The Hazards of Trying to Please Everyone

If you sell product, you no doubt get requests for things other than what you offer.

“Do you have sandalwood?”

“Don’t you carry this in a larger size?”

“I’m looking for bath bombs. Do you sell them?”

Often, makers also rush to make that scent, size or product someone asked for because, if someone is asking about it, surely it will be popular.  And if you offer something for everyone, you will sell more. Right?


 It is time to learn that trying to please everyone is full of hazards. Who knows if the person who wanted sandalwood will ever visit your business again? And if you make it, one person’s request does not guarantee popularity. Bath bombs are hugely popular now among certain consumers, but it is no guarantee that your customers want them.

The old saying, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time,” applies in this situation.

Sure, you might hit on a popular scent or product, but it is by no means a slam dunk just because someone asked. Indeed, if you make everything you are asked to make, the result is a mishmash of products and no clear business identity. This practice is messy, expensive, confusing and wasteful.

Excess scent, packaging and ingredients takes up space and is hard to organize. The display table at sales is crowded and looks disorganized, which makes it is hard for the customer to focus.

The higher the number of purchases, the more storage space necessary. Money spent on frivolous supplies could go toward tools or equipment that help the maker work smarter or faster.

The maker is confused and overwhelmed because she doesn’t know what to do next. If the business owner doesn’t know what she wants, how will the customer?

It is wasteful to purchase products that sit as she abandons one idea for another. She also wastes time changing formulas, packaging and labels, not to mention the time planning and deliberating.

Do you see yourself here? Are you trying to please everyone?

Many business owners start out that way, but it is not too late to change. Here are some steps to take to fix the “Pleaser Syndrome.”

  • Set your focus. Decide on your business model, target market and product line. Ignore everything outside of it.
  • Listen to customer requests but consider them carefully; only act if it truly in the best interests of your business and the customer.
  • Accept that you are not everyone’s cup of tea. Let go of those who do not resonate with your products and concentrate on those who do. Sell to them what they want to buy.

You do not have to please everyone, nor should you try. Choose what makes sense for your business and focus on what will make you successful.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine

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