When to Fire the Toxic Client
- abusive contact person
- offensive contact person
- client demands are continuingly unreasonable
- client wants you to act unethically
- payment habits cause you financial problems
- client disorganization overly affects your work schedule
How you handle the tocis client will depend on the circumstances. It might be that you can get a person to change behavior enough to be tolerable. That sometimes is possibly with the behavior of the company itself, not the contact there, although getting a company to change is generally far more difficult.
If you can't get a change and the client, for whatever reason, continues to grate on your nerves, then you need to cut them loose. When and how you do so depends on just how much the client affects you. If the client is such a problem that it drags everything else down in your business or life, then they go immediately, even if you find it finanically inconvenient. If you don't, it could potentially depress the rest of your business, to say nothing of you.
That should be an exceedingly rare situation. If the circumstances aren't so dire, then you find other clients first and then phase out the problem one, so your income doesn't take a beating as a result. This becomes part of your ongoing strategy to keep the best clients and develop new ones, phasing out those that no longer meet the needs of your business. there are people who will tell stories of ridding themselves of a problematic client only to have replacement work show up of its own accord. yes, this does happen sometimes, and it may be that when you're not so wrapped up with a problem, it's easier to see opportunities when they present themselves. But be wary of impetuously dumping the work you don't want under the assumption that something better will come along. It's my experience that this happens when you've laid the groundwork for more work to come in.
Now for the really big however. I've known writers who always complained about this abusive client or that unreasonably one. There would never be a time when someone wasn't being unreasonably offensive. In my experience, and that of most successful writers I know, such problems should be the rare exception and not the rule.
In business - and in dealing with people in any aspect of life - it's important to develop the stomach face the imperfections of others, just as you might hope they would forgive and manage wtih yours. Just because someone seems rude or demanding on a given day doesn't mean you should get caught up in unnecessary drama. There should be only a handful of times in someone's career when a client is so bad that it must go immediately. If you find yourself seething on a regular basis even as you replace clients, then the problem may be closer to home, and not with the low quality of customers these days.