What’s your strategy for selecting customers?

The thumbnail version:

  • Not every potential customer is a good customer
  • Customers are not created equal
  • Define your ideal customer
  • Only aim for the ideal customers

The full version:

Take your business to my competitor!

The T-shirt printing business is tough. But this doesn’t mean that you embrace every potential new customer that comes through the door.

Customers are not created equal. Some are not worth having. Some are too small for the effort they require. Some are impossibly difficult. Some don’t pay promptly. Some don’t pay at all. And so on, and so on, and so on.

So how to handle this? Well, first of all, define your ideal customer and then do some checking. Which of your products or services do they want? What quantities do they order? Will you be able to delight them? What will the profit margin on their work be? Will they pay promptly? Will they be a repeat customer?

These are some of the attributes you’re looking for. Now, no customer is perfect, but why wouldn’t you turn down up front the ones you’re only going to to end up firing after they’ve caused you headaches and cost you money? Turning down a potential customer is counter-intuitive for sure, but being discerning is smart business.