By Alvah Parker
While some new business owners face the issue of not enough customers, others face the issue of too many customers/clients. Both are serious issues and must be dealt with carefully. There are many lists on how to find new customers/clients. Here is a list of 10 ways to deal with a rapid influx of new customers. The goal is a steady flow of the right customers/clients.
- Know the customer/client that is right for your business.
Get really clear about your ideal client or customer so you can be selective when there are too many business opportunities and you do not have time to accept them all.
- Have a specialty that you are known for.
Specialize so that you get really good at what you are doing. You can then service more customers/clients quickly.
- Eliminate clients who drain you.
If a client/customer takes too much of your time, that client/customer is costing you money. Look for ways to predict who will be a time-consuming customer/ client and avoid them. Find ways to eliminate those customers/clients.
- Create systems to support you.
Examples are: a good business development system* that provides you with the customers or clients you need, a good bookkeeping system to keep track of expenses and revenue, a customer/client tracking system with a database of customers/clients names, addresses, and other useful information.
- Off load routine tasks to others.
What are the repetitive tasks you hate to do but which you know are necessary to run your business? Many administrative tasks are easily taught to a support person and by doing so you make more time in your day to see customers/clients.
- Leave time in your day for reflection and self-care.
Doing the tasks of the business is of course necessary. Many get so focused on their task lists that they never have time to take a strategic look at the business. Putting aside time every week helps you to find more ways to work with the customers/clients you want to. Leave some time too for taking care of you. This means making time for doctor's appointments, hair care, massage therapy, exercise, meditation and anything else that provides for your health and well being.
- Set firm boundaries.
Don't allow a client/customer to play on your sympathies and convince you to do something you know you should refuse (i.e. too time consuming, not your specialty and/or for free). Doing favors for others is not a favor to you!
- Raise fees.
If all the clients/customers coming to you are your ideal clients/customers then it is time to raise fees/prices. This will sort the clients/customer that are willing to pay more for your services and those who are not. Revisit your fee/price structure at least once a year.
- Refer to others.
When clients/customers are not your ideal clients/customers or when your ideal clients/customers cannot afford your fee, have a list of other business owners to whom you can refer.
- Hire someone to help you do the work.
Once you have off loaded all the repetitive tasks it may become necessary to hire another worker who does the work that you do to work with you.
*Even though it may seem like you have too many customers at the moment, that flow will stop unless you keep marketing.
Alvah Parker is a Career and Business Coach. An award winning Account Executive for AT&T Alvah has successfully coached clients to define and achieve their goals. Alvah may be reached at 781-598-0388.
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