Your business has too many customers? Well, that’s a great problem to have!
The bad news: You’re overwhelmed, and there’s not enough supply to meet the demand.
If your business offers a service or a product, and you have too many customers — you’re in trouble. (Unless you’ve figured out how to clone yourself or have an amazing manufacturing hook-up.)
_So what are you to do when you have too many customers? _The way I see it, there are three ways you can fix the issue.
1. Raise Your Prices
Economics 101 tells us that if the supply decreases, and the demand remains the same, there will be a shortage. Therefore, the price should increase.
When price increases, this often means a reduction in demand—for lots of different reasons. Maybe the customer can’t afford it anymore. Maybe they have a price point they’re tied to, and now they need a different, cheaper solution. Maybe they just get mad and say, “I’m not paying that much. Bye!”
But no matter the reason behind the ‘why’, raising prices often means filtering out customers so that the clients who really see value in your service or product are what remain.
It’s like gold panning—what’s left behind is the good stuff.
If a customer really believes in the quality you deliver and in you as the person behind the brand, a small price increase isn’t going to faze him or her. That person just wants to be sure they’re still able to buy from you or work with you.
2. Cater to Your Niche Market
Another way you can deal with a surplus of customers is to niche down into a more specific market. This way, instead of trying to get any and every customer that comes your way (even if they aren’t really that invested in your offering), you’re only trying to connect with your most ideal customers.
For example: Say you’re a freelance web designer who specializes in websites for yoga teachers, but your marketing efforts position you as someone who creates websites for anyone and everyone.
You get a lot of interest from casting this wide net, but often times, the leads who reach out to you end up wasting a lot of your time and not following through to become a paying client.
When you re-position yourself as an expert of yoga instructor websites, you have a much higher success rate. You’re able to speak directly to the unique needs of this demographic, and therefore, they a look to you as a trusted expert in the field and are happy to pay you to design that perfect website.
Niching down can be scary—you might think, “But what if I can’t make it when I get this specific about my business?”
Take it from Seth Godin:
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3. Improve Your Process
This one relates specifically to businesses that sell a physical product.
If the reason you think you have too many customers is because you don’t have the means to produce items as quickly as they’re being purchased, there’s a problem in your process—and it’s very likely that can be fixed.
Take a look at your process as whole, and identify the bottlenecks.
Say you have a cleaning product business: Maybe you’re trying to do product fulfillment in-house, but you’ve outgrown the ability to keep up with the demand using this method.
In this case, it’s time to consider outsourcing to a manufacturer who can do this more quickly and efficiently than you can on your own.
In instances where process is failing, it’s often simply a matter of finding a fix to the problem so that supply can increase to meet the rising demand.
Finding the Sweet Spot
The right way to handle customer overload is going to be varied for different types of businesses.
However, using one of these three tactics, it should be fairly easy to get things back under control and to a more manageable place.
I’m curious: What do you do when you feel like you have too many customers?