Working with bad clients could be a nightmare for it will not only cause stress but it can also affect you, the people around you and even your good clients. You will become grumpy and might not be able to focus working on the projects of your other clients. You could be troubled about it and it can also eat up much of your time. So, it would be wise to avoid working with bad clients. You need to know how to recognize bad clients and how you can get rid of them.

For now, we will be giving you tips on how you can avoid working with bad clients. It is always better to avoid them early than to have worked with them first before you can avoid them. Getting rid of them at once can surely save you from work problems. Read on and learn from our tips below.

1. Research your clients’ background.

Research your clients’ background

Doing research regarding the client is a good way to avoid working with clients that can give you tons of problems. You can look at their company and how they are doing with their business. If you do that, you can also determine if the client is capable of paying you in the end. Try to observe the working environment in their office for this can also tell what kind of person your client is. You can also try asking his co-workers as well or other people who happened to know him.

2. Study the project details.

Study the project details

Know the project details first before you start with it. This will help you determine if you can work on the project or not. You can look into your capability and also on the client’s demands for the project. You will be guided on what design process you can use for it. You will also know if the client’s expectations are achievable or not.

3. Follow your instincts.

Follow your instincts

It is said that if you are confused on something, just trust your instinct. Studies had shown that following your first thought and your instinct can guide one to a better future and for success. So, you can try doing this, too. If you felt that a client will not be good for you on your first meeting, then you better follow it. But you can still observe the client just to be 100% sure. There are times that even if the client is problematic, you will still be able to handle the situation well and end up having a successful project.

4. Observe the client.

Observe the client

Observation is the key to know if the client has potential to become a bad client. Look at his actions. Observe how he is when talking with you and dealing with you. If you find him harsh at times or he always argues with you even on little things, then maybe he can be a bad client. It depends on how the client acts. It would be easier to tell once you are already speaking to him personally.

5. Know the signs of bad clients.

Know the signs of bad clients

It would be of your advantage if you have known the signs of a bad client before you begin meeting clients. This way, you will be forewarned as to the traits and actions of a bad client. Some people who are unaware of the clients can easily get into the pit hole of these clients and end up having problems with a project. So, be sure that you know how to recognize a bad client.

6. Listen to his words.

Listen to his words

Part of observing a client is checking on his words. Listen carefully on how he speaks, his choice of words, his tone of voice and how he communicates with you. This can help you tell if the client can be a problem especially in terms of communication. Be a good listener. It is important that you get all the points that the client is saying and it is also important so you can check on what kind of person the client is.

7. Observe how well he knows the project.

Observe how well he knows the project

Some clients do not know what the project really is which can be a sign of a bad client. It would be hard to deal with someone who doesn’t know what he is doing. But if the client has enough knowledge on it and really knows what he wants, then things will run smoothly. Yet, it would also be a disadvantage if the client knows too much or if the client pretends to know everything. So, be careful and look at how well the client knows about the project.

8. Detect rate problems.

Detect rate problems

There are clients that are fond of making bargains even in the first meeting. If they want lesser than what you charge, then do not get the project. It would be unfair if you kept on working on a project and you will get only a little payment for your effort. You have to let them know what you are worth. If they cannot work with someone of good skills like you, then they can look for another designer who is not as good as you but charge lesser.

9. Ask feedback from people he worked with.

Ask feedback from people he worked with

Another good way to avoid working with bad clients is by asking people whom he has worked with some feedback. It can be a co-worker or another designer. During your first meeting, try to ask the client if he had worked with other designers before. If he had, try to contact that person and ask for some feedback about the client. This can greatly help you.

10. Be honest with yourself.

Be honest with yourself

Once you have seen that the client really is a problem client, then be honest with that. Do not force yourself to work with someone who will only give you stress and problems. Get rid of the client at once before it affects you and your other good clients. There is a chance that once you work with a problem client, your other projects will be affected. You would not like to lose the good ones.

It’s Your Turn Now

It would really be a great relief if you could get rid of a bad client at the early stage of a project. It can surely save you from a lot of stress and problems. So, be alert all the time in choosing our clients because you really do not need to accept all of them. Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


  1. Some clients can be a pain, currently dealing with one, thanks for the article

  2. Good article, bad clients are always going to be there, you just have to know how to deal with them!

  3. We are glad you found this post helpful. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

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