The Diablog™

If you own a creative firm, listen up!

For two years, times were tough. Now they’re not. As Amber Bean might say, “Wake up and smell the coffee, even if the coffee you make is bad.”

During the bad economy, you may have taken the safe fallback position of focusing on existing clients. I understand how that might feel like you are minimizing your risk during uncertain times. I have even seen industry pundits openly recommend this strategy. Now that things are turning around, you might be consider staying the course and focusing all your sales efforts on growing your existing accounts. This may be no surprise, but I think focusing all your attention on existing clients is bad business. I think it’s poor choice in a down economy, and I think it’s a devastatingly bad idea in a growing economy.

Here’s why:

1) No client will stay with you forever. Clients move around. Perhaps the reason a client stayed with you is because you have a champion inside their company. When your champion is promoted, changes departments, gets a new job, retires, etc., your client will be less devoted to you. Changes in upper management often cause policy changes that affect a client’s ability to do business with you. Some clients are so intolerant that one minor slip-up after years of great service is all they need to fire you. The possible reasons for a client to leave you are endless. OK. Maybe one or two clients will stay with you forever, but you have to admit this makes a strong slogan for your account reps.

2) A depression permanently changes how businesses operate. During the recent two-year depression, you probably spent a lot of time thinking about how to keep your doors open. So did your clients. They have made permanent adjustments to how they operate. The amount of money your clients spent with you four years ago is no predictor of how much they will spend with you this year. For example, if they don’t hire you to design another elaborate annual report for them, it may not be because they no longer like your work. They may have decided to stop spending money on an annual report.

3) Bad economic times cause innovation. When times are tough, a lot of people have a lot of time to think about how to make things better. As the economy rebounds, there is money available to fund these ideas. Many of these innovations become new companies who need you and your expertise. Don’t be afraid of change – this kind of change means business activity in our industry.

So when do you declare that it’s safe to come out of the shadows? Take my advice and start looking for new opportunities immediately. They are out there.

Ask us about the new trends and opportunities in web and mobile marketing and information exchange. We can help you say “Yes” to the interactive opportunities that come your way.