Dear Aunty B,
But we are now being severely undercut by cut throat competitors, and this year we have already lost several major clients.
We know the clients that have defected will not be happy with the service and eventually return. But for now we are struggling and I don’t know what to do.
The problem is if we lower our prices we won’t make enough money to provide our usual level of service. I feel like I am in a Catch 22. I know I have to service my clients, but they need to pay me for it.
I feel for you, I really do. But I am afraid you need a major reality check. Quickly. If you don’t change, you will be forced to let people go, and then you certainly won’t be able to provide your traditional level of service.
What worked before is not working now, yet you seem unwilling to change. And it doesn’t matter if it is the fault of defecting clients or cut throat competitors designed for the dust bins of history. The fact is it’s happening.
The good news here is you have a very strong value proposition. You know who you are and what your company offers. The danger in this environment is that you and your staff are too slow to change as you cling too hard to your boom image of your position in the market.
What you need is a quick strategy session. How do you keep charging these high prices and not lose clients? I am sure you have already considered value adding services, but that demands even more resources.
The other way forward is to downsize and then specialise. Pick your most lucrative areas of business and build a great value proposition to clients. This of course means you are changing strategy in the middle of a crisis while you are putting out fires. But that is the life of an entrepreneur, isn’t it?
Your Aunty B.
Help! I have a company that has always charged high prices for quality service. For 13 years this has worked very well except in the dot-com crash.