My father-in-law, Arthur Judelsohn, was an incredibly passionate and purposeful commercial real estate agent. He was a business owner. And he was a hustler in the sense that he worked hard and made it happen. Unfortunately, he passed away earlier this year.
Arthur created a legacy that I try to pass on to others. He taught me to get out there and take chances because, in the business world, you only get the success that you earn. I learned a lot just by watching him.
When my father-in-law built out a shopping plaza, he always focused on the anchor — in commercial real estate, that means the large store that holds the plaza together, like a Best Buy, a Costco, or a Publix. Once you have an anchor, smaller businesses rush to rent space because they know the big company will draw a lot of traffic to the plaza. The anchor is the one tenant who makes the entire plaza successful. Now I am not a commercial real estate agent, but as Arthur would point out, all businesses have certain things in common. So it doesn’t matter if you are in real estate, medical device sales, or if you sell life insurance (shameless plug for KazSource), anchor clients are vital.
An anchor client is usually where most of your revenue comes from, but, even more important, your anchor is your most reliable client, the one you can count on to keep giving you work. Why is that such a big deal? Because as an entrepreneur, a huge amount of your time and energy has to go into getting new clients and that is work that doesn’t pay directly. It’s simply an unavoidable cost of doing business. And because any job, or gig, or sale could be the last one you get with that person, you can’t really ever cut back on those unpaid hours—unless you have an anchor client.
If you know a certain amount of income is going to keep coming from this one client (as long as you do good work!), then you can make the time to develop your business, think strategically, and come up with new ideas. You can’t rest on your laurels, and you still have to spend some time looking for new clients, but you’ll be able to put at least some of your energy into getting ahead, instead of just treading water.
Your anchor might not look like somebody else’s anchor. Maybe the account isn’t very big. Maybe the work is a little bit different from what you expected to do when you started out. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how this client meets the needs of your company.
My father-in-law gave everyone he worked with excellent service. I’ve tried to emulate that. But with anchors he went above and beyond—they were VIPs to him. Make sure your anchors are VIPs, too. They give you a gift you can’t get anywhere else, the opportunity to take your business to the next level.