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How Many Customers Does Your Business Need To Be Profitable?

A question CEOS, presidents and business owners often ask in what is considered to be a “normal economy” (translation – economic times are good) is: How many customers are enough?

But now business people are experiencing what some refer to as a “new normal” (translation – challenging, uncertain, even chaotic times). In this economy CEOs, presidents and business owners still ask the same question: How many customers are enough?

Only now it has different meaning. Instead of how many customers are too many; the question is directed towards determining how many customers are enough to be profitable with a steady cash flow. Anything over that is additional welcome revenue.

So how many customers are enough?

The answer to the question is: every business needs one more customer.

No matter how many or how few customers your business currently has, you need to be proactive and keep marketing your product or service because business is just too uncertain regardless of a good or a bad economy. For reasons sometimes beyond your control, customers come and go. It’s always about marketing, prospecting and signing one more customer.

You can’t ever stop looking for new business. Because the moment you do you’ll find that you’ve lost business and not making the profit or enjoying the success you would like with your company.

If you don’t have enough customers to begin with in this economy, then it’s a matter of doubling or even tripling your efforts to make sure enough business is created to be profitable and to have enduring success.

I can’t say this enough: Never stop looking for business. It’s one of the most important things you can do in your business. Creating new business drives every aspect of your business. It’s what keeps you profitable and successful.

There are two reasons why business people don’t consistently market and prospect for business.

First, in general, business people become overwhelmed when there is not enough business. It can be paralyzing. So instead of doing something, they do nothing. They don’t revise their business plan, sales plan or do the necessary prospecting to create the sale.

Second, when there is enough business coming in business people don’t consistently (if at all) market and prospect for new business because they are under the illusion there is enough business. I often hear from business people that they “don’t have time”.  They feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. It becomes a lopsided balancing act.

A good example of this can be found in social media. Businesses will start tweeting on Twitter or start a company Facebook page only to suddenly stop posting. What impression does that give current or potential customers?

In many businesses, it often takes time to find that one next great customer. Make time to market and prospect just as you make time for current, paying customers.

Remember, you just need one more customer. Imagine the difference one customer can make to your company’s bottom line.

And once you find one customer – find another – and another – and another.



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