A stage we all go through as entrepreneurs is the AFAB stage. Better known as “Anything for a Buck”. “Sure, I can fix your computer for you. Do you need your garage painted too?”. It is during those early days when cash is lean, that we are led by the fallacy that all revenue is good revenue. A client becomes anyone who wants to pay us, and we find ourselves unable to say no to any opportunity that increase cash flow.

Unfortunately, this becomes a difficult habit to break once we have that cash flow coming in. We wind up taking on clients that aren’t a good fit. We hold on to clients that under value our work and don’t pay on time, or we take on work that is outside our core competencies, figuring we can fake it till we make it. These traps lead us to having unhealthy client relationships, increased stress, and worse of all, prevent us from scaling our businesses properly.

A simple way to start to break this cycle of dependency on what one person I know aptly describes as “dirty money”, Is to create an “ideal client avatar”.

What is an avatar? One definition describes it as an embodiment of a concept or philosophy, often in the form of a human. That is exactly what I want you to do. Close your eyes and envision your perfect client. What business are they in? how many employees do they have? Where are they located? Do they share your core values? You can use any demographic that can be described or measured and apply it to your avatar. The more data points you can included the clearer the concept becomes.

Not sure where to start? Think about how you or your staff feels when the phone rings and the caller ID shows who is on the phone. Which names make you cringe, and which names having you grabbing the phone as quickly as possible wanting to help?

By having a clear ideal client avatar, you now know what types of prospects to target in your marketing and lead generation. This leads to a higher likelihood, of finding more of the clients you enjoy working with and less of the cringeworthy type. Most importantly, you are more likely to develop healthy, long-term high-value relationships with these clients, that will create a win-win moving companies forward.