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How to Handle Large Changes in Sales Volume

This story appears in the August 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: How do I handle large changes in sales volume?

A: I assume you're talking about a best-case scenario, in which you just landed a big order or client that's going to radically increase the size of your company. (I hope that's why you're asking.) The worst case is losing a big customer or client and having to downsize drastically. As I'm sure you know, either situation is enough to keep you up at night, gripped with anxiety over how you're going to pull it off.

Let me first answer the good-news side of your question. In my experience, the most important aspect to growing big quickly is your reputation. I had one client who sold used airplane parts; he would sell the parts before he had them, take his contracts to investor groups to front the for a quick return, then go out and find the parts from among his network of salvage guys around the world. It was all done over the phone and based entirely on trust. But he had it, and he made sure to protect it.

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