What would you do with 700 trusting customers?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by NJVG, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. NJVG

    NJVG
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking for ideas and suggestions.

    My soon to retire dad has a business servicing oil boilers. I see his business a bit differently to him. He sees it as his van, stock, paperwork/accountant and his skill and knowledge.

    My oppinion is that anyone can buy a van, stock, employ accountants and obtain skill and knowledge. What they can't go out and get is 700 loyal, trusting customers, some of which have been with my dad for over 25 years.

    I could take over from my dad and service boilers; I could expand the service and offer other building trade services but I want to keep things simple and come off the tools. Maybe I could sell a product/s of some sorts. Surely if I had a product to sell I could send all his customers a promotion leaflet and sell to them from a website.



    What I'm looking for is some unique ideas of products or services I could sell. Or what would you do in my situation.

    Thankyou
     
  2. ArcSine

    ArcSine
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    187
    Addressing your thoughts about the operation's value: You are correct; that large customer base---particularly given the longevity you've stated and assuming the "loyal" and "trusting" aspects are present---almost certainly represents the single most valuable asset of the company.

    Ironically, it's the one asset that doesn't appear on the balance sheet. My point is, even if you don't end up taking it over, do NOT let your dad sell away that operation for just the attic-sale price of a van and some inventory.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Rocky

    Rocky
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    182
    As mentioned by Arcsine, the business is worth more than just the physical assets. And if you do happen to take it over after your father retires then I would suggest running the business as it is for some time and understanding the ins and out of it. Get to know the client and their needs which would help you understand what product you could possibly sell with you current business.
    Simply pitching a product might irk your loyal clients.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    As others said, that customer list is indeed very valuable. I would add that the list is most valuable to a boiler service business, because they are loyal to that business are familiar with it. For many of those customers, when the time comes to start thinking about having their boiler serviced, they will automatically think of your Dad's business, as they associate their boiler with your Dad.

    That association is where the value is and it may not be that easy to switch that association to a different type of business. For example, if you start a website selling products, those 700 customers will not automatically think of your website, when they think of those products and it would take some time to build that association.
     
  5. simplyjo

    simplyjo
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    17
    It has to be something to do with the main biz. I have tried the same thing here. My mom owns a boutique for around 20+ yrs now and has a loyal customer base. I tried to sell them different things but it just wont work.. coz they come here for a reason - thats to buy/ tailor made suits. So , they aren't really much into "other stuff". I tried books, cosmetics, memberships.. all worked for like 1-2 clients.. not all.. and not worth the effort for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. NJVG

    NJVG
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for all the input...yes i will stick to the general theme and do installs of oil boilers
     
  7. Lani

    Lani
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    how do you have the 700 customers filed? notepads in a home office? do you have email and or anything digital? client lists are worth their weight in gold. not sure about your revenue streams but do they just contact you when they need something fixed or do you have monthly contracts with them? are their other revenue streams within your industry? if growth is your agenda, find other services or products to sell and market it digitally to the clients.
     

Share This Page