As soon as you have your first client on board, you will be tempted to go out and try to bring on lots more. Since we are selling six head a month with no problems, won’t 60 per month just be better? Won’t that get the ranch out of our financial hole just that much quicker? Try to calm yourself down and be sensible. Grow slowly. Do not assume that now that you have the first client, the others will be easy. They’re not.
Each client is unique and will keep you busy solving all the different problems. Remember, if you disappoint a client once and don’t make that delivery, he or she will probably dump you. Very few restaurants, stores and distributors will forgive you. After all, they had to disappoint their customers too. They lost sales. They lost money, and it is your fault.
As long as you are centering on one type of business, small health food chains, for example, keep adding chains, one by one, making sure that you solve the problems one by one as they come up. Give each new acquisition, no matter how small, to your family of clients a mini-mum of a month or two to become familiar with your product and your company. Learn their way of doing things.
Say you decide to take on a client in a type of business that is different from anything you’ve handled before. You have three small chains of health food stores that are doing very nicely. You know the purchasing people now and they ask for you by name. Recently you made a presentation to a new distributor. He wants you. You want him. But take it slow.
Remember, you reinvented the wheel here. Every new type of business has its own set of challenges. Give a major new client six months to work the bugs out. We know that seems like a long time, but it is a lot better to have four happy customers than to take on 10 and lose nine because of problems.