Why I Impose A Cap On How Much A Client Can Work With Me
Have you ever experienced a whale client? It's the client you give almost all of your time and where they are the source of almost all your revenue. While working with them, have you ever been concerned about pushing back out of fear of losing their revenue?
We face a high-risk situation with whale clients because at any moment, they could part ways. Historically speaking, they usually do leave after two years. In fact, parting whale clients are actually the biggest causes of failed marketing agencies.
This one client approach for freelancers is similar to investing all of our money in one stock. When it goes up, things are great but should it ever crash we're in a lot of hurt. In the same vein, I think about my portfolio of clients as an investment. How diversified am I? How are they each performing? What value, outside of the money, do I receive?
To flourish in freelancing I want steady success over time. I also want to minimize my risks and empower myself to challenge clients when and where appropriate. So, to facilitate these goals, I impose a limit to how much of my time I'll give to any one customer. My capacity each month is 128 paid client hours. For any one customer, I'll limit the number of hours to fifty per month. This is just less than forty percent of my monthly income. While I do make temporary exceptions, I'm always moving to a threshold below the fifty hours. When more time is required, I push the client to tap into automation, other freelancers, and companies.
This way, if (when) they cut back or part ways, I'm only having to replace a minority of my monthly income, and I don't have to start from scratch in replacing it. With additional healthy savings both personally and in the business, I've given myself the financial margin to navigate these types of unexpected transitions.