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Martin, Madge and Moriarty are part of a refreshing new business trend: sacking your customers if they don’t do what you want them to.

It’s refreshing because for far too long businesses have had to kowtow to the whims and vagaries of customers who never know what they want, constantly change their mind and generally spend most of their time faffing around the most simplest of decisions. It’s made worse by a culture which values the concept of personalisation: where every customer counts, where every individual’s foibles are treated as delightful idiosyncrasies and every punter’s preferences are sanctified.

Our 3 Ms – Martin, Madge and Moriarty – have grasped the counter notion that this obsession on the customer’s needs is completely misplaced and the sooner they knew their place in the economic reality of the world, the happier they would be. So, Martin, a personal trainer dropped five of his fattest clients ruthlessly one Saturday lunch time after their pizza intake had over-run ; Madge, a travelling hair dresser disposed of all her customers who were incapable of turning up on time and Moriarty, a chiropodist decided to sack 80% of his customers just because he didn’t like the colour of their socks.

Six months later and business is booming for all three of them. Their reluctance to take any old customer for any old reason has given them a kudos in their respective market places by elevating their remaining customers into clients who warrant special attention and who now have to stick to their best behaviour in case they too get slung out into the cold grey world of other customers searching for their lifestyle nirvana.

Sacking your customers may sound counterintuitive but elevating the ones you have to the status of clients, partners or, heaven forbid, interesting human beings, can be a sure way of giving your business the shot in the arm it needs to get through the coming autumn.