A fear that many freelancers have is discontinuing a project that they have been working with a client. Not only do freelancers lose out on cash but they also fear that saying no may create a conflict that may end up resulting in bad things throughout their career. Dropping a difficult client may be a bit intimidating, but can become easy if handled appropriately.
Assess the situation.
Evaluate the situation. What is the reason why you believe the project should be discontinued? It is possible that there may be a solution that you are not aware of? For instance, if you’re struggling on a project because of the lack of skills and knowledge to complete it, why not outsource your project elsewhere? Truly reflect on why the project is difficult before making the final decision.
Have a thorough discussion with your client about what can be done on their end to improve the project.
If nothing else can be done, sit down with the client and try to find ways on their end that will greatly improve or save the project. It is possible that there may be some miscommunication as it could be the reason why the project is being so rough. Often times, a good understanding between both parties can help the wheels turn a lot smoother.
How to Stop the Project
If you are still losing resources and are not moving closer to the end. The next best thing to do is discontinuing the project. Let the client know that the project is not working out. Provide the client anything that will be compensated and refund unused cash. The important thing is to make the client feel they are not to blame. The last thing you would want to do is make your clients feel horrible (whether they are truly at fault or not).
Even though you were unable to fulfill their request, let them know that you will be available and happy to work with them again in the future. Even if it is a client you are dreading and never really would to work with in the future, the message will leave the two of you in a relatively brighter spot that may or may not help in terms of referrals and your reputation.