The recovery is happening. So, some of us Baby Boomer entrepreneurs are feeling almost euphoric. We know that we will not only survive. Our buinesses are growing and it looks like they will continue in an upward trajectory. My tax account smiled, looked at me and remarked, "You have a very good 2013."
Yet with a return to prosperity come the tough decision calls what clients to cut. It's a principle in business that there are angel and devil clients/customers. The angel ones provide assignments we can build on for future business. They treat us with respect, offering providing bonuses and stock options. In the transaction we make a decent profit.
The devil clients are trouble, usually from the get-go. If the work is something we can learn from for attracting other clients then we tend to stick with the demon forces for a while. If not, we quickly figure out an exit strategy. Usually, given the problems with the account, there really is not profit.
So, we let go of that piece of business. Then, we glance backward. Some of that is productive. For example, I ask myself if I should have spotted the devil aspect before getting into the situation? Did I play a role in the clients' treating me poorly? Did I lack the skills to turn the account around?
On the other hand, a lot of the staring back is not useful. Those of us who have been in business long enough know that one door has to close before a new one can open. That's the case because being in the old setting drains our energy.
During the past seven months I have let four undesirable accounts go. My regret was accepting the business in the first place. There were clear signs the relationship was not going to work.