We Lost a $50,000 Contract and We’re Happy About It

Have we lost our minds?

How is losing over $50,000 of contracted revenue a good thing?

Fair question…

To be sure, we didn’t want to lose this contract. Having an extra $3,000 in capital to play with every month is a convenient reality. However, sometimes things happen for a reason. The demands of the contract were going to be immense, and the scope of the contract was well beyond that of any other contract we’ve had. If the contract had been signed, we would’ve been fairly beholden to it relative to our other contracts. Ironically enough, this is exactly why we wanted it; we see opportunity in challenge(s).

There are healthy challenges and unhealthy ones; sometimes it takes time to clarify the distinction between the two. It’s possible we’ll never know whether the challenge would’ve been an unhealthy one, but it’s safe to say we believe it would’ve been. We aren’t bitter, and it’s not a function of being unable to adequately support such a large contract.

We’re thankful for the chance to make it so far down the line of weeding-out the competition – most of which were large agencies. We learned how much we’re capable of getting accomplished by virtue of the consideration our potential (and eventually “lost”) client did give us. In fact, we were the last survivor during the filtering process. As it turns out, the process was being used to scope the work, which in turn was used to shop the contract.

Our work was shopped, but we did make it down to the last one, and that’s not a small feat. Some other business was able get the eventual contract, but we’d prefer earning the slot from an actual real race to the top rather than being the business to price ourselves below the value we’re worth. Also, we have clients we respect, care for, and they deserve a business that respects them as we, too, are respected. The two-way street in business is very important to us, and we can only assume we were only a means-to-the-end with the client we lost. We’re not interested in such a relationship.

We have clients who share with us their genuine needs and concerns for their company and its future. We’re proud to say we don’t have a single client whom we don’t have a close relationship with, and that’s how it should be. We’re humbled by the intimacy we’ve been able to create with our clients because it’s a reflection of trust that’s a responsibility, but also an honor. We don’t operate with dollar lenses in our proverbial glasses; we operate with what makes sense to the client – not the other way around. We believe the circle of trust makes the revenues an automatic progression – similar to dropping a ball on an incline; it’s going to roll to its destination. The same goes for revenue; it’ll find its destination with us because we do what we say and say what we do – no more, no less.

The Damage of the Dollar

Too many times, we’ve seen the damage that’s inflicted by losing perspective. Too many times we’ve seen the perspective get lost in a top-down mindset that begins with the revenue. We believe if a business is operating from the dollar first, they’re doomed – maybe not now, but definitely later.

Why?

The world of business is riddled with businesses that are driven by the wrong things. Do some survive? Yes, some “survive” – but that’s a shallow game. Of course, revenue is important; it’s essential to be profitable to justify operating, but someone needs to be willing to pay for a product or service. More importantly, one should be more than willing to pay, and – ideally – they’ll be unconcerned with amounts and more concerned with results from the right people.

Once trust is established with good service in an enjoyable fashion, price becomes secondary in priority. We know this because we pay more for something better that we trust. There are expenses we don’t have to pay and cost more than others, but we gladly pay them because the world is changing. The days of raising revenues by minimizing expenses or buying cheap have created growing pains in the business world. Whether because of learning experience by businesses in general, or because of the Y2K phase where cutting expenses was an acceptable way to window-dress profitability, businesses have learned the hard way that revenues must be genuine.

We believe Milton Friedman was correct when he said there’s no free lunch. The same principle applies to success and genuine revenue in business; the success must come from something with substance – i.e.) not “cutting expenses.”

In the end, this isn’t about our lost client, and it’s not about money; it’s quite the opposite. Money is what, ironically, kills businesses. We’ve seen it, and we’ve experienced it indirectly. People we care about have allowed money to become the mission statement, and it’s a tragic thing to witness. When money is the focus and people are the means to its end, bad things come – consider it science as far as culture goes. The only sustainable competitive advantage in business today is the quality of your people. We at GoEdison know this: it was the client’s loss. We wish them well, but it wasn’t our loss, and we’re thankful we “lost” it. We’re thankful we could be part of the learning experience. Consider this blog worth $50,000.

Thank you to all who continue to pursue their dreams, passion and follow vision; the rest is a byproduct, which happens to be success!

Be Bold.

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