Why Business Buyers Should Consider Customer Diversity

When you are looking at buying a business, one aspect of any business you will need to consider is the size of the customer base. Ideally, you should look for businesses with a large number of clients spread out over many accounts where each client makes up only a small portion of the total revenue.



Why is this important?


A company that has one (or just a few) large client(s) who make(s) up a very large percentage of revenue can be problematic.


Here’s an example. A lawn service company has a handful of independent regular clients, but the majority of their business is for a large real estate firm that has a contract with them to maintain the lawns of homes that are on the market. This one client makes up 70% of their revenue. Say you purchase this business, and then three months into ownership the real estate firm is bought out by another company who already has a lawn service contract in place. In one swift move, 70% of your revenue goes up in smoke.


The way to avoid this pitfall is to look for a diverse customer base when you are screening prospective businesses. Ask yourself these questions as you consider a business:


What does the customer list look like?

How does the business acquire new customers?

What is the cost of customer acquisition?

What kind of customer retention does the business currently have?


On the other hand, what if you find a business that you really like, but the customer list isn’t very diverse? Does that mean you shouldn’t buy it? No, but it does mean that creating customer diversity needs to be priority #1 the day you take over as owner.


Only you can decide which business is ultimately right for you and for the goals you are hoping to achieve. You just need to be aware of the inherent perils that exist when you are buying a business with a very small customer base.


Are you looking at buying a business, but are curious about what a diverse customer base would look like for a particular industry? Do you have concerns about a business you are already considering? Ask us! Please feel free to leave a comment or question here, and we will be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


Recent Posts