The Power of a Single Customer

Arnay Kathuria
3 min readSep 13, 2022


“There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart said this. Clearly, he understands the power even a single person holds in the business world.

You. Me. The random person who passed us on the street. Our friends. We seem so insignificant when you zoom out! Simply put, businesses require customers, not the other way around. With the power of your words, time or your wallets, you can make change. Let’s look at these three ways to do so.

Your Words

The customer’s words, and the things they say can make loads of impact on businesses. Think reviews — how many movies haven’t thrived because their ratings were too low? What made you choose one barber over another? An extra star manages to change so much for us! Well, the people determining these ratings are individual customers. People like me and you, who can go right now into the reviews of any business we want and can say whatever we want. Our words have power. One big example of the power of the customer’s words is the daytime talk show, Ellen. When news came out, making headlines about the way the host (Ellen!) treats her staff, and her problematic views, customers, the consumers of this show, spoke up. Their individual voices came together and essentially made sure of Ellen now ending as of May 2022.

Your Time

The power of a customer’s time. Many businesses like TV or Film thrive off of the time of customers, rather than their money. One example of this is the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, an annual event, makes loads of money off of advertisements, purely because customers put in the time to watch the event. They aren’t putting money in themselves but their time is making the Super Bowl money. The PETA ad scandal lost the Super Bowl millions of dollars because people didn’t watch it over a single controversial advertisement by PETA! Your time, every second of it can be worth so much if used right.

Your Wallet

Here’s the big one — the power of customers’ money. Money from customers funds businesses. An example of money making change is with Chick-Fil-A. When news came out that the founders of the fast food chain supported homophobic organizations, people would boycott it. This led to individual workers across chains losing their jobs and even lawsuits against the organization! This is also seen with a positive lens when the owners of Ben and Jerry’s would be essentially idolized by the internet. This led to their sales noticeably rising.

The quote by Sam Walton reigns true. The customer holds power to make or break any business, big or small. Many organizations and movements have proved this, especially in the modern day with technology. Both positive and negative change can be made by customers, and this is up to you. Use your money wisely, to do the best for yourself and your community. After all, who knows this better than the founder of one of the world’s largest organizations?