Pumpkin Plan

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Do you have business books that you've purchased with the best intentions, but never quite got round to reading? You're not alone. Most business owners have several on their shelves that have either never been read or never been finished.

This is why Pixooma's creative director, Mark Coster is part of a Business Book Club which reads a new business book every month and then reviews it. In doing so he's discovered a wealth of ideas that can be put into action to improve the smooth running and profitability of Pixooma. And the keyword is 'Action'. Just as having a shelf of books that remain un-read doesn't have any value, neither does reading them and then not actioning any of the key lessons.

One of the books, The Pumpkin Plan, was a superbly practical guide to increasing profitability. And the first action we took was to download the 'Client Assessment Plan' from the author's Toolkit for Entrepreneurs and analyse all Pixooma's clients since it was established in 2014. It's an interactive spreadsheet which, when populated with values for a wide range of criteria (future earning potential, could they refer new clients, how quickly do they pay etc), provides an overall 'score' for each of your customers.

Having a shelf of un-read books doesn't have any value. Neither does reading them and then not actioning any of the key lessons.

Now obviously this isn't something you're going to want to share with the wider world, but as a tool for the business owner and their staff, it can be invaluable, because it'll help you see:

Clients you should really be 'letting go' because they cost more than they earn

Your most valuable clients – the ones you should be concentrating on most. This doesn't mean you don't work hard for the remainder, just that your best clients should be your priority

Any similarities in your best customers and develop that into a niche that you can market to

How you can help your best customers even more.

This virtuous circle approach should mean your marketing becomes more targetted and more effective, your service to your best customers becomes even better, AND the improvements you make also benefit your other customers. We've already started this process and we think if you read the book you will too.

Download the Toolkit for Entrepreneurs and take a look, but we'd also recommend reading The Pumpkin Plan to get the most out of the toolkit. Happy Pumpkin Planning!

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