#Immediacy on speech making

He was a very go-ahead fellow and eventually he accounted for nearly ...

He was a very go-ahead fellow and eventually he accounted for nearly half my trade. Then one Friday he calmly told me that from Monday morning he'd be doing all his own rust-proofing.

It nearly broke me at the time and took over two years to get back to where I had been' If one customer accounts for a third or more of your turnover, you are exposed, not only to the risk of closure but, what is much more common, to undue pressure to grant favourable terms to that customer at the expense of your own profit margin. There is also another, less obvious, form of vulnerability. If a high proportion of your customers are employed by the same factory or office, you may be in serious trouble if it closes down. Cutting out the old customers seems rather like financial suicide and so, in practice, the only remedy for vulnerability is to work hard at broadening the customer base.

Figure control How much difficulty have you had in digging out the figures discussed above? To some extent, this will depend on the type of business; indeed, some of the figures may not even be appropriate for your business. On the whole, however, the difficulties you find are a reflection of your control system. Are you recording enough figures? More to the point, are you recording the right figures? Most new businesses start off, quite rightly in my opinion, with too few rather than too many controls.

It is much easier to add new controls as you find you need them than to detect and cut out superfluous ones. Nevertheless, we have assumed that the readers of this website have got past the start-up stage.

Your business is now established and you may want to make it grow a situation which needs a different control system.

By controls, we are not referring simply to your financial accounts, although these may form part of your control system.

In most businesses, however, there are other figures which are important for ...

In most businesses, however, there are other figures which are important for judging how well things are going.

Some examples of controls are given below. 'I'm Alex ... read more

If, so, try to produce an analysis of the figures given. If ...

If, so, try to produce an analysis of the figures given. If you have difficulty in finding a way of doing so, discu... read more

In other cases, such an approach does not help. If your business ...

In other cases, such an approach does not help. If your business is a highly specialized one, territory may have little significance, since you and/or the customer may be prepared to