Sadly, too many businesses subscribe to the simple theory which says that whenever there is a problem, “Grow!” The wisdom seems to be that growth is the answer, regardless of the question. The “Red Bull” for superior financial performance seems to be tweaking the website, changing the advertising copy, tweeting and blogging more often, hiring a new agency to redo branding, changing the sales commission structure, adding a new sales person, and growing their sales at all costs. Having only a throttle in your business cockpit and assuming that doubling the amount of horsepower in your engine will cause your business to go twice as fast is attractive, but delusional.
As fun, exciting and important as sales and marketing are, focusing totally on these areas rarely solves financial problems. I see a lot of businesses struggle and fail, not because they aren’t adding new customers, but because the owners are very poor at keeping the ones they’ve got. An obsession with adding new customers to grow sales and revenue does not address the primary cause of business failure or the long term health and longevity of the business.
The goal is not to just get big. The goal is to create sustainable success. Remember you can become really, really successful being really, really small, and you can go really, really broke becoming really, really big.
So this week I have a question for you:
• How big would my business be if I still had every customer who had ever tried me?
• What can I do to keep the customers I currently have?