Starting a new business or independent agency requires clients. The more clients you have, the more you’ll profit and the more successful your agency will be. However, you have to be realistic about your client capacity. Taking on too many clients will result in poor service, and you won’t be able to retain those clients. Before you start your business and take on clients, make sure you know your client capacity.
The biggest mistake any business can make is to take on so many clients that they aren’t able to fulfill their promises. Failed promises are the fastest way to lose a client, and from there it’s a domino effect of negative press and word of mouth. Bad service will spread much faster throughout the community than good service. As a young business, you can’t afford negative word of mouth, so take on clients one at a time and make sure that you always have time to dedicate to each of them.
The psychological effects of too many clients
As a new boss, you’re undoubtedly feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed by the day-to-day of running a business. It’s going to take a little time before you get into the groove of overseeing an entire business, but with the right support team, planning, and organization, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. However, if you take on too many clients too fast, you’re always going to feel like you are out of control, that you are falling behind, and that you aren’t living up to your promises and potential as a leader in the industry.
It’s better to have a few loyal and satisfied clients than a bunch of unsatisfied and frustrated clients.
To find your real capacity, you have to be realistic and plan ahead. The more structured your business plan and the more realistic you are with your time and your resources, the better equipped you are to figure out your capacity for clients.
There are only so many hours in the day, so many days in the week, so many weeks in the month, etc. Figuring out your real client capacity is a simple math problem:
- How many hours do you want to work a day? Remember, clients don’t want to be called up during dinner or after bedtime. You may be burning the midnight oil, but you can’t assume that your clients are doing the same.
- How much time have you spent on clients in the past?
- How much time can you spend and still be profitable?
- How much time do you need on other business related activities?
- How many team members do you have to help with clients and office management?
- Are you planning to take a vacation? A real vacation, not one where you are constantly sitting with your head in your inbox as your partner and kids are playing by the pool.
Investing time in each client
Each client wants to feel like they are your number one client. Some may need more personal attention than others. Figuring out how much time to spend with each client to make them happy will take some time, but the sooner you can come up with a realistic number, the better. Too much time with one client may be a bad thing because they are taking up time you could be spending with another client, and a needy client isn’t always a profitable client. You need to make a judgment call and figure out how you can be attentive and accessible without being pushed around or taken advantage of.
Business training for independent agents
At AAI, we want to help independent agents in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona to succeed and profit. We provide our members with exclusive business training and seminars to help you plant your business, grow your business, and succeed.