Want to grow your small business? Then you need to dump your clients.

That’s the message from Michael Port’s wonderful small business book, Book Yourself Solid.

To clarify, Port isn’t advising you to dump all your clients – just your bad ones.

The idea is that once your small business culls its soul-sucking clients, it will not only be able to focus solely on pleasurable clients, it will also have room to secure more of those clients.

“I cut 10 clients in one week”

Every small business needs a “rigorous screening process” to identify ideal clients, according to Port.

“Wouldn’t it be great to spend every day working with clients who are ideal for you, clients whom you can hardly believe you get paid to work with?” he says.

At the same time, your small business should give “dud” clients their marching orders.

“I’m well aware of the many reasons you think you can’t dump your dud clients, and I know this can seem really scary early on, but hang in there with me,” Port says.

“In the first year of being in business on my own, I cut 10 clients in one week. It wasn’t easy. It required a major leap of faith, but the emotional and financial rewards were astonishing. 

“Within three months, I had replaced all 10 and added six more. Not only did I increase my revenue, I felt more peaceful and calm than I ever had before, and I enjoyed my clients and my work more.”

Cull today – and cull again tomorrow

Port says that when you work with ideal clients, you:

  • Do your best work
  • Feel invigorated and inspired
  • Connect with clients on a deeper level
  • Feel successful and confident
  • Know your work matters and is changing lives
  • Feel fully self-expressed

Therefore, he advises small businesses to not only sack their dud clients now, but also regularly review their client list in the future.

“The positive and dynamic relationships you have now with your ideal clients may at some point reach a plateau, and the time may come to go your separate ways,” he says.

“Prune regularly and, before you know it, you’ll be booked solid with clients you love working with.”