Skip to content

Deadwood clients.

What are they?

They are the ones that complain a lot about your prices, rarely hand in their financial information on time and basically treat you poorly with no thought as to how it’ll affect you.

Oh, and did I mention, you’re accepting this behaviour for a paltry rate instead of charging them a much higher fee which you rightly deserve?

Overall, deadwood clients are more pain than what they are worth.

Our co-founder, Debbie Roberts has had some of those, but she was able to cut them out.

Here she paints a lovely comparison between growing roses and why its important to remove unsavory clients from your business:

“Soon after we bought our home almost 35 years ago, we planted about 10 standard roses along the front of the house underneath the bay window. They have blessed us with hundreds of beautiful roses over the years. I don’t have a lot of time for gardening, but July is the one time of the year that I give them my undivided attention. If you don’t carefully prune them this month each plant will produce less roses and of poorer quality. I examine each branch to locate an emerging bud, facing outward and as low as possible. I make a precise cut just above each one to remove most of the branch. Although they yielded many roses last summer, I knew they had to go. The roses that will grow this summer need strong, new branches to support their weight. You also have to remove the deadwood.”

Debbie adds, “I realized what an appropriate analogy this was for growing your bookkeeping business. It’s important to scrutinize all aspects of your business on a regular basis to determine if there is any deadwood that needs to be cut out. Deadwood in your business just holds it back from its potential. For example, you may have clients you’ve had since day one when you had no confidence and you didn’t charge enough. They don’t value your service. They complain about your bill and treat you like their bank (and pay you when they can afford it). They are deadwood.”

Debbie then explains, “Because you have marketing strategies in place, you are confident you can carefully remove them, creating the right conditions for new growth. You’ve now realized your value proposition and, because of your positioning, all new clients appreciate your services and pay you what you’re worth.”

Well said Debbie.

So, do you have any deadwood clients holding your business back?

What are you going to do about it?

No one will love your business as much as you, so it’s up to you to find solutions.

You can do it. We believe in you.

To your success,

Michael Palmer

Article by Michael Palmer

Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.