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Dropping a client

(9 Posts)
Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Mar-14 19:09:58

I will try to give all relevant info here without outing myself.
I started my business last year and had 1 client which was fine as I was mainly just doing it for something to do once both kids were at school. I was then approached to do something that was totally different to my business but that I did have the necessary skills to do. It pays a fraction of what I can charge but as I had nothing better to do I agreed to do it and have done so to a high standard.
My circumstances have changed now in that DH has started his own business too ( unrelated to mine although I do help him a bit) so our income has dropped for the time being by quite a lot.
At the same time my business has exploded and I have 2 more clients ( 3 altogether) but I am actually having to turn down work as I just can't fit it in. The job I agreed to do which was outside my usual work pays roughly a third of what I can charge and although I do only 4 hours a week those hours are at set times in the middle of the day so I can only do a few emails/phone calls around it and can't do a full day with a client who pays my full rate.
I have tried to give notice on the lower paid work but I originally agree to work for them for 1 full year and signed a contract to that effect - it's client facing so they want continuity and I have worked for them for 6 months. They have said that they won't release me early, even though I said I would stay until a replacement is found.
Has anyone any experience with this? I don't want to act unprofessionally but I don't need a reference from them and don't want to work in this field again so that's not a worry so I suppose I could just refuse to turn up?
That would put me in breach of contract but I wonder if they would pursue it. They probably wouldn't want someone dealing with clients who doesn't want to be there would they? They also want me to under go further training ( which won't cost me anything other than additional and totally unpaid time) which I am reluctant to do.
I simply cannot afford to do what is effectively a hobby job in place of well paid work now that our family income has halved
Any advice . Sorry it's so long.

AgentProvocateur Wed 05-Mar-14 19:16:24

You're in a sticky position if you signed a year's contract. I'm not a lawyer (but have been self employed and now deal with contracts at work) and they would be within their rights to sue you for breach of contract.

In your position I would try and negotiate; do you know someone else who could complete the year? I understand they want continuity, but what was their back up plan if you broke your leg?

I'm a believer in not pissing off small / poor paying clients to move on to bigger and better ones; you never know when you might come across them again.

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Mar-14 19:54:06

I agree I don't want to piss anyone off but it's something that pays pin money rather than anything else, the other people who do it are all ladies just doing a bit around the kids sort of thing.
It's so completely outside my area as well that it's really not possible that I would want to work for them or anyone they know again.
The key is that it's not about being greedy - as a family we need me to up my income to pay bills etc and I can easily do this if I can free up more time. I generally value my clients and my reputation and have always tried to behave professionally throughout my whole career.
I have offered to continue until they find a replacement but when I have been ill the lady who runs things has done it herself .
I am hoping they see sense but at the moment I have said that I won't complete the further training which my contract doesn't mention but apparently I have to do it to continue so that may be a way out
Thanks for the reply,

freelancenewbie Wed 05-Mar-14 20:02:25

what do the terms of the contract say - I know it's 12 month contract - but is there a break clause/termination clause - get out - have a read - there may be a 4 week written notice clause for example.

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Mar-14 20:17:13

Thank you
I didn't want to say but it's in education ( not working for a school) and it says 1 academic year so I can't even give notice until Easter to finish in July.
By then I will have lost literally thousands of pounds!!
I've explained my situation and hope that they will release me but I'm waiting to hear after an initial refusal.

freelancenewbie Wed 05-Mar-14 20:19:44

oh that's a shame! Oh well, it looks like you'll just have to see it as one of those things - you've not got too long to go with it!

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Mar-14 20:38:07

It's going to be very hard to stay motivated!!!!
Hopefully they will see sense - they really don't want a reluctant person on a client facing role I wouldn't have thought
Thanks for the replies.

whatdoesittake48 Thu 06-Mar-14 17:18:26

perhaps you could just do a really awful job - they might just get rid. it is your reputation, but that might be worth it for the money you could make.

Hoppinggreen Thu 06-Mar-14 19:15:44

Thank you - I am finishing at Easter and helping train my replacement !!!
No way I'm doing any more training though
I've also managed to hold off one new client until then as well so it has all worked out ok
Glad they saw sense or as has been suggested above I would probably have done a bit of a pants job!!

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