Do you have a giant client that gives you more than 50% of your revenue? That can be good news and the bad news. The good news is you can concentrate on the needs of that client giving them exceptional work and client service. The bad news is they consume your time and you have nothing left to develop other clients. Which leaves you with the looming question… “What would happen to my business if they took their work someplace else?” That one can keep you up at night! I know from experience the sleepless nights and the havoc it causes your business when it happens. I learned a few lessons that could help you minimize the havoc.
Don’t worry about the “what if.” But don’t put your head in the sand either! Ride the wave for as long as you can. Give this giant client your undivided attention, save money and deepen every relationship associated with this work, inside and outside their company. So that when they do move on, you have enough money saved that you can weather the storm and enough contacts that you can leverage your experience. If that still causes you sleepless nights then you need to get into action…
1. Build a diverse client base. This one will require a bit of discipline and a different mind-set. Right now you probably have a pretty clear sense of priority every day… anything your giant of a client needs you to do, you do before anything else. So in the new mind-set, you will need to carve out time to spend on business development giving it the same sense of urgency as you do your giant client. Thirty minutes a day to reconnect with your other contacts, three times a week to have lunch with one of those contacts… believe me, a commitment to those two initiatives will make a huge difference in your business development results.
2. Leverage your depth of knowledge in their industry. You have acquired industry knowledge working with this giant client. Use it! Who else do you know? What industry publications should you be reading and possibly publishing articles in? What industry conferences should you be attending to gain even more knowledge and forge new relationships?
3. Maximize your knowledge of the giant clients company. If you understand the “in’s and out’s” of that company why not try and spread your knowledge to other departments or divisions within the company. Multiply your relationships, so that your work isn’t dependent on only one or two people.
When you put these initiatives into place, you’ll find you sleep better. And when the day comes (I hope it will be later than sooner) you will be prepared. The impact to your business and health will be minimized.