Should I restructure my small-volume discount levels to make them more competitive?
You may also want to look at this as an opportunity to segment your customers, so that your bottom 10 percent drop off completely and you can focus on the 90 percent who may have slowed, but who are profitable. You may want to further segment the 90 percent and see how you might be able to offer some discounts to your best customers or find ways to increase volume/profit from your end.
How do you segment? Just divide your customer base into A-, B-, C- and D-level customers based on their volume and profitability, as well as time and effort to service them. Right now, your D-level customers sound like the 10 percent segment. Within your 90 percent, youll also have D-level customers.
Ideally, you want a base of A- and B-level customers. Use this time in your business as an opportunity to get "lean" and explore your options in leveraging your own services and margins. Then when business turns around (and it will), youll be in an excellent position to significantly grow and capture additional market share.
All the best
Brad Sugars is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH. As an entrepreneur, author and business coach, he has owned and operated more than two dozen companies including his main company, ActionCOACH, which has more than 1,000 offices in 34 countries.