How to Be Selective in Your Business

Not every client is going to be good for your business. Some may make you want to quit a project midway and cost you money. So never take the first client that comes your way. You need to be selective.

Here is how you can do it

Choosing wisely

Make sure that you’re working with someone who is going to be a good fit for you and your business. This is a hard thing to get right but, one thing for sure is that you don’t want to ruin your chances of success and making some money by taking on every first time client that comes your way.

You need to be picky and make sure you’re going to work with or for someone who is going to be a good partner, client or someone who is going to help you further your business. So take your time, choose your clients wisely and find the right ones for you – it will be worth it in the end.

Knowing who is good and who is bad

A good client is someone who is from the onset, respectful. Also is communicative, and understanding. This client will also be patient with listening to and understanding your process. Which means that they will be easier to work with and you will get the best possible outcome for both of you.

A bad client is someone who is, well, disrespectful, ignores your calls or messages but is at the same time excessively demanding. Also, they often do not understand or care about the creative process, and only care about their own agenda.

To pick, trust your gut. If something feels bad about the client, it probably is. If something feels good even if you cannot explain it go with your gut. Some clients are just poor communicators but, if it feels good it probably is.

Just remember, if it feels bad as from the get go, run, you’ll avoid a lot of headaches down the road.

Finding things out

When someone contacts you, first, take a look at their social media. Where are they found mostly and what do they do for work and money. Most people will talk about their product or service, their profession, their family or their studies on their social media. If you find nothing, it can be a potential red flag.

A potential client will leave traces of their life and activities on line. Take a look at what these activities are and if they don’t have a social media trail it will be difficult to get an idea about them.

A lack of social media presence in itself should not put you off. You can ask them for people to contact that can vouch for them. If they say no one, that’s a sign that you might want to stay away.

Asking about the budget

Most clients do not like being asked how much they have to spend. It makes them feel as though you can do the work cheaper but, want to get as much as possible anyway. So, you should be careful how you ask about their budget.

An easy way is to explain what tools and services you offer and the price ranges. Therefore you must have a price list at the ready that they can go through. Or you can offer to give them a quote. In which case they can accept or refuse it. A good client will be willing to pay what you’re worth.

If they do give you a budget immediately, and it is too low, be careful accepting. It might be because they’re trying to spend as little as possible or they might not be able to pay you immediately you are done. Not good for you.


It’s better to have a few good clients who are willing to pay you what you’re worth than many bad clients that are bad payers and time wasters.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo