As a small business owner, it is quite tempting to have everyone on board working with you without getting to know each other first. However, it is imperative to do your checks on potential clients to see if they are a fit for you, just as the client would do too.
You want clients that you can build good relationships with to drive repeat transactions, but how can you distinguish between a bad or a good client?
The first thing to do is:
Assess Current Portfolio:
Reflect on your current clientele to see how the potential client will fit, factors to consider here include:
- Mode of operation: You want to understand how the client operates- are they a process fit with your current mode of work?
- Similarities in working ours: Do they work the same hours as you? Will you be required to provide a dedicated staff around the clock for them?
- Relationship with other vendors: This is key and could either make or hamper your relationship with the client. Has the client got a history of debt?
- Shared principles: What do you and the client seek to benefit? What is the company culture of the client?
- Implementation: How much control do you have over the process
Money: This is fundamental to any plans you have. You need the ascertain the following:
- The revenue level of the company?
- What is the client’s budget for the work and is it enough?
- What are the terms of payment? I will advise you to turn down a potential client that wants to pay you only on a percentage of sales.
It is recommended to always work to a fee and get clients who have already attained a certain size and are investing to grow to the next level. I will advise you to turn down a potential client that wants to pay you only on a percentage of sales.
In conclusion, getting new clients is an indicator the market likes your service/product but continued success depends on small business owners doing the necessary checks to ascertain who will best benefit your fledgling business, the key is to find long term beneficial relationships.