I think those who own their own businesses and freelancers would understand how difficult it can be working with some clients. There is a perception that you should stay away from too small clients and rather go for the big clients as you can put more focus into one or two or three bigger clients instead of six or eight small clients. But “bigger” clients often come with bigger headaches.
I cannot generalize here as I have had some big clients and some small clients who are absolute gems to work with. It was the biggest pleasure working with them, and going the extra mile comes so easy as the work does not feel like work, but an opportunity to live my passion to the fullest.
BUT…. then you get clients who can cause the opposite reaction, due to various reasons. There’s a popular Afrikaans saying that says “met grysheid kom wysheid”. After many grey hair and more than a decade in the industry, I don’t even bother going for the A-type or C-type clients. I prefer working with the B-type clients.
So what is the A-B-C?
Your first thought may be that an A-type client is the one where everything just works out perfectly. They are clear with their brief, they value your time and effort, they pay on time and and and…. So your B-type client will be okay to work with. Still a pleasure but there are some small hickups and grey hair and then your C-type client is the one who moans, pays late, wants a seven course meal at a boerewors roll price etc.
If that was the case, why would I want to work with the B-type client you may ask. Because the A-B-C stands for “ask”-holes, believers and critics. It’s not about a small client or a big client. It’s about the quality and qualities of the client.
The A-type clients are those who always need your services and continously ask your help and opinion but end up doing the opposite most of their time. And they sure as hell don’t value your time, skills or effort.
Your C-type clients are those who will find fault no matter what. They also come up with some fantastic and entertaining excuses when they are in the wrong!
But the B-type clients are those who believe in the work you do. They value your time and effort. Wait, they don’t just value it, they match it. It’s a mutual effort to maximise results. They are the ones you would go the extra mile for without even realizing it because it’s just such a pleasure working with them.
It took me a decade to get to a point where saying NO comes easy. You learn to spot the A-type and C-type clients but ocassionally you end up with a client whom you thought is a B-type only to realize you were wrong. Well, then you play the hand you were dealt but get up from the table and remove yourself as soon as the project is done. Or should I say, when the bill has been settled?!
To fellow entrepreneurs and freelancers: don’t look at the size of the client but the quality and qualities of that client.