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Anticipate and Deal with Possible Problems

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I worked with “Matt,” a client who had 65% of his business with one client who had a staff of eight serving the key client. Early in my consulting I asked Matt what he would do if his largest customer walked away. Matt replied that he really didn’t know. I explained to Matt that while it wasn’t pleasant to think about the possibility, he needed to make a plan just in case it happened.

Unfortunately within 18 months his largest customer departed. As unpleasant as this was Matt had listened to me and prepared for this possibility.  He didn't have to spend the month thinking about what to do; he simply started implementing his plan which unfortunately included releasing several contract employees. Also, in the 18 months leading up to the loss of this large account, Matt had followed some of my advice to work diligently to build other customers so that when the large account went away; it took only 40% of the business.  While it was a serious loss, it wasn’t catastrophic.

 


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