For years I have used a variety of freelancers and small agencies to help me do what I do. I tend to shy away from the larger organizations as smaller groups, in my experiences, have provided quicker, more creative and a higher quality of work at a better value.
Anyway.. to the point. I recently had to remove an external resource and terminate a monthly retainer. We had changed as a client and the work required had changed and this particular resource couldn’t change with us. After asking for recommendations and proposals based on this new world we were in, what he gave us fell completely flat. Abstract ideas with marketing buzz words. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know when someone’s blowing smoke and this was a huge billowing pile of nothing. For any resource, they need to bring value and results to you and your marketing efforts.
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it’s time to stop, part ways, and move forward.
Some things to keep in mind when you’ve reached that point with a resource:
- Don’t be afraid to make the decision, even if you don’t feel comfortable discussing it. It’s your business and you need to do what’s best for you and your team.
- Protect yourself by removing any access to sensitive information or systems they may have had.
- Make sure agreements and contracts are properly updated/terminated so there’s no misunderstanding as to where things stand.
- Be professional, respectful and thank them for their work if it was worth thanking.
- Make sure to pay any remaining invoices for services rendered. Send a concise email that respectfully explains why you are ending the retainer or project, thank them for their work, and let them know when they’ve been completely released from the project/retainer.
- Never burn bridges. You never know when you might need them again or they might need you.
When it’s time to move on, don’t hesitate. It may feel uncomfortable, but ultimately it could save you a lot of hassle (and money) down the road. in conclusion, ending a retainer or contract with an external resource isn’t always easy — but it can be done with professionalism, respect and minimal drama.