One of the first decisions we had to make as business owners broke a major part of our first business plan.
A potential client was looking for email marketing services and our solution offering was the perfect fit except, the client also wanted a custom made CRM that integrated tightly into the email system we offered.
The problem for us was we only wanted to focus on email marketing and to confirm our intent we proudly added this statement to our first ever business plan.
Yes or No?
What do you do when you are a fresh startup business desperate for clients (and money)?
Do you stick to your business plan and say no even though you have the ability to deliver all of the requirements, or do you say yes and work overtime to deliver?
You might suggest partnering with another business but why would you give up the much needed extra profit if you can do the job yourself?
These are all vital questions you need to ask yourself if you are ever in this position. We were on numerous occasions for the simple fact that our team is very skilled in many IT areas.
You will often hear business advice stating that you should never dilute your core focus for the attraction of extra profits. This sounds really logical but when you have maxed out your credit cards to pay the bills and the existing clients are slow to pay up logic goes out the window and survival mode takes over.
In our beginning years, as a small business, we hardly said no if we could deliver on the requirements regardless if it was not within our core solution set. The amazing thing is that the clients we broke our core focus for are still with us today. Thats over 6 years of partnership. If we said no we could have lost these valuable clients to another business.
The point of this post is that when starting a new business you will have clients ask you for products/services that are not within your core focus. You, as the business owner, need to decide if you will say yes or no.
This is one of the core reasons why we gave up on writing a business plan as a young business as planning is not a luxury you have when starting out – survival is your only focus.