Ask yourself these questions:
- First, is the majority of your current client base comprised of customers who long ago outgrew you (or vice versa)? Yet they continue to award you scraps and crumbs, “for old time’s sake”?
- Then, do legacy customers generate repeat business, but consistently ignore you for new projects/jobs/contracts requiring innovation?
- On the other hand, you do business with some iconic brands. However, they consistently underutilize what you bring to their business table, because they do not perceive you to be a “big” enough player. Ouch.
To assess whether your client base is based on SMB customer profitability – or legacy mindset and habits – download my newest One Millimeter Mindset™ asset for calculating SMB A-List Customer Profitability. I guarantee you will have a business epiphany! Click on this link.
SMB customer profitability does not “happen” by chance.
If I ask you to list your top 10 A-List customers, who would be on the list? More importantly, why are these companies on your list?
Often, the companies you consider to be your top 10, A-List customers are not A-Listers at all, for a variety of reasons. Somehow, you continue to do business with them. However, you have a nagging feeling you could be doing better business with a more complementary – and appreciative – client base.
Assessing SMB customer profitability confirms your nagging suspicions that you are not working with the right customers.
The right A-Listers for your SMB bring out the best in your organization’s skills and talent. In addition, when you target – and understand – the right customers, they challenge you to become better and better as your businesses grow together. As a result of this highly collaborative relationship, your best customers continuously value the insights and innovations you bring to their business tables.
But, where do you start?
Consider whether, or not, your Top 10, A-List customers are assessed solely on gross annual revenue generated. Period. If this is the basis for judging who your top customers are, you are not alone. This is the most common mis-perception among my clients.
- First, variable value is generated via annual project mix re: large, medium and small projects/jobs/contracts. Just like Goldilocks, which combination of projects are “just right” for your SMB?
- Then, the profitability of these projects, contracts or jobs often falls short of projections, if you made projections in the first place.
- In addition, all sorts of non-billable hours, not included in your proposal, are killing net project profitability. However, you continue to ignore these factors.
Interested in learning more about assessing SMB customer profitability?
Download my newest One Millimeter Mindset™ asset for calculating SMB A-List Customer Profitability. I guarantee you will have a business epiphany! You can do the Assessment on your own, or better yet, contact me and I will conference-call coach you through it! To get started, click on this link.
Then, take these additional steps towards a more innovative strategy for acquiring profitable SMB customers:
- Has what you read today started you thinking about tomorrow? Contact me and let’s get started recalibrating your customer base for profitability.
- Discover how risk aversion impacts professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention.
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Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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