Why Your Big Client Is Your Worst Mistake
Ah, the excitement of landing a single big client. It’s a siren call for many online business manager. The promise of hefty paychecks, prestige, and the elimination of the constant hustle. But what if I told you that your big client could actually be your worst mistake?
Let’s dive into the risks and rewards of client diversification in the world of online business management.
This episode shares:
- The risks of having a big client, such as putting all your eggs in one basket, stunting your business growth, and not being scalable.
- Make your smaller clients less small and your big clients less big, so you can create a more sustainable and profitable business.
- The importance of creating a diverse client base to reduce your risk.
- The value of having systems in place to automate your business and free up your time.
The Risk Of Having A Big Client
“While it can have a quick boost in revenue and that can feel amazing, it also creates a lot of risk for you.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” right? Yet, it’s startling how many of us ignore this wisdom in pursuit of that one big client. It might seem like a fast track to success, but have you thought about what happens if that contract falls through? Or, in a catastrophic scenario, your client’s factory burns down?
Just like that, your financial empire could crumble. The illusion of stability, shattered in a heartbeat. It’s essential to understand that a single, substantial client doesn’t just offer big revenue, but also big risks.
Make Your Smaller Clients Less Small And Your Big Clients Less Big
Let me paint you a picture: you’ve got this great, big client. You’re devoting all your time and energy into nurturing this golden goose. But what are you sacrificing? Marketing, networking, and strategic planning—all these crucial elements that ensure the longevity and growth of your business take a back seat.
This is what I call “the tyranny of the urgent,” where immediate tasks eclipse your larger vision. Don’t let one client hold your business hostage like this.
Creating A Diverse Client Base
Imagine you want to scale your business. With a large client in the picture, it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers. That big client probably wants to work only with you, meaning bringing in additional help could disrupt the relationship. You’re not just a service provider; you’re essentially an extension of their team.
This reliance limits your ability to expand your business, undermining the scalability and adaptability that should be cornerstones of your empire.
The Value Of Automated Systems
If we can create some more organic marketing systems within our business, we can keep the revenue coming in.
Because the reality is with smaller offers, you need to sell more of them. You need to market more of them to different people. And that’s where we kind of struggle because it feels like we’re selling all the time.
But if we’re not just selling and if we have some systems in place to keep ourselves visible and to be speaking to our audience and the clients who really want what we have, then it’s not going to feel like selling all the time. Plus, the fact that we’ve made our Smalls a little bit bigger and our Bigs a little bit smaller means that we actually don’t need to sell as many across the board.
And… that’s a wrap!
The time to act is now. Don’t wait for a wakeup call in the form of a lost client. One client does not make your business.
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Follow along with the transcript
E17 How many clients should an Online Business Manager work with? Why your big client is a big mistake.
Leanne Woff: [00:00:00] Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of the Audacious OBM. [00:01:00] I’m Leanne Woff and today we are talking about how many clients should an online business manager have? Why your big client is your worst mistake.
Okay. So I wanted to chat to you about this today because I was speaking with one of my OBM Academy students earlier. And something that she said really stuck with me, and that is that she’d been speaking to lots of other experienced VAs or people in the OBM space who had been working in the industry for quite a long time.
So they’re quite successful. And she was feeling like she’d done the wrong thing. Because these experienced people and other coaches had said to her you [00:02:00] have too many small clients. Why are you operating like that? You need a big client. Now, as soon as she said that, I was shocked. Because generally, that is not the advice I would give someone.
And here’s why. In my opinion, it makes life harder and there is a few things that you need to consider if you’re going to bring in a big, big client. It’s going to make life easy because you have to work with less people. You don’t have to do as many small jobs. It’s easy to keep on top of everything.
But here’s the things that we don’t talk about.
The risk. So the big client, usually with big clients comes big revenue. That’s the attraction, right? But… It has the [00:03:00] risk of putting all of your eggs in one basket, which means that while it can have a quick boost in revenue and that can feel amazing, it also creates a lot of risk for you because what happens if that contract doesn’t go ahead or it is going really, really well and you’re so happy and you’re getting along great with the client and then their factory burns down and all of a sudden you don’t have your place with them anymore.
Overnight, you have gone from being really fruitful and having lots of money to not a lot at all because you had invested so much of you in this big client. So it’s actually quite a large financial risk. [00:04:00] Another thing that we don’t really consider or that we don’t talk about is the fact that when you have a big, amazing client.
It tends to stunt your business growth, for practical reasons. You spend so much time servicing this client and you know you really appreciate having a big client. So then it’s the investment of time, plus it’s then the client satisfaction piece and the nurture of this client and your resources become limited.
And so what naturally starts to happen, is the marketing falls away, the networking falls away, the working on your business instead of in your business falls away. Right. And at the time you know that it’s probably not the best idea, but it’s what’s necessary, and it’s bringing the money in, so it’s like, cool, great, let’s do it.
The next thing is that it’s not scalable, [00:05:00] because if you’re working quite closely with a big client, guess what? That big client is always going to want to work with you, specifically. They are a client of yours and your person, not your brand. Not the business. If you get somebody else in to help, that big client probably isn’t going to like it very much because that’s not what they’re used to and that’s not really what they signed up for.
So even if you get to the point where you think, oh, this is just too much. I need to scale back a bit. The likelihood is that you won’t be able to with that big client. So in a way, we are giving ourselves less options. Another risk that we really need to consider, and especially for our clients, we need to start having these conversations, is the difference between [00:06:00] an employee and a contractor.
Because there are all different laws depending on the country and the state that you live in, but I know here there are definite laws and rules around what is considered a contractor and what is considered an employee. And one of those factors is how much of your income and how much of your business effort goes into supporting a variety of clients.
And if you are starting to hit that limit and possibly be deemed as an employee, then you’re actually putting your client at risk because technically that’s how the law sees you. You’re an employee and then you might end up having that client might have other obligations to you that even if you weren’t requesting them, they still need to be fulfilling.
And then if [00:07:00] The governing body finds out that technically they’re an employee and you as the employer, your client, aren’t giving them these benefits or these necessities more than they’re going to get in trouble. And not everybody knows this and it is all information that can be found and is available, but it changes and it changes over time and it’s different in every place, but it’s still worth knowing that information and sharing it.
Because I would hate to be working really well with the client, work with them for a long time, and then find out that they’ve received a, a slap on the wrist or a big, big fine for an arrangement we had together and I didn’t really think about it and they didn’t really think about it. So it is worth a conversation and it is something that comes into play when you’re starting to put all your eggs in one basket.
And then the final [00:08:00] thing that I want to highlight is the mental and the emotional toll. If for whatever reason, this contract doesn’t last, it might only be for a small period or something in the business might change, but what we tend to do is we lose a client. And then we think, what did I do wrong?
How did I stuff this up so badly? And we start to go down this negative spiral. And then on top of that, we’re faced with feelings of failure. I finally was getting the amount of revenue that I wanted. I was finally getting paid properly. I could see all of my options and now all of a sudden they’re all gone.
And how did I get here? I feel like I’m back at the start. And you know what, none of that is actually true. As humans, we still have to process each piece of that until we [00:09:00] come out the other side. And it’s not a great place to be. And in my opinion, I would like to keep that place and how long I’m in that place to a minimum.
So, no, I disagree. Your big goal shouldn’t be to get a big client to make it all easy. It’s not going to fix things for you. It’s just really risky. So what do we do instead? We make the smaller clients less small. And we make the big clients less big. And what I mean by that is you might have, a group of small offers that you have.
They don’t bring in a lot of revenue but they’re there and you can do it and it’s great. Instead of them being at the price you have them now, increase them a little bit and [00:10:00] possibly make those offers a bit larger. Think a little bit bigger. Not astronomically, like they can still be you know, on the smaller end.
But let’s just make them a bit more chunky so that then you’re getting a little bit more revenue in with each one of them. Then, we want to make the big ones less big. So think about that type of client and think, okay, how can I pull this down into a package or an offer that’s maybe a piece of what I was doing?
And then maybe I can have three clients at that level. Instead of just one big one. And then that way, if I lose one, I have some time to get another one for the whole ship sinks. Or if we’re really, really convinced now we just want a really big client and then to have, a handful of small clients [00:11:00] that we service too, make sure you build in a buffer with that big client so that then no matter what happens, you can put some money aside.
And if you lose that client, you’ve got a few months to find another one. And then you don’t end up in this panicky position.
What we want to be doing is keeping the profit level very similar. So just because we have smaller offers and bigger offers doesn’t mean that the small offers need to have less profit or be less profitable. They’re just bite sized pieces. They’re still just as good a service. It’s just a piece of it instead of a whole big chunk of it.
And so if we can balance out that profit a bit more, we don’t have to keep putting big amounts of effort and energy into these jobs that take heaps and heaps of time. [00:12:00] The revenue, though, that’s what makes the big ones big. If we know that our profit is fairly even across the board, then it is the revenue factor that comes into play and it means that we have to sell less to get the same amount of money, essentially.
And so what if we can create some more organic marketing systems within our business? To keep the revenue coming in because the reality is with smaller offers, you need to sell more of them. You need to market more of them to different people. And that’s where we kind of struggle because it feels like we’re selling all the time.
But if we’re not just selling and if we have some systems in place to keep ourselves visible and to be speaking to our audience and the clients who really want what we have, then it’s not going to feel like selling all the time. [00:13:00] Plus, the fact that we’ve made our Smalls a little bit bigger and our Bigs a little bit smaller means that we actually don’t need to sell as many across the board.
We want to create a nice big picture. So that’s really what I wanted to talk to you about today. And it is your business can look however it wants. And if you are thinking about taking on that big, big client, just think about the full picture of it. There is no, Oh, these people are successful. And they said, I have to, so I do.
It’s just not true. You get to do what you’re comfortable with doing. And I don’t want anybody to ever feel like. They were going in the right direction and they had it all sorted and they felt on top of the world and then it all came crumbling down because of one client. One client does not make your business.
Your business and all of the [00:14:00] pieces of it are what make your business. Thanks guys. Have a great week.