The failure most of us frequently face in the business of design? The failure to recognize that a client project is something you should decline. Here are common situations where working designers fail to decline an opportunity that may be a poor fit.
The client thinks you want the work they’re offering, no matter what.
This is the beauty of establishing strong client relationships from your first contact — if you connect during those initial dialogues, there will be a strong reservoir of trust that will fuel your first projects. They like talking with you, and expect that working with you will be the same. They genuinely care about your shared success. They just don’t realize that what they’re throwing your way is not the best fit. Right client, wrong project. And we’re afraid to say no, for fear they won’t come back.
Your long-term client knows you need work badly.
The studio has been quiet, except for your primary client’s big project. This client, when they’re in the studio or communicating with you, is aware that the studio needs business. You might have even asked them directly for more business. And in return, they bring you a project that can keep the cash flow running, but is a poor fit for your short- and long-term goals. So, you take it.
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