I met with a small business owner once and we’d been discussing the rise in healthcare costs. The area that we live in has some of the highest medical insurance premiums and significant annual increases. This owner told me he had been with the same insurance company and agent for over 20 years and had just recently calculated how much that had really cost him. So we began to talk about customer loyalty and what that means for a small business owner, both as a company and a consumer. First, we both value it and know that it is an important part of the small business owner world. Second, we both agreed we didn’t mind paying good money for quality products and services. Third, we also didn’t mind knowing the price we pay means someone else makes money from us—what goes around, comes around, right? Finally, we concluded that customer loyalty can be for a very long time and is a staple in our world as long as the costs can be justified.
You have to look at your fee structure as a company and your invoices as a consumer. Are there hidden fees or fees that just don’t make any sense? Is the vendor increasing my rates simply because he thinks he can? Have you tried calling the insurance company to work through each increases? Often they’re willing to negotiate. We’re all here out of a passion for our business and if I help you, you’ll help me. If someone loses sight of that and is solely focused on the dollar, then it might be time to take your business somewhere else. Or know that someone might be leaving your customer base if your prices seem out of line.
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