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How important are customers?


Businesses need customers, but will any customer do?  Who is a good customer for you?  

When you start a business it is exciting getting your first customer, then your second, and your third and as your business grows so does the number of customers you work with.

In retail your customer needs to purchase what you sell and pays for it on the spot so it doesn't really matter whether they are a good customer for you or not.  However you might want to make them a good customer by providing excellent service and an excellent product ensuring that they want to return to you.

If you provide a service to businesses your customer buys from you because you do something they can't do themselves.  You might have specialist knowledge or they know they are not good at doing something themselves so want to seek help.  The first thing I sought help with was IT.  IT is not something I understand enough to be able to sort it out when it goes wrong and because working computers and printers are essential for the work we do it was a not a difficult decision.  

All business owners need help with something so there is a potential customer for everyone but a sale is not a sale until it is paid for. So you could have lots of customers but if they don't pay they are not a good customer.  

If you were inundated with work from several customers whose work would you prioritise?  Would it be the business who still owes you from some work you did three months ago or the business who paid you promptly?  Which customer appreciates what you do most - the one who pays you promptly or the one who still hasn't paid you?

Customers who get the best service are likely to be those who always pay on time or early.  Customers who are always late and who always need to be reminded to pay, sometimes several times, are probably not the best customer you could have.

All businesses need cash flow so reviewing your customers, the work you do for them and how long they take to pay is an important aspect of running a business.  Some customers may be draining your resources so take action if you want to grow your business before it is too late.

PS  Are your payments terms on your invoice?  If not then none of your customers pay late! 

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Unit 21 Portway Business Centre
Old Sarum, Salisbury

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