Have you heard the adage that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of customers? This can be dangerous for a small business because that 20 percent of your customer base can represent a significant number of customers in the overall scheme of things. Therefore, the rationale can be extended that whatever directly impacts them can impact you.
What can you do about it? The simple answer is to remain aware of what is going on in your customer’s industries and sectors. If you stay on top of what may ultimately negatively impact their business, you are less likely to be surprised when it trickles down to you in the means of less or no business. More importantly, you may be able to contribute to a solution which could strengthen the relationship with your customer.
You can stay on top with what’s going on in their industry by reading their trade journals, magazines and general news articles. Or, you can simply ask them what they are concerned about and what changes may potentially impact them in the future. Not only does this show you are interested in their well-being, but that you are being proactive in finding potential solutions that may benefit them. It’s a win-win situation.