Too Many Clients, Too Little Time
Too Many Clients, Too Little Time
Prospective clients are knocking down your door to get appointments and your phone is ringing off the hook with new business inquiries — congrats! While it might be stressful and confusing, having too many prospective clients and not enough time to take them on can be a good problem for a few reasons.
But you don’t want to let this problem go on for too long! If you don’t seize this opportunity appropriately, you could be turning away soulmate clients and missing opportunities to form new business relationships. So, how do you deal with this problem?
There are a few things to consider, so let’s break it down.
Assess what type of clients you have
The first thing to ask is, who are your soulmate clients? How many soulmate clients do you have?
If you don’t already know, I like to use a framework that puts clients into three categories:
Have the pet breed you want and like to groom
Are willing to pay your price
Come every 4 weeks
Provide an easy or enjoyable haircut
Are not perfect but are pretty darn good
Call you when they need you and don’t get consistent grooms
Don’t have a meaningful business relationship with you
So, the first step is to look at your client list and put each client into one of these three categories. If you’d like, you can make a spreadsheet or literally print out a list of all of your clients and then sort them into each category. I like to use 3 colored highlighters and use one color for each category.
Then, take a look at the overall make up of your clientele and ask the following questions:
What category do the majority of your clients fall under?
How often is each client coming in for a groom?
Do any of them frequently cancel or give you trouble?
Of your soulmate clients, are there any underlying similarities that they all share? Do they fall under the same demographics?
Are you attracting your soulmate clients intentionally or did you just get lucky?
If you don’t have many soulmate clients, you can ask the following questions:
Are prospective clients not finding you?
Are you not marketing to your soulmate client market?
Does your business not stand out?
Is your business misaligned with your target market?
Are you not fulfilling the clients’ needs?
Raise your prices
Once you’ve finished categorizing your current client list and answering those questions, a good next step is to re-evaluate your business numbers and raise your prices.
It is important to raise your prices because since you can’t keep taking on more clients, you should pick higher quality clients instead (assuming that you don’t already have a full roster of soulmate clients). If you raise your prices, you will probably lose some clients, but you will be weeding out fling clients to make more room for more soulmate clients.
Raise the bar for entry
In addition to raising prices, you can also start interviewing clients, requiring an application before they make an appointment, mandating that all appointments are made online, setting certain conditions to make an appointment (like requiring them to commit to a 4-week groom schedule), or offering consultation grooms before taking on a new client.
That might sound like a lot, but since you might be working with your soulmate clients every month for years to come, it is important to pick clients that are the best fit for you. Adding these extra layers before taking on new clients helps you decide if you want to decide to commit to a long-term business partnership with someone and ultimately help you both in the long run. And again, it will help you weed out fling clients who don’t want to deal with the new parameters you set in place.
Invest in your relationships with your soulmate clients
You should choose to invest in your soulmate clients. Don’t commit to investing in subpar clients if they won’t give you something in return. And don’t turn away soulmate clients just because you’re already committed to a bad client!
I like to compare these business relationships to romantic relationships. If you’ve lived with a partner for 7 years but they don’t want to get married and commit to you, then you shouldn’t commit to them either! Go find someone better who values your worth.
It is not worth spending the effort to convince your fling clients that they need to spend the money on your services, because no amount of convincing will work on them. Instead, find the clients who value your work and will pay for your services without any extra convincing because they know the value.
Investing in soulmate clients can also help your business by improving the morale of your staff. By only working with pets that you want to work with, you can reduce the stress and fear that might come with grooming aggressive or difficult pets and help your staff enjoy coming to work. The more your staff loves their jobs, the longer they will stay with your business and the more excited they’ll be to go to work every day, and therefore the more your business will thrive.
Start a membership model
I am a huge fan of using a membership model. Membership models are a whole other topic that I can get into in another post, but the short of it is that they can help you find more soulmate clients who are willing to commit to a long-term business relationship with you. A membership model also makes it easy to start a waitlist for any prospective clients that you cannot take on at the moment but might have an opening for in the future.
Summary: What to do if you have too many clients and too little time
In summary, having too many prospective clients and too little time to take them all on can be a great opportunity to assess your overall client base and make adjustments that will improve your business.
Implementing changes like raising your prices, starting an application process, or creating a membership model can help you minimize the number of fling clients and maximize the number of soulmate clients. These changes will help you find clients who properly value the service and experience that you provide and who are therefore willing to pay a higher price and invest in a long-term business relationship with you so that you can thrive.