Just lost a major client? No business wants to find itself in that situation, but the truth is: it’s bound to happen eventually.
It’s something that we don’t typically plan for, because we’re so consumed with the day to day activities within our workplace. It may feel like the world is coming to an end when a major client walks out the door for the last time, but this too shall pass.
There’s a clear path to recovery, so don’t panic just yet! Here’s what to do:
1. Take a minute to breathe
A rash decision has never been the right decision. This is especially true when it comes to the well-being of your business. Before you act, take some time to process what’s happened.
You may feel anxious and angry, and that’s normal. Make sure you don’t run around screaming and make choices you haven’t had time to think through.
Clear your head before you do anything in order to avoid judgements clouded by emotion.
2. Learn from this
Understand exactly what happened that led the client away. Without understanding, you can’t learn anything. If you don’t learn anything, you can be setting yourself up for failure with the rest of your clients.
Once you’ve compiled an overview of the situation, consider what you could have done differently. In the meantime, make sure you can keep afloat.
You may be able to find some easy ways to cut down your expenses to soften the blow.
3. Pick up the phone
This step will help you make sure there is no overlap with how your lost client was handled and how your current clients are being handled. If you’re concerned that you may be making some of the same mistakes in your dealings with your current clients, have a discussion with them.
[Tweet “If you lose a client, find out what you did wrong and audit your remaining clients. #freelancelife”]
This is the best time to catch up on making those phone calls you’ve been putting off. See what they’re satisfied with, and what they believe could use some work. This will improve your relationships with your clients, and it may prevent imminent losses that would have been a result of things you overlooked.
4. Put your client feedback to good use
You have what you need, and now it’s time to use it. Once you’ve made sure your current relationships are working as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to structure a strategy for dealing with new clients.
There’s no point in gaining experience if you aren’t going to apply it. Everything is a learning experience.
[Tweet “When it comes to business, every mistake is a learning opportunity.”]
The loss of your client wasn’t for nothing if you can use that experience to shape your future. Start increasing your marketing efforts with your rejuvenated plan in mind.
5. Develop a backup plan
What will you do in the event that you lose another major client? Try as hard as you may, you won’t be able to win every battle. Some clients are just going to leave.
Maybe they’re locating to another part of the country, or they simply no longer require what you offer.
Not every lost client will be a result of a misstep on your part. You need to know what you’ll do if you have to deal with a similar situation in the future. Come up with a survival plan for client loss emergencies.
[Tweet “Relying on one source of income is dangerous. Diversify. #FreelanceLife”]That could include creating a passive income strategy (like turning your existing work into passive income), building up a profitable side-hustle or turning current clients into recurring customers.
Relying on one source of income is dangerous.
It sucks, but it’ll be okay
Of course, losing a client is as much fun as a root canal. It won’t be easy to bounce back, but with the right mentality, you’ll quickly find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Have you ever lost a major client in your business? What did you do to improve the situation? Tell us your story in the comments below!
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