New milestone: Turning down business.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written on this blog and my goal is to start updating more often. If I’m going to tell clients how important it is, then I better set an example, right?

This week my company hit a new milestone. We’ve been in business since 2009 and in that time, along the way, there have been clients I’ve taken on at a lower rate, or I’ve done extra work for them at no charge. When you’re growing and hungry for business you’ll do almost anything, right?

But over the years, as the company grew and I brought on team members, not only did I have overhead to cover, but I began to figure out what our time is really worth. This week, a potential client received a proposal. She wrote me back excited to get started, wanted a contract immediately, but asked if I could do it for 25% off the original price? Of course, she knew this would affect the number of hours we’d allocate to her, but she was willing to get what she paid for. A couple of years ago – maybe even one year ago – I would have done what I could to make that happen for her. Work is work, right?

Not today. My response was that unfortunately, at her budget, we were probably not the right fit. Though we could take on a client for less money, she was essentially only going to get 2-2.5 hours of engagement per week out of us. And for her brand, which has national reach, that’s just not enough. We’re efficient, but that’s asking us to just barely do the work… which means we have little chance of being successful in our campaign. Without the proper number of hours allocated, a brand can’t be real out there… and we just can’t do it. What will happen is either we’ll stick to that 2-2.5 hours per week and have a halfass campaign, or we’ll do the work that needs to be done to be successful, and we’ll eat the cost. Neither is a good business decision.

If we can’t do it right, we won’t do it at all. To my team: you’re welcome. I’m no longer setting us up in that way!

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