Clients come in many shapes and sizes with a multitude of varying projects. Mostly, clients can be categorized as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There are the few ‘great’ ones and the few ‘truly awful’ ones, but everyone has their own idea of what makes a client go from ‘good’ to ‘great’ or ‘bad’ to ‘awful’. That being said, we’ll just focus on what makes an all-around ‘good’ client.
Nobody’s perfect and not every project or budget allows you to be the ‘perfect’ client all the time. But, if you’re looking to hire a business or contractor for the first time, or just looking to enhance your current client/agency or client/contractor relationship, read on to find out what you can do!
A good client takes the time to prepare. Prepare their budget, expectations, project requirements, insights, you name it! This is a working relationship meaning both parties need to work. The more prepared the client is to work with their contractor, the better the end result will be.
A good client doesn’t try to haggle over project costs. Also, a good contractor doesn’t try to nickel and dime their client. However, budgets are a big and very necessary deal on almost every project. If the cost isn’t in alignment with what the client is expecting, they should ask for a more detailed proposal as to try to understand how they’ll need to adjust their project.
Respect everyone’s time.
It’s easy to get into the mindset of “I’m a paying client so you’re on my time”. However, most businesses and contractors have multiple clients and need to spend their time efficiently for the sake of everyone involved. On top of that, good work takes time. Unrealistic timing demands will result in subpar work.
Speaking of time, pay on time!
While we’re on the topic of respect… a good client pays. They pay for everything they ask for and they pay on time. A client who asks for free work or who is late sending a check, is a client that doesn’t respect their contractor’s work or their time and should expect nothing less than being deemed a ‘bad’ client.
Trust should be granted until proven otherwise. A client has trusted you (and paid you) to create something they love. In return, you should be open and honest with them in your choices and decisions. They should trust you based on your experience, integrity and choices and trust that you want what’s best for the project as well as your relationship. You can only do your best work if the client trusts you enough to give you the freedom to make decisions.
Take stock in a professional opinion.
A good client listens to the opinion of the professional person they hired. This is not to say that the client shouldn’t ever challenge an opinion. Feedback should always be accepted, appreciated and taken seriously. However, keeping in mind that we’re all working towards the same end goal, it’s important to value opinions and be honest.