A theme emerged while hanging around with SME-runners over summer. Some customers need re-education, or sacking.
- The one who is always asking for a discount
- The one useless or cunning enough to only show up with super-urgent problems
- The possibly likeable customer who is so demanding you could never profitably serve her
This kind of penny-pinching might seem like shrewd business practice, but its really nothing of the sort. It displays a mean spirited attitude that ends up biting back, even if the fools don't ever realise it. These people tend to be untrusting, because they expect others to be selfish like them. And if you never trust anyone, you have a massive cost burden with all your monitoring and checking up.
So here's a thought for 2014: leave a bit on the table for others, and avoid those who don't.