The quest for good customers starts early on. It starts with deciding who your ideal customer is. Different companies have different ideals and cultures, and a variety of parameters are important for making this decision.
Here are the parameters to consider:
What sizes are the companies you have enjoyed working with? Do you prefer to work with small family businesses or large corporations?
What is your minimum project budget? Will you take on a project with a tight budget if the customer is strategic?
- Payment schedule
Would you agree to receiving the full payment at the end of the project? If not, what’s the minimum up front that you require? This is often a pain point for small businesses and freelancers, and I strongly recommend following a harsh rule here with no exceptions.
- Technical knowledge
Are you willing to work with a customer who has minimal technical knowledge? How might this affect the outcome of the project?
- Project dynamics
Are you looking for a customer who will just give you the requirements and then wait for the deliverables, or would you prefer a more engaged client? On projects in which you collaborated with the client daily, were the results better or worse than those of projects with less interaction?
- Length of relationship
Are you interested in one-time gigs or a long-term working relationship? If you are thinking long term, estimate whether a particular customer would have enough projects to sustain that.
- Personality fit
What kind of people do you like to work with? Check with other companies that have worked with your prospective customer to find out whether there were any personality clashes during their projects.