Help! I've lost all my clients!

(11 Posts)
recyclingbag Thu 10-Mar-16 09:08:48

Well that's not true.

I've lost some clients. My main one, which accounted for about 25% of my income was supposed to be short term but dragged on and I came to rely on it.

2 others were annoying. 1 has left because business slows over the summer and they'll be back.

1 is having cut backs

1 has had a change of strategy and will probably come back after a transition.

I'm trying to see it as a really positive thing. I was struggling to keep my head above water keeping up with the work. I wasn't charging enough for the work that I did and had no time for business development.

This could be a chance to consolidate on things so far and refocus a little. However, I'm panicking about the money. What if I can't find any other clients confused

Please can someone hold my hand and tell me it will be OK!

Imfinehowareyou Thu 10-Mar-16 09:24:50

It will be ok! <clutches your hand tightly>

My DH is self employed and he we go through this cycle repeatedly.

It feels so scary every time but it ALWAYS passes.

recyclingbag Thu 10-Mar-16 12:56:07

Thanks. That makes me feel better.

A little.

I'm not sure I'm cut out for this.

Badbadbunny Thu 10-Mar-16 12:57:51

Just hold your nerve and don't go offering silly cheap rate just because you're desperate or you'll end up a busy fool.

If you need to offer incentives to get new clients to bring in cash to pay the bills, at least make it an introductory offer, i.e/ discounted first order/job, with your normal rates clearly being shown for future work.

recyclingbag Thu 10-Mar-16 14:27:54

Busy fool is definitely what I've been suffering from.

I also think I've overstretched myself and undercharged whilst taking on too much too quickly.

Definitely some deep breathing and reflection is needed.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 10-Mar-16 20:33:43

OP I think what you are saying is:

- You lost 1 ok client
- You lost 2 annoying clients
- None of them were paying market rate
- You had too much low paid work on

Not much of a loss!

However, I share the "fear" of never earning again.

Can you write a plan that sees you trying to find work at £xx rate which means you need to work less?

What things can you do to find well paying work?

It will be ok. Channel the fear into action, but try not to repeat past mistakes of charging too little.

flowers

recyclingbag Thu 10-Mar-16 21:32:53

Thanks Margot (I love your name).

I think I'm just exhausted. I need to regroup and yes, find higher paying clients who are less demanding.

I need to step up to the next size of business client which is a mental shift as much as a practical one.

Thank you all - I feel a lot calmer about it now.

They are all paying me until mid-April, then I'm going to focus on my own business, maybe a spot of rebranding and focusing on my own marketing/positioning

MissTriggs Fri 11-Mar-16 19:19:20

I hear you. I went through this in November - it was better when the notice period ended, tbh, I felt reinvigorated.

The bad news is, new clients are harder work than old ones - new relationships and all that...

recyclingbag Sat 12-Mar-16 11:25:40

That's reassuring.

Yes, I'm actually looking forward to it ending. I half wish I didn't have a notice period but really do need the cash.

I've done a lot of thinking over the past few days and really want to make the most of the opportunity.

As well as being just one of those things, I have realised that
a) I need to manage the expectations of my clients better, particularly in terms of what I need for them, before I take them on
b) I need to make more of an effort to keep in touch. I tend to withdraw into my shell (especially in winter) and resort to emails etc rather than pick up the phone or call into the office. This is definitely a factor in my biggest client disappearing.

So it's not a failure, it's a learning opportunity.

Next week I'm going to really pin down my product offerings and start targeting some clear sectors. Hopefully that will give me a bit more confidence to pick myself up and start again.

glasg0wmum Tue 29-Mar-16 17:03:21

I am a self-employed writer and have been through this several times. It ALWAYS comes right in the end. Just keep doing what you're doing and seek out new opportunities. I am a firm believer of having lots of eggs in lots of baskets so if one client goes bad, you're not heavily reliant on them.

Same thing happened to me last year - was doing a lot of blogging for a lawyer who got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was a law student. I'm not. I'm a graduate, but not in law. I told him I wasn't a law student and I haven't heard from him since. Did have a bit of a panic, but things have picked up again.

Wordsmith Thu 07-Apr-16 08:40:06

I agree with Imfinehowareyou. I happens (always at this time of year with me for some reason) and it always gets better. One door closes, another one opens. That's the life of the self-employed.

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