February '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 1 1 Unfortunately, many customers' memo- ries are growing shorter than ever before. Now more than ever you need to differ- entiate your company from your competi- tors by aligning your products and services with your customers' profitability. During tough times, costly relationships are sev- ered while money makers are nurtured and appreciated. A business review is a formal, face-to- face, strategic planning meeting with all the key personnel from the customer and your company. If you've gotten this far in the column and are thinking, "I'm just a small operation. It's only me and my customer doing business one-on-one," please read on. At very least, insist that your key suppliers conduct a business review with you. You will be amazed at the information and resources you can acquire by just asking. Recently, I called my cable, telecommunications, and internet provider and asked for a review of my account. As a result, I was almost immediately shifted to a plan that will save me 45 percent on my monthly bill. However, I was the one who had to initiate the review. WHEN BUSINESS REVIEWS? Business reviews do not need to be conducted with every customer. Follow the 80/20 rule to decide with which customers you will conduct this formal meeting. You know, the 20 percent of your client list that constitutes 80 percent of your revenue. A business review follows a set agenda that identifies all the aspects of the business re- lationship. Doesn't it seem logical to, at least once a year, spend two to five hours with your top accounts to resolve differences, set goals, explore possibilities, initiate improve- ment projects, gain agreement, uncover unspoken problems, and plan for the next year? In fact, you should not necessarily wait for the anniversary of your last business review to conduct another. If any of the six warning signals present themselves, that's an account that is in jeopardy of being lost, and you should immediately schedule a business review.

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