Many of us can’t remember the exact moment we learned to walk, but our parents can. The majority of us do remember when we learned to ride our bicycles without training wheels or could stay on top of the skateboard and pull off a turn or two. Both of those activities required balance. The ability to maintain equal leg strength and not fall flat on our noses as we took that first step or skated off down the sidewalk.
It’s funny to look back at those moments now. Much of the same things that applied back then can apply to business now. Strength is balance. Balance is a state of equilibrium or equipose; an equal distribution of weight according to our pals at Dictionary.com. All of that is a science-y way of saying both sides must be equal or you’ll fall down.
In any client agency situation balance and moderation are paramount to longevity and success. You never want to have one client be the majority of your agency’s existence or you’ll be doomed to fail if and when the relationship ends.
We saw a ton of examples of the equations being out of balance during The Great Recession. An example of this was when many of the U.S.’s financial institutions were heavily vested in sub-prime mortgages and ultimately paid the price. The same thing was happening to creative agencies as their global clients had to cut costs and unfortunately the marketing communications disciplines made for an easy target.
All of the research that we’ve conducted on this suggests that the sweet spot sits between 10 – 25%. It’s important to never let a single client or market segment contribute more than the % noted above of your revenues. We’ve all made this mistake in the past – you land a big client and things proceed smoothly until they don’t.
Always look to maintain balance in all aspects of your business life or you might find out it still hurts to fall off your bike.