14 Signs Your Business Is Taking On More Than It Can Handle

Posted by Kevin Wessels on August 7, 2020

In our most recent post, we covered two of the five biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with “big fish” clients. Now, we’ll cover the third mistake, which is “Taking On More Than You Can Handle,” and the fourth one which entails “Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket.”

Taking On More Than You Can Handle

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and therefore you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. No doubt, you want your business to be successful.  However, you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and high-quality products/services, but they lack a deep understanding and high level of appreciation for your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.  They just expect it.

But, as a business owner, how do you know when you are taking on more than you can handle?

Photo by Hugo Jehanne on Unsplash


To uncover whether you are in over your head due to rapid growth and thus negatively impacting your customer experience, be on the lookout for these alert signals:

  • Clients are increasingly upset.
  • Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
  • Clients are suffering from you always trying to keep up with new business.
  • SLAs are being missed.
  • Employee morale is low.
  • Quality of deliverables and service is declining due to the vast amount of work.
  • You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
  • You feel as if there is a new “fire” to put out every day or week.
  • Profits are going down.
  • You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
  • Your clients/customers leave.
  • Resources are being reallocated.
  • Resources are vastly lacking.
  • You, your team, and your clients are frequently in a panic.

There’s also a trick called the “Mock Fish Plan”. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of the aforementioned trouble signs so that you can get your business back on track. Specifically, this plan will:

  • Help increase sales in a short period of time.
  • Alter your products/services for the better.
  • Fulfill the promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  • Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the Tier 1 client’s needs.
  • Review your operational system.
  • Anticipate future problems better.
  • Communicate more clearly and proactively.
  • Include costs in your quotes.
  • Always have a back-up plan.

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

It’s imperative that you do not allow your company to become dependent on any one large client. Eventually, or for certain periods, there is going to be a slowing down period with your big fish. In order to stay in the game, you need to diversify and not put all your eggs into one basket as they say.

If you’ve ever mishandled a big fish client, you could drive away potential fish as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do, including:

  • Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your number one client’s company.
  • Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
  • Stay exclusive.
  • Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
  • Spread your contracts out.
  • Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your big fish. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process in prior blogs we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.

These are the ways you can help avoid the critical mistakes that can make you lose your best clients that you worked so hard to win. Next time, we’ll address the last of the killer mistakes and how to prevent it from jolting your business.

As a reminder, our Small Business Growth Academy has all the tips and tricks you need in your marketing outreach, business development, and client retention efforts ranging from lead generation to sales conversion to client nurturing strategies, including many pre-built industry accelerators designed to shorten your learning curve, implementation duration, and time to market or launch.

To better acclimate yourself with the cutting-edge capabilities of the RevSherpas Growth Academy, click here to watch a brief overview.


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