason to lose precious sleep.
Now, what will you do with that newfound freedom?
A Not-so-Bittersweet Goodbye?
There are times when it hurts to lose a client. Particularly if it’s someone you’ve had a positive relationship with. And not everyone is easily replaceable.
But as they say, there’s always a silver lining. You may well be better off with certain clients no longer in your portfolio. Beyond that, there will likely be some valuable knowledge gained and doors of opportunity opened.
It also seems like processing these occurrences becomes easier over time. After a while, seeing clients come and go begins to feel normal. The hope is that this experience leads to no longer dwelling on the negatives.
If you’re lucky, it may even be a case of addition by subtraction.