Doing business

I am lucky to have lots of great clients. Every now and again a new one comes along, usually by referral, and even though they can be lovely people on a social or personal level, it soon becomes apparent that they might lack professionalism and experience – and so working with them is likely to be difficult. It is hard to both deliver a project and educate the client at the same time.  

So I do turn away work enquiries from clients whose 'fit' just doesn't seem right. I wish them well and point them in a different direction to a different designer who might be more suited to them. This week I resigned an account because it just wasn't working out and it wasn't in my interest, or the client's interest, to struggle on. We parted very amicably.  

In my time in 'big agencies' I've had colleagues who have declined work for verious ideological reasons. Vegetarian creatives who won't work on meat-related food projects. Others who declined to work on security-related and armaments-related projects. Others who declined political work from organisations whose policies they didnt agree with. Recently the world's top PR companies decided to decline future work enquiries from anyone whom they disagreed with on this issue (although one of them seems to not be so committed).  

From the client's perspective, I've also lost tenders because they believed that another designer was more like-minded and would understand their brief more and so he/she got the job instead. C'est la vie. I'd advise any client to choose to work with a designer who best understands their objectives, their market sector, and their audience, and has the experience to prove it.  

Given recent events this week here in Northern Ireland, it seems I now need to publicly state here that I won't accept every business enquiry. There may be many reasons why. But if I do decline it will be in your best interests - I'll either be too busy to give you the service your work deserves, or I'll not be on your wavelength – but I'll wish you well with your project and maybe in future we might work together on something else.