Have too many clients to manage? Here’s how to handle it.
Have too many clients? It’s a good problem to have fiscally, but a quick way to burn out. Check out these 4 stellar strategies to get a handle on your clients.
As you quickly scan through your to-do list for the day, you hear alerts galore from both your phone and computer:
Someone’s calling you
Your reminder alarm sounds off
Your inbox accumulates more unread emails
Your chatboxes flash for attention
At this rate, you need to clone yourself to keep up with your client work.
While it’s a good problem to have, it’s still a problem: you have more clients than you can manage.
If you’re stressing over having too many clients, we’ve got you covered today.
Not only are there ways to service your clients without having to sacrifice quality, but you can also avoid burnout and continue to grow your business.
How? Read on.
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4 ways to manage too many clients
#1. Raise your prices
The first thing to consider when you have too many clients is raising your prices.
While you don’t have to do it across the board, we recommend starting with your most popular products. The reason is you know the demand is already there, and it’ll have the most impact on your earnings.
How big of an impact? If you increase your price by 5% , it could rake in an additional 22% in profits.
It’s also one way to stem the number of new clients who aren’t ideal for your business while maintaining your revenue levels. The new folks that agree with your higher pricing are more likely to be your ideal customer.
There’s a caveat, though:
While increasing your price will increase your profits, raising it too much will, naturally, kill your customer satisfaction. As soon as you go beyond a 50% price increase , customer satisfaction significantly declines, so we don’t recommend increasing your prices too much.
When you raise your prices -- at a reasonable rate, of course -- keep your existing customers at your current price and give them a fair warning before you increase any fees. The last thing you want to do is catch anyone off-guard.
Plus, giving your clients a heads up presents an opportunity to thank your existing customers for their loyalty.
For example, you can turn the announcement into a structured message that awards loyal customers like, “Effective January 1, we’re raising our prices, but because you’re a valued long-time customer, your price will remain the same for the next 12 months.”
A general price increase
Increase in cost of materials
An increase in operating costs
But those aren’t your only options.
Another option is to communicate to your clients a newly added low-cost value proposition, so they perceive an added value. (If you’re unfamiliar, a value proposition is something of value that you promise your customer).
Put another way, your new price can cover your cost plus any additional value propositions , like so:
All in all:
Raising your prices allows you to take on fewer -- and higher-paying -- new customers while generating more revenue. Just be sure to give your current customers advanced notice and thank them for their loyalty.
OK, our first tip helps you better manage your inflow of new clients. Our next tip helps you better service your current clients.
#2. Hire support to help service your clients
Another step to take when you have too many clients to manage is to hire help.
Whether you hire a virtual assistant or hire your first employee as a full-timer who works in an office with you, it’s important to delegate tasks, so you can handle your client workload and continue to grow your business.
You know that phrase, “work on your business instead of in your business”? Hiring support helps you get there.
The reason is that while your team focuses on maintaining your business, you can work on more strategic, revenue-generating tasks. This tactic works so well that CEOs who delegate generate 33% more revenue than CEOs who aren’t the best at delegating.
This means, in the big scheme of your business, it’s worth the additional expense to hire help.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time employee, hiring a virtual assistant is a cost-effective route to take. So cost-effective that it can save you up to 78% on annual operating costs.
If you’re hesitant to hire a remote employee, don’t be. Remote workers are more productive. In fact, 91% of remote employees feel more productive working from home and even make 13.5% more phone calls than in the office (if that’s part of their job duties).
Regardless of your team member’s work location, here’s how you know you’re ready to hire help:
You have your hourly value figured out and the budget to pay your new team member
You’ve clearly outlined tasks that you want to pass on to the new role
You understand the importance of dedicating time to writing out standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training and onboarding your new team member
The gist of it is:
When you have too many clients to manage, hiring help and officially becoming an entrepreneur vs. solopreneur is a big milestone to reach, but a necessary one to maintain your service level.
It doesn’t have to mean ditching the solopreneur lifestyle altogether, either. You just need to hire enough help to comfortably service your clients and efficiently run your business.
Speaking of efficiency, our next topic of streamlining helps you achieve just that.
#3. Streamline your processes
A final way to manage an overload of clients is to streamline your processes so you can save time. This means automating and batching your operations as much as possible.
Automation is especially useful for any repeatable task you may have.
For instance, you can automate your client communication process by using email automation tools to automatically send email sequences triggered by certain behaviors.
Check out Groove’s onboarding email that includes a welcome message, a question asking why their new client joined, a note to expect more (automated) emails, and a link to a demo video.
Their onboarding email, plus any subsequent email notifications, is repeatedly sent to their new clients via automation that was set up ahead of time.
It’s not just emails that can be automated to save you time. Streamlining your marketing processes will also earn your minutes back. In fact, business owners and marketers claim saving time is the biggest marketing automation benefit at 30% .
As far as specific marketing processes to automate, social media post scheduling, email marketing, and social media advertising are among the top three processes to automate first.
That’s quite a time saver if you think about the amount of time you spend on your marketing tasks.
On the topic of saving time, one of the most effective productivity tips is to kill your habit of multi-tasking. While it may seem (and feel) like you’re making a lot of progress, in reality, it’s more like sprinting in place.
Instead of multi-tasking, try batching your tasks, which you can do by prioritizing your tasks and grouping them into like items.
Then, when it comes time to execute your tasks, block out a chunk of time and take on one batch -- and only that batch -- of related tasks, uninterrupted.
Take checking your email, for example. Tim Ferriss’ first renowned book, The 4-Hour Workweek , boldly urged back in 2007 to check your email only twice a day for optimal work efficiency.
The resounding concept is that by dedicating blocks of time to checking your email, you don’t allow your inbox to interrupt your other tasks throughout the day constantly. Tim’s message of being an email miser is a leading tactic today (and his book is still a top best seller ).
Why does task batching work so well?
Your brain likes to work in batches and slows down when you switch tasks.
More specifically, switching between your two stages of mental executive functions, goal shifting and role activation, adds a few tenths of a second every time you switch tasks. It sounds like a small amount of time but adds up quickly when you repeatedly multitask.
In other words, the more projects you juggle at once, the more productive time you lose to context switching . For instance, if you’re working on three simultaneous projects, you lose 40% of productive time to context switching. Work on four simultaneous projects, and you lose 60%.
If you want to avoid losing your time to said context switching, try batching like tasks such as:
Another example is to group together themed tasks like:
Then, of course, block out time in your calendar to focus solely on one task batch at a time.
In a nutshell:
Automate and batch your tasks wherever possible. It’s a powerful way to save time, service your clients without sacrificing quality, and allow you to focus on more strategic details that grow your business.
Our final tactic for you today also focuses on growing your business.
#4. Productize and scale your business
Our final tip for you today to curb your overwhelm of having too many clients is to productize and scale your business.
Rather than servicing your clients one-to-one, you can serve one-to-many by productizing elements of your business.
How? Create and sell a digital product to your clients that help them solve their problems.
You can try turning your service into an educational info product just like Joy Cho's How to License your Art and Design online class.
For Joy's clients who need help with licensing their designs, they can enroll in her online course and learn the latest strategies to apply.
The Creative Bodega's Canva Branding Bootcamp is another info product example that helps clients brand their businesses.
Or you can follow in the footsteps of Jesse Hall and offer clients a digital download to help solve their problems, similar to what he does with his VS Code SuperHero ebook.
The beauty of creating a digital product to sell is you can service a limitless number of clients at scale without having to accumulate more work as your client base grows.
Here’s what I mean:
Once you create and publish your digital product on your website, the bulk of your work is done. You only need to maintain the marketing of your info products.
(If you’re in search of a seamless way to manage all of your digital products, an all-in-one platform like Podia is the way to go. Sign up for your free account today .)
Another option to productize and scale your business is to offer your clients a membership service.
For instance, Flex Lessons' membership offers clients a full curriculum of piano lessons.
The site offers standard members training, support, and community access and a variety of additional courses and tutorials for premium members.
By creating a membership-based service, you can teach your clients how to achieve their goals, plus, offer additional services for premium members. Your clients can access everything they need from your membership site.
You can grow your membership as large as you’d like while maintaining one site.
Doesn’t get more straightforward than that.
The main takeaway here is to turn your expertise into a productized info product or digital download that helps your clients solve their problems. It’s a powerful way to service your clients at scale.
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Turn your nightmare of having too many clients into a dream
Having too many clients doesn’t have to be a frightening experience.
With our four tips, you certainly don’t have to sacrifice quality while servicing your clients, and you can continue to grow your business.
When you have more clients than you can manage, try raising your prices. It’s a proven way to streamline your clientele while maintaining your revenue levels.
To manage your overload of client work, hire a virtual assistant or employee to help you service your clients, so the quality of your service doesn’t suffer.
Streamline your processes to save time and work more efficiently. You can do this by automating and batching your operations wherever possible.
By productizing elements of your business, you can scale and serve more people without sacrificing too many resources. Offering info products and digital downloads are a great way to productize your expertise and help your clients.
Having more clients than you can manage is a good kind of problem to have, for sure. But even good problems need to be solved, and with these four strategies, you’ll be well on your way to an even better problem: filling up your books with even more clients.