Starting a business is hard!  Winning a contract from a large business is harder! Diversifying your customer base is the hardest thing of all!  According to the ninth annual Hiscox report focusing on entrepreneurs, one in six, or 16% of small businesses rely on one customer for the bulk of their revenue.  Small Business Trends explains that the “types of small businesses most guilty of relying on just a single customer for the balance of their business are transportation companies (34 percent) and business services (32 percent). Although the average figure was around a quarter of total revenue, there are wide variations in the numbers.”

Despite having a significant number of small businesses relying on one customer to survive, the Hiscox report was mostly good news.  The survey took the answers of 4,000 small business executives from companies with fewer than 50 employees across Europe and America to give a good idea of where small businesses see themselves currently.

For starters, 72% of small businesses reported an increase in revenue from last year with 7% seeing double digit increases in sales.  “Half (50 percent) of the young business people under 30 and 46 percent of those in the 30 to 39 age bracket felt they were doing better than a year ago.”  Small firms are also reporting that earning credit is easier in 2017 then a year ago.  When it comes to gender, there is a cause for concern however as 51 percent of men “said they felt better this year as opposed to 40 percent of American women entrepreneurs. That gap has doubled from a year ago.”

16 Percent of Small Businesses Rely on a Single Customer