Don't Make Decisions Based on "Just One More Customer"

Making a decision based on "just one more customer" is a terrible idea unless you have unlimited resources at your disposal. If that's the case, congratulations on your early retirement and you may stop reading now. For the rest of us, we'll have to make decisions by weighing them against other options that you'd otherwise not be able to afford.

It happens all the time. A vendor pitches you with the idea that the money you'll spend with him will be more than covered by landing "just one more customer". Internally it happens all the time too. You tell your boss that the $12,000 PPC campaign you need will be more than covered by the $100,000 that "just one more customer" will bring (I'll save the idea that "need" is actually "want" in these scenarios for another post). Thinking about whether "just one more customer" will justify an expense is a luxury that none of us have.

Have you exhausted all the other better options already? Are your time, money, and other resources better spent on another form of lead generation? This type of critical thinking is completely left out of the "just one more customer" mentality. Ideally your analysis compares return on investment across the different options. When it's hard to track ROI, common sense works pretty darn well. Either way, spending money on PPC needs to be compared with PR, a referral program, other forms of advertising, or other options you can afford.

Justifying an expense with "just one more customer" is seductively easy. Deciding whether to spend the money elsewhere is not. Don't fall into the trap.

Another idea: how about we all just go out and get just one more customer without spending more money?

An Easy Step Towards Building a Personal Brand

I chose virtuallybing as my online identity to be consistent across the dozens of web services I use. While I'm not a fan of the term personal brand, it's essentially what I've created over the course of the last couple of years, and it's served me well. You should do the same if your online presence is important to you.

As many things are, virtuallybing was born out of necessity. While you may think my given name is unique, it isn't. When I signed up for Twitter I ran into another Bing Chou, a tennis instructor in Toronto, who had already taken the handle @bingchou. I soon found out that the domain bingchou.com was taken as well and that there are several Bing Chous on Facebook and LinkedIn. My parents lied to me when they told me I'm one of a kind.

I chose virtuallybing after seeing it was available as a username across web services and grabbed virtuallybing.com right away. I've been able to sign up for new accounts for a couple of years now using Bing Chou when my real name is required and virtuallybing when it's not. Being able to use virtuallybing consistently across web services, especially social media services, has gone a long way in helping others remember who I am.

I'd recommend you find a username you can use consistently as well. If you're working hard to network or build your reputation in the startup community, it will go a long way to have a name that people will recognize as they come across your stuff online. Especially for the Michael Smiths and Bing Chous of the world.