In a tough economy, it is a good idea to spread assets and risk.
This idea in Seth Godin’s blog is worth passing along. Times may be tough, but we do have the choice about what we do with them- which in the last analysis is the only thing we really can influence. Or as Seth puts it, "The problem with whining is this: human beings like to be right. If you persuade yourself and your friends that times are really tough and that you’re bound to fail, you’ll probably do the things you need to do to make that true in the long run."
Seth is reminding us to ensure we understand all of the assets we have adn not become dependent on any one of them. The same goes for risk- especially in tough times.
One of the harder lessons that smaller companies have to learn is that having global giants as clients is not the holy grail. It can be hard to get paid. They do not understand their impact, even if they care. And the level of demand and overhead to comes with their trade can kill a small business. Usually the target for such a be-careful-what-you-wish-for story is Wal Mart, but this instructional article about doing business with Starbucks caught my eye for its happy ending.
On e company I know compared their relationship with a giant who became their primary customer to sleeping with an elephant. "It is warm and secure, at least until the elephant rolls over."