In the early days of being a business owner, you probably wondered if you would ever have any customers. Sure, you thought you had a good idea and you were confident in it – but that didn’t mean anyone else was going to sign up. Those first few customers or clients began to feel like an oasis in the desert and from that moment on, your confidence has just grown and grown over time.
So has your business. Eventually – if you are very, very lucky – you will find yourself dealing with the best problem that a businessperson can have: you’ve got too many clients wanting your services, and not enough time to do them. It’s almost impossible to complain about, because really, who whines about being too successful? Yet it’s a problem nonetheless, and one that could spiral out of your control if you’re not very, very careful.
Choosing how to handle your next steps is key to encouraging your business and reputation to grow as you feel comfortable with. You have a few options available to you when it comes to coping, so which is it going to be to see you through your busiest time yet?
#1 – Raise Your Prices
If you have been in business for awhile and have been doing well, then there’s a chance a sudden uptick in the amount of enquiries you’re receiving is a sign of a need to raise your prices. After all, if you’re in demand, that means there’s a lot of people who think that you’re worth what you’re currently charging – a good percentage of those will think you’re worth more, too.
Be warned, however; if you raise prices after you have received a first inquiry from someone, you stand a real chance of annoying them. Instead, place everyone that has inquired thus far on a wait list for work/products at existing prices, and then issue a notice about the increase to everyone after a certain date. This is the fairest, cleanest way of introducing a new pricing structure – now you just need to decide how much you’re going to increase your rates by!
#2 – Cut Back On Advertising
If you’ve got more clients than you can handle, pull back hard on your advertising and Adwords campaigns. They’re clearly doing well, but you don’t want to be turning clients away or telling them they’re going to be waiting for months for the work they want next week. You’re not cutting your advertising forever, but a fortnight’s break should make all the difference and let you deal with the existing customers you have to work your way through.
#3 – Hire An Assistant
If your business is in an area where you can hire an assistant to help, then do so. This might apply if you make your own products and sell them online; you could hire someone to help with packaging items. The extra revenue you have from increasing your prices should help you be able to afford this.
However, some business types mean that you’re not able to ask for help as the work is very dependent on you – such as interior design or consultancy services. In these cases, it makes sense to forge business relationships with competitors on the agreement you will refer work to one another periodically during times of high stress. If this arrangement doesn’t work out for you, you can just end it – but it might be of huge benefit to you in future.
And remember: this is a problem, but it’s a good one, so try to push through and enjoy the fact that business is booming!