Would you rather have bad apples or no apples at all?
It is quite easy to choose the latter.
How about choosing between bad clients and no clients?
Most people would rather have bad clients than no clients.
But that’s not a wise choice.
Mike Michalowicz wrote the following in The Pumpkin Plan,
You’re much better off having no clients than bad clients, because at least when you don’t have any clients you can prospect for good ones instead of tailoring, tweaking and twisting to accommodate the needs of the bad ones.
I shared the above on Facebook and some readers disagreed:
Michalowicz expected responses like these and he warned further,
They think firing clients is too risky, because they’re afraid the better clients will never come. So they reverse the plan, opting to try and get better clients first and then get rid of the crap clients. Reversing the plan doesn’t work because it takes time to cultivate relationships with your top clients and attract new, better clients. And no matter how many appointments you move around and how many energy drinks you guzzle, you do not have the time. The Pumpkin Plan is not an “if you build it, they will come” kind of plan. This is a “build it, then build a paved road to your client’s door, then give them a luxury bus ride (while serving them breakfast using only the finest china) to your door” kind of plan, and you need all of the extra time and emotional energy you can get to pull it off.
It is counterintuitive that a business should choose her customers as much as the customer chooses a business.
We were taught that the customer is always right. The truth is the right customer is always right and business owners need to be able to tell the difference and serve the right customers.
Businesses have an easier time than governments.
Businesses can choose their customers but governments cannot choose their citizens.
When I was an leading a platoon in the Air Force, I don’t get to choose who were assigned to me. I have to develop and care for all of them.
Now that I am running a business I get to choose who to hire and which customers to serve or develop products for.
Having a choice is powerful and all business owners should exercise it wisely.