Networking in Surrey

Up date – Lose one of your largest customers!

Up date – Lose one of your largest customers!

AH4964We only discussed this the other day but it’s happened to Bakers Pork Farms, a Dorset based business where they lost a major customer costing more than half the workforce their jobs.

Your best customers are your competitors’ number one target prospects, protect against losing them to ensure this doesn’t happen to your business.

Just think of the consequences if you did!

It proves the point yesterday’s blog, you can achieve this by getting closer to your customer and developing a better understanding and appreciation of their business, its needs and challenges. As a result, you are more likely to identify and exploit revenue and profit opportunities and less likely to be the last to know that you have lost a customer’s business.

Many businesses fall into the trap of developing an operation which becomes overly dependent on one customer. This may seem advantageous when everything is running smoothly, but could lead to failure if the ‘big customer’ pulls the plug.

There are many reasons why companies switch suppliers which were discussed in a previous blog on this issue

You are best to have a larger and more diverse customer base to provide a buffer against individual customer whims. After all, these customers are in business to make profits for them NOT to support you.

It best to ensure that no single customer accounts for more than 20-25% of sales, whilst the loss would be painful it would not necessarily be fatal.

Call 01276 537 282 today for an informal no obligation discussion about your business or complete our online enquiry form, we’ll be in touch.

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Comment by Keith Grover, NiS Founder on March 11, 2010 at 23:17
Sound advice Andy - thanks for this post. There's a lesson for us all to communicate more effectively with all our customers, and not have all our eggs in one basket...

I lost a large customer - a major UK tour operator, part of XL Airways, which went bust a couple of years ago. I'd been working with them for many years before XL bought them out, and within two years they were gone. Sometimes these things are beyond your control, but it's still bad news when it happens... so spread the load!
Comment by Andy Hamer on March 12, 2010 at 7:54
Losing a customer can be beyond your control, however, if you acknowledge that your business is vulnerable because you have one large customer you must diversify find more. If one of your customers is bought out then you know what's happened in this case with others so prepare and engage find out who is responsible in the new organisation and if you are so reliant on a single customer you need a contract that gives you some protection ie notice period.

Just do everything to make sure your not the last person to hear the bad news.

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