be careful promising the farm

When we started our business a year ago, we were desperate for opportunity. We knew we could do a great job but getting a seat at the table in a crowded market is really tough.
So we went about promising things to customers that would have been ludicrous for our competiton to match: free delivery, razor thin margins, savings of 10 percent compared to the next best nid, etc.
The gamble worked; we ended up building a healthy customer base and we have successfully started a profitable business in a bad economic climate.
That said, we still have customers that receive the same “specials” from a year ago only now those specials cost us a lot of money. For example, we offered free delivery because our staff had enough free time to drive orders to customers. Now, we are so busy that we have to hire a courier at $30 a trip to keep the promise we used to get the customer in the frst place.

When you’re getting started, its understandable to do whatever is necessary to earn business so you can live to fight another day. Just be careful in promising too much. You’d hate for your earliest customers, the ones who made all of this possible, to end up as drains on your bank account due to your early desperation.


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