In the last post we covered the first two of the 5 biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with big fish clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones: Taking on More Than You Can Handle and All Your Eggs in One Basket
Taking on More Than You Can Handle
When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and as a result you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself unable to function. There is no doubt that you want your business to be successful, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect exceptional customer service and high-quality products and/or services, they are not familiar with, nor do they care about your behind-the-scenes operations to get these things done. Look for the following 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 downward spiral;
- You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts;
- Your current clients are suffering as a result of you trying to keep up with new business;
- Profits are declining;
- You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business;
- You are losing clients and/or customers;
- Resources are being reallocated.
There is a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of the above issues, and can help you get your business back on track. This plan will:
- Help increase sales in a short period of time;
- Alter your products and/or 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 help to meet the fish’s needs;
- Review your operational system;
- Anticipate future problems better;
- Communicate better;
- Include costs in your quotes;
- Always have a back-up plan.
All Your Eggs in One Basket
You can allow your company to become dependent on any one fish. Eventually or during certain periods there will inevitably be a slowing down period with your fish. To stay in the game, you need to diversify.
If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do:
- Stay in the loop and be informed on what’s going on inside your fish’s company;
- Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry;
- Stay exclusive;
- 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 fish. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.
These strategies will help you avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, please reach out to me for guidance.
Next time we’ll talk about the last of the killer mistakes and how to prevent it from annihilating your business.