One of the most difficult parts of any business is working directly with clients. Sometimes you will begin working with a client only to realize after countless hours of work that it isn’t a good project after all, leaving you dismayed, stuck within a contract that you now must honor.

Though it’s impossible to always understand if a client’s project will be good for your company, there are measures that you can keep in mind to ensure an efficient success rate. To help you understand the difference between a good lead and a bad lead, we’ve made a list of ways to determine if a lead you receive for a new client or project is good or bad.

The project or client is a good fit

Believe it or not, the most important rule that can affect if a lead is good actually happens before the work begins. This occurrence is because even great work for a bad project can come off as bad work, something you need to be careful of when deciding which clients to work with. Understanding which clients are a good fit and what projects are promising can help you determine which you should take on, because at the end of the day the work you do is only as good or bad as the project it is created for.

When deciding who to work with, ask yourself these questions: can I add something to this project? Is it suitable for our business? Can we do our best with it?

Communication and knowledge is key

Learning the ropes of your client’s business before working with them can be a helpful way to understand the context of the work you will do for them. For example, if your business is being called on to help in a certain division, becoming familiar with the entire company can be a helpful way to determine the importance of the work that you’re doing and also the type of work they are looking for. Having a better understanding of the business as a whole makes it easier to create work that clearly reflects the client’s vision.

Make sure clients understand what you do

Most of the time, clients who appear to misjudge a company’s abilities or practice are actually reading the company’s description of itself. To not leave any information open for misinterpretation, we recommend you state exactly what you and your company can offer, making sure not to be vague on any talking points. It’s also a good idea to have this information in writing, either in the form of a contract or on your website.