28 August 2017
Every business person needs to be concerned about balance. In a perfect world, we would all start out with giant customers and we would be able to develop from there. But, we would be really foolish if we were to just build our business around one or two big customers.
At UKFast we never had the luxury of having huge clients when we were a startup. We had to go out there, to work incredibly hard to gain the trust of small, growing businesses like ours. Many of these businesses are still clients today and I still speak with them regularly. As we have grown, so have they.
I have always loved these smaller customers because they are the ones that need nurturing and supporting. They’re also the businesses that we see real results from our partnership together. There is no prouder moment for me than seeing the success of our clients and knowing we have helped them on that journey.
Balance the books
Not only do we have a mix of clients, UKFast is also built on a specific type of business model. When I look back, it is clear to see that it has always been in my nature to build a business model that is safe. I have always built my businesses on recurring revenue models. I love the safety of having that money trickling in steadily.
Back when I first launched the Music Design Company, I built this on the foundation of monthly income contracts. This way rather than charging a one-off fee, we would have contracts with smaller, monthly payments over the course of the contract. This recurring revenue from multiple clients ensured that I had the money to pay the bills. Whilst there wasn’t huge money to be made in pianos and there was only so far that business could go, the model that it was built on was something that I knew I had to replicate. It has certainly stood UKFast in good stead over the past 17 years and as the business continues to show incredible growth.
Alongside this, service and customer retention is key. I am proud that we have many of our first customers still with us to this day. We have an extraordinary relationship and that’s invaluable in business. We’ve worked hard to create a service that engenders loyalty and we’re always learning.
Help each other grow
Going back to those smaller clients that we worked hard for in the early days, whilst on the face of it it has a smaller effect on the books if you lose one of these smaller clients, it doesn’t knock you off course, it is more of a personal hit. I still feel that to this day but try to learn whenever we do lose a customer. What could we have done better? How can we improve our service even more?
Ultimately I’ve learned that balance is essential in every area of a business, especially when it comes to people and clients. Business success is about people; it’s about getting to know each other and helping one another to grow and succeed.