We have a client worth more than 50% of our practice (128k out of 250k). Each year we try to reduce our reliance on them, but they keep sending us more work (e.g. another group company). It is hands on work - bookkeeping, payroll, supplier payments, month end accounts, year end accounts and liaising with auditors. It is not so much the overall time spent on them, it is the constant disruption to our schedules. Deadlines and priorities are moved all the time. We have to put aside our other client work to attend to their needs. I feel like I am leaving the smaller clients down constantly.
It feels almost like a job rather than running a practice. I was in a supermarket car park at 6pm one evening, picking up supplies for the family dinner, when I get a call from our office saying the client has a deadline for 9am the following morning. I didn't even have my work laptop with me. This kind of thing happens regularly,
Now they have given us 50 hours work to do by Friday, after I had emailed them last week telling them it would be done by the end of the month. There is just a lack of respect. There have been some personnel changes in the last year with this big client and they are not reasonable people. All my other clients are great, which is the reason I set up on my own in the first place.
I have almost made up my mind to walk away (or at leasst when I insist on more reasonable deadlines, to act like I am willing to walk away). In terms of cashflow, we have been billing this client very well and so have been putting this cash aside for a rainy day. It would be tough to let them go, but I am confident that I (and the staff) would be happier and we would be able to grow the practice over time. But the amount of money lost is holding me back.
Has anyone done this before? Did it work out?