I am just getting to the end of my first year as a sole practitioner and am starting to get a little overwhelmed by the work.I am up to 70 clients but not all are brilliant from a cost/benefit perspective.
On another thread about managing anger one poster mentioned customers from heaven and customers from hell and the need to minimise the latter. I am getting too many of the latter!
My time is getting cluttered up by people walking in and asking for advice and help where the work is clearly going to be messy, time consuming and most of them won't be able to afford a reasonable fee for the work.
I am trying to build a good reputation in my area so am trying to be as helpful as possible but alot of the work is eating into my time, energy and enthusiasm which is a concern
How do you handle and filter these types of clients in a way that gently pushes them away without causing offence and too negative an impression?
Should one just quote a full whack fee for the likely time involved and hope that encourages them to move on?
Does anyone have any tried and tested techniques for someone at my stage of building the business?