Steps to Management Success – Step 104: Never Expect One Customer to Carry You

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010


Never Expect One Customer to Carry You

Many businesses begin with a single customer—say when a consultant or graphics designer starts out on her own and her previous employer becomes her first client. Nothing wrong with that—but it does leave your business in an inherently insecure position. The fix? Get more customers as soon as possible!

WHAT IT MEANS: Financial advisers advise you to diversify your investments to minimize risk. You should also diversify your business for the same reason: to reduce risk by avoiding dependency. To ensure that you remain in business, be certain that no one customer is in a position to control your company. You may lose control if you allow your business to be held hostage by a powerful customer. And it can happen easily. The only permanent thing in life is change—and that certainly includes your customers, or customer. What if your customer fails? What if another company buys your customer? What if the customer decides to buy from your competitor? Many things are possible, so dependency on one or two customers is dangerous to your survival.

ACTION PLAN: Plan from Day One to attract more customers by treating your marketing plan as fundamental to the success of your business—because it is! Advertise, cold call, use direct mail and e-mail, ask for referrals, or work with an ad agency to create a campaign that will generate a steady stream of qualified leads—but do what you can to avoid being dependent on any one customer. You just can’t build a stable foundation on a single post.

EVEN BETTER: The quickest way to get from one customer to more customers is to develop a basic marketing plan and implement it. If marketing is not your core competency, read some books, take a class, and talk to friends or associates with more experience in this area. You don’t have to do everything by yourself, but you do owe it to yourself to get up to speed; that is, to the point where you understand what your marketing people (or ad agency) are doing and why. Don’t pass the buck on this one—acquiring new customers will always be the lifeblood of your business.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.