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Accepting and Benefiting from Business Goodbyes

October 25, 2013

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

goodbye

As I spoke with a woman entrepreneur during our annual membership discussion on how her business was the past year she said, “I’ve learned after being in business ten years that saying goodbye to projects I had hoped would make my company more successful but didn’t work out or saying goodbye to longtime customers is actually easier than it used to be.” I asked her to explain why and she said, “Because as soon as you say goodbye to something that isn’t working, you open up space for something new to enter – whether that’s an exciting new client or a original innovative project that sparks new energy.”

When people start their companies and it’s difficult to land accounts or support a new service, it’s difficult to make a decision to say goodbye and move forward. But as this entrepreneur discovered sometimes accepting an end to a business relationship, product or way of thinking is more beneficial for an entrepreneur.

After two decades of being a woman business owner this is what I’ve learned about business goodbyes:

* Not everyone remains a client forever so accept this truth before you begin any sales effort or marketing campaign. Sometimes it isn’t what a business has to offer that makes the customer change their mind about remaining a loyal client; sometimes the customer realizes a business doesn’t offers what they need anymore. Entrepreneurs should always be striving to maintain and service the right clients their companies can help most.

* Before a customer says goodbye, make sure you have communicated clearly with them about how you could aid them more in the future. If you have an inkling a client is not happy with what you offer or their involvement in your business declines, make the gesture to reach out to schedule time to talk. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Entrepreneurs need to be the proactive communicators with their client base. It is our responsibility to stay in touch, not our customers.

* If you have done a consistent job in sales, you should have a pipeline of potential new customers ready to sign for new business. An entrepreneur should never be content with the current client load she has, she needs to always be prospecting, selling and signing new customers so when one customer leaves, a new one can replace them. Make sure you are not counting too much on your current client base for all your revenue. You must prospect and bring in new business as often as you can.

What I know for sure is saying “Hello” is so much better than saying “Good bye,” so make sure you are welcoming more new clients than saying farewell to old ones.

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