(A Shameless Promotion With a Take-Away)
What an extraordinary year it’s been. We’ve culled out the hangers-on and done a clean sweep of our client base. It’s been both cathartic and regenerative at the same time.
Here’s what happened …
Business We’ve Walked From
I don’t think we’ve ever walked away from as many clients or as much work as we have this year. That’s an unusual thing to say because most businesses will hang on to clients, no matter what.
Some of the clients we’ve walked from have been working with us since 2002. Others, not so long.
The reasons why we walked away? There were a number, but these two showed up more often than others:
- We’d been working with these clients for a long time. The value we provided and the difference we made was now perceived as the norm. These clients had become so used to what we did for them, that they no longer saw it.
- Some client’s ethics and integrity had drifted away. It became untenable for Full Focus to do business with them.
In both the above situations, we chose to ease ourselves out. We decided this was preferable to hanging on in there because of the money.
What’s Shown Up
In sweeping the floor clean in this manner, it has provided space for bigger things to evolve. Some great opportunities have come into play. We’ve been able to give some selected clients a very personalised service – their own personal advisory board.
This is a function that is missing out there in the business community. Sure, there’s plenty of business advisory boards but we’re not talking about that. What Full Focus provides is a personal advisory board for the business owner. Do not confuse this with an advisory board for a business.
The benefit to the business owner of a personal advisory board is tremendous. They have a team in their corner at all times, looking out for them and ensuring their success. Someone they can talk to when they can’t tell anyone else. Someone who’s got their back and will do whatever it takes to have them succeed.
An advisory board costs money. But this is never seen as an issue as in most cases the business owner will get a 2 or 3 times return on the fees they pay.
Walking away from a chunk of our income in 2018 was the best thing we’ve done in years. We’re proud to say we’re now on a number of business owners’ personal advisory boards. It’s definitely exciting and a privilege to be looking after our business owners in such a pivotal way.
And The Take Away?
Clearing out the clutter and dropping the bottom 20% of your clients. Although a bit scary at first, it can lead to some remarkable benefits in a small business. These included clearing the way for better things to come in the door. Don’t be afraid to try it – but make sure you know the numbers and any potential risk factors first.