#28 today. had 4 appointments, thought I had another one, she seemed close. 3 appointments tomorrow. booked through thursday this week, maybe friday. fixes coming fast and furious. jobs that were hung 2 months ago are coming on and lots of bulbs need tightened, miscellaneous issues like not overloading one outlet but several outlets are on same breaker and we need to redistribute power.
we are ahead of 2009 and pacing 2010 close. but I held back some rental clients last year til the end and this year I am just throwing them in. so maybe a bit behind 2010. I think I would be happy at 40 new clients this year, but really, last year was the first time ever I broke 40. So I should be thrilled with 40.
But I have learned that as my business has grown my retention rate seems to be dropping. I remember 2008 I retained every customer. before that I kept around 95%. but since then it has headed toward 90%. we may drop below that this year for the first time. we still have 7 that may drop this year, they still have not confirmed or denied.
so you lose 10% of customers out of 200 you lose 20. this year it might be 23. so at 40 new customers I am only growing by 17. growing this business takes an incredible number of new customers per year, but I also really need to take a look at how do you keep clients in a larger business.
we need follow up with every customer, right after the job was hung, and probably a check in phone call once every 10 days through out the "lit" season from Thanksgiving to Newyears day. I continue to see the need for a full time secretary type person, even though I don't see an extra bucket of cash laying around to pay that person.