The Company You Keep
By Jennifer Cullenbine, “Queen Elf” of The Family Giving Tree, a philanthropic business supporting children in need in local communities.
I’m sure every business owner has heard this kind of advice before: “You never know where your next best customer is going to come from.” “You cannot afford to alienate anyone.” More emphatically, “NEVER burn a bridge.”
People prefer to do business with people they like, and “liking” happens through relationship building. For entrepreneurs, this is especially important because, in general, your customer base is likely to be small— at least at first. This base will grow proportionate to how effectively you develop and nurture relationships with your clients or customers, vendors and suppliers, investors or sponsors, the media and the public.