So, you have too many customers?
For most business owners, this is a problem they can only dream of.
Imagine, instead of spending your days worrying about how to pay your staff and where the next sale is going to come from, you were worrying about how many people you are going to have to turn away because you just don't have the capacity to help them.
Strangely enough, this is an issue that comes up from time to time when we speak with small to medium business owners - mostly in the hair and beauty industry.
We take them through the process of showing them how their website could be optimised to increase sales, only to be told by the business owner that they are considering completely closing down their website because they are too busy with cuirrent clients to even consider taking more on.
In fact, this exact scenario is why we have gone through the effort of putting this post together.
Most people (including web design agencies) assume websites are just a business generation tool, and while this is the main function of a website, it isn't the only function.
This thinking is not just incorrect, but can lead to great opportunities being missed in terms of increased productivity and time management.
Take property developer, for example.
They build properties and sell them off, without the need for a continuous stream of clients.
Property developers need clients only once the developments have been completed.
For this reason, a website the generate more clients for their business (a classic line of enquiry by any web design firm) is relatively obsolete. A property developer doesn't need "more clients", they need a marketing solution that will decrease the time they need to spend on sales after the development is completed.
The shorter the time that the developer spends on sales and marketing, the more time they have to plan and project manage the next development.
With all of this in mind, let's talk about specific ways a website can help any business when you have too many clients.
Websites Help you Raise Your Prices
This is probably the most obvious of reasons to have a website when you already have too many clients.
Logic dictates that when you have an overflow of people wanting to become your client, you then have the ability to charge more for your product/service.
An increase of prices at this point will likely lead to a few of your current clients dropping off (those who are price-conscious buyers), but these clients will be replaced by those who weren't previously able to be a client,
This results in your business continuing to run at full capacity, but receiving more income for the same amount of work.
Where to begin
Raising your prices can be scary.
Will your customers get angry?
Will they all leave and go somewhere else?
The truth is that if you asked your current clients about your current pricing, they would probably tell you that you're under-charging for your products/services.
This is why you have too many clients already.
Because your products/services are such great value!
However, if you're not confident about raising your prices, just start with your 2 most popular services and see what happens.
What Can I expect?
Research has shown that a price increase of just 5% increases profitability by 22%
This means that if you are a hair salon owner and you currently charge $75 for a simple cut and blow wave, a 5% increase would mean you raise this to be $78.75.
Your clients are only paying an extra $3.75 per visit, but your profitability increases by 22%!
Can't I do This Without a Website?
You absolutely can.
However, a website that helps generate more clients and more demand for your business will result in the ability to increase your prices even further and allow your business to maximise profitability.
The more demand there is for your business, the more you can charge.
Websites Help you to Generate Future Business
It's fantastic that you currently have too many clients, but nothing lasts forever.
Relying on your current situation continuing forever is a sure-fire way to kill your business in the long term, and the best time to prepare for the tough times is when times are good.
Or as the saying goes "Make hay while the sun shines"
The fact of the matter is that, for a number of reasons, people will stop coming to you.
Whether this be due to a change in geographic location, change of lifestyle, or something else, the clients you have right now are not going to be the exact same clients you have in 2 years time.
If 10% of your current clients stopped doing business with you, your business income drops by 10%.
You might not have the ability to help these people out right now, but your definitely don't want to lose contact with people who want to become your client, and completely end the relationship before it has even begun.
Take these people that you're unable to work with right now and put them into a "relationship building" campaign that allows you to build trust and bring these people in as clients when you have spaces become available.
Websites Help you With Time Management
How much of your time is taken up answering the same questions over and over again?
Not just questions about your hours and location (this information should be found on your homepage), but product/service specific questions that people ask because it's not super clear during their initial interactions with your business.
The fact that people are asking these questions should tell you a few things:
1. You're not providing people with enough information to begin with
2. The more questions people need to ask, the worse their experience with your business is
3. You are spending far too much time repeating the same menial tasks, and this is taking you/your staff away from making your business money.
Having a good information process in place (website information + automated emails after bookings etc) will save you prescious time and improve your workload management.
Websites Help With Your Overall User Experience
It's true that most people nowadays would rather contact you electronically, than take the time to call you - or even visit you!
Providing your clients with a way for them to contact you in their preferred method is an important part in the overall client expereince.
Investing in these technologies now - while you have the time and aren't in a mad rush to bring in new clients - will make sure that you're set up and ready to go when your business does need an influx of new clients.