In the last post we covered the first two of the five biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with top-tier clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth mistakes:
3. Taking on More Than You Can Handle, and
4. Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket
3. Taking on More Than You Can Handle
When you take on too much, your business may struggle to keep up, and therefore you can easily lose control of everything. You could then find yourself barely functioning within capacity. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and high-quality products and services, they don’t know or care about your behind-the-scenes operations struggles that restrict your company from getting those things done.
Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:
Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
Employee morale is low; clients are upset and you’re in a panic.
You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
Your current clients are suffering from your struggles to keep up with new business.
Profits are going down.
You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
Your clients/customers leave.
Resources are being reallocated.
Build a plan with the following components. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:
Help increase sales in a short period of time.
Alter your products/services for the better.
Fulfill promises you made to your clients.
There are six steps to this plan:
Bring in your best team and have them all contribute to meet the top-tier clients’ needs.
Review your operational system.
Anticipate future problems better.
Include costs in your quotes.
Always have a back-up plan.
4. All Your Eggs in One Basket
You can allow your company to become dependent on any one top-tier clients. Eventually and for certain periods of time, there is going to be a slowing down period with your top-tier clients. In order to stay in the game, you need to diversify.
If you’ve ever mishandled an existing top-tier client, you could drive away potential new top-tier clients as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do.
These things include:
Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your top-tier clients’ company.
Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
Spread your contracts out.
Price your products and/or services correctly.
You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your top-tier clients. This can generally be measures in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more top-tier clients to keep this in balance.
These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, t
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Next time we’ll talk about the last of the killer mistakes and how to combat it and keep it from hitting your business too hard.