Over the course of our careers we all learn many valuable lessons; lessons that apply to business but also to life in general.
I learned one of those lessons sometime ago that has served me well over the years, especially since I started Thread Logic.
That lesson; sometimes the best order is the one you don’t take.
We have all had customers or projects that we have taken on that in the end we have regretted.
At Thread Logic, we are really good at creating custom logo embroidered apparel. With that, we are really good at serving our customers which are mostly small to medium sized businesses.
On occasion we will get a call from a school or a school parent asking about hooded sweatshirts for their child’s sports team. Like most of these projects, there are looking for a big design on the front, the child’s name and number also embroidered someplace on the sweatshirt.
Our processes, pricing and production are not set-up to do this kind of project well. Could we do it? Sure. But we choose not to. It is just not something that fits into our business model well.
There are other companies out there that are very good at it. We are not.
So, when we get a request to do this, we generally explain to that customer that we are not the best choice for this kind of work and they can be better served by finding another company who specialize in doing these kinds of projects.
Are we pushing business out the door? Yes. But for us, this is not a profitable relationship. In addition, if it is not something we do well, the chances of delivering on a promise of quality product and service is diminished.
We want to concentrate on those customers and orders that are profitable relationships for us. One way to do this is by turning away those which are not.
It takes a certain level of discipline to do this, especially during a recession when business may be scarce. But I believe something that is important for our business.
We do not try and be all things to all people. There is just no way to deliver quality products and service to a broad definition of customers seeking products that are very diverse in their production and pricing.
So, next time someone asks you to do something you may not be good at don’t be afraid to tell them you may not be the best choice for that project. Believe me, they will thank you for your honesty and remember you in the future.