If you get more than 25 percent of your business from one customer, what happens when you lose that customer? But you can’t lose them; you have a contact, right? Well, remember the old saying that rules are made to be broken. You may have a great retail location with a 99-year lease, but it can be broken if a public highway is going through.
You always need a backup plan, even if it’s only in your mind. It’s hard to think of a quick solution when you’re caught off guard, so be prepared. Here are some more ways you could lose your bread-and-butter client:
- a judge can void any contract he feels can help the company survive and get back on its feet.
- A new buyer may have a friend who supplies the same product or service, and that friend may get the next order while playing golf with the buyer.
- Your customer’s company may be bought out or may have merged, and so now the customer uses the other company’s supplier. Sorry, you lose.
- The owner of the company could die and leave his children to take over and change everything. You will have to compete for their business all over again, and you may not get it.
- A large corporation may decide to manufacture a similar product and sell it at half your price before you can react.
- Your patent may run out, and then it’s open season and competitors can rush in.
- Your plant could temporarily shut down, and during the delivery delay, your customer could find a new supplier.
- A dispute or argument could sour your relationship. This should never happen, but it does.
- Your product could become outdated or obsolete if you didn’t update it or make needed changes.
- Perhaps your delivery is late too often, and you ignored the warnings.
- Maybe your customer service is rude, slow, and not helpful.
- Perhaps you can’t resolve a quality problem on a previous order.
- Maybe you take your customers for granted and ignore their little requests—and someone else doesn’t ignore them.
You can probably think of other reasons why you might lose customers, but the more important issue is, what will you do? Have a plan in mind or head off these situations in advance. Don’t assume the solution will take care of itself.