Are you prepared to lose your biggest customer?
It’s no secret that losing clients is never a good feeling, but some client losses are felt harder than others.
Take a serious look at your business right now. Could you afford to lose your biggest customer?
Last year, I was speaking with a CEO whose sales were down $16 million. That represented a 20% decrease from the prior year and obviously they were concerned.
When I asked for the reason behind the loss, I was informed that a key client of theirs made a pivot in their business, and thus were not immediately buying.
While the CEO did anticipate this key client would return in some capacity, it wasn’t a certainty. This example perfectly illustrates the power that this one single client held over their organization.
We can’t control the decisions our clients make. An inevitable reality of business is that sometimes our clients make changes and moves that make our products and services to them less relevant.
Back to my example, the CEO had no plan on how they would recover the $16 million loss, and the organization had no mitigation plan in place to lessen the risk of finding themselves in this scenario.
I hope you know where I’m going with this.
You can’t simply assume that a single customer is going to be around forever. Even if they vocalize and provide every indication that their work with you will be long-term and for the foreseeable future, you always need a plan in place to mitigate the loss of key clients.
The example above is part of a bigger topic at hand here. While client loss is one scenario that can unfold in any business, the larger idea to consider is that you need to risk-protect your business.
You need to take the time to brainstorm different scenarios that could possibly unfold in your market, in your clients’ markets, in the economy, in the political climate, and other areas that may play a role in your business. Once you’ve brainstormed these ideas, ask yourself if you’re truly prepared for such a scenario to unfold.
Remember, don’t assume the success you’re experiencing today, in any area of your business, will be around tomorrow.
Be smart, be proactive, and always have a plan.