So last week, I made the decision to finally fire some clients.
It was a long time coming. We started planning and evaluating over a hundred of them last year, and decided on about two dozen that didn’t fit the bill for our web development firm anymore.
Sound harsh? Dangerous even? Don’t worry. There were very legitimate reasons. It started with this: Many of them hadn’t updated their website in YEARS, despite my efforts to point out security vulnerabilities, and more. I even wrote a blog trying to explain this in a very nice fashion. https://rocklandweb.com/upgrade2024
In fact, despite my clear and logical explanation of why, I got cursed out by one! Oh well! Kind of proved my point. Maybe my tone was off. 😆. (I’ll be addressing that next year, that’s a promise. ☝🏽)
But I’m not writing about that client. I’m writing to address an issue that most business owners fail to attack: Firing your underperforming customers. Mainly because they are afraid of potential repercussions.
Business owners: Unless you are a publicly traded company or an ice cream shop, you DON’T need to serve everyone! Make sure the customer that you choose is the right fit for your company vision, purpose and mission. Get rid of the rest!
What is the UCARE Formula?
In my 15 year strong digital advertising company – we use a formula called “UCARE”, coined by the late Gary Lipton Esq. To determine your best and worst customers, rate on a scale of 1-5 each of the categories below. Here is the formula:
U – Unique: Does the customer have a unique business model, that you are interested in helping to grow?
C – Compensation: Do they pay you, on time, and well? (Somewhat important lol)
A – Appreciation: Do they appreciate your efforts? Are they nice? Or whenever you get on the phone with them, do they act like the tail end of a tail end? 😏
R – Referrals: Do they recommend your business, provide reviews and/or referrals?
E – Effective: Can your company meet their needs, fairly easily – without stretching your people, resources or time too much?
You end up with a scale of 5-25 at the end.
You’ll have your own cutoff point, but generally speaking, if you have a score of 13 or higher, they are usually good quality customers. If you get a score of 12 or lower, these are clients that will stretch your business.
You might still want to keep them. Maybe you are just starting out, and need all the income you can get. I understand, trust me! I started my 1st company 15 years ago with $300 in my pocket. Now we ring up six figures every year since 2015. And we needed everyone, catered to everyone, said yes sir no sir to everyone, did everything we could, for everyone.
But if you fill and keep your account list with too many of these individuals, they will drain you until you don’t want to be in business any more. So at some point, a purge is necessary. Call it refocusing on a new primary target market, people that UCARE about.
I’ll admit: I’m a little tougher on my customers than most, but I have taken the step to carve out that flexibility. Its not easy, and sometimes it can get uncomfortable. But in the end, the joy of working with customers that actually care about their brand, their own customers — and you…that makes the effort all the worth it.
Make the tough decisions for your business. Fire your underperforming customers. Choose quality clients. Rising tides.
If you want more great advice to bring your business to the next level, join us for https://worksmartNY.com – we’ll have amazing speakers on Leadership, Finances, Technology, Fitness and more!