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The Value of Long Lasting Customer Bonds

October 10, 2019

Thursday Thoughts, Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business and Small Business

The last time I saw her, we were eating lunch at one of her favorite restaurants, a treat to me for working diligently on an event she hired me to coordinate for her organization. With that familiar Irish twinkle in her eyes, we enjoyed memories of nine years of working together although my business contract had come to an end. “You did such a great job for us Tracy that we can take over the duties you used to perform from here on out,” she gently said. “But you and I can stay in touch because we have formed a bond through work and I like you!” she continued.

Although we stayed connected through social media, that lunch was the last time I saw Anita, because even though Syracuse is a small city by some standards, it’s a large city where running into familiar people doesn’t always happen unless living in the same neighborhood. It didn’t take seeing Anita’s face to remember her spirit. Once in awhile on special occasions posted on social media, she would send encouraging words of support or share a humorous quip always making me smile.

How is it that customers come into our lives for short period of times only to last a lifetime in our memories? When I became a woman entrepreneur almost a quarter century ago next year, I underestimated the gift of customer friendships. Business books don’t discuss the topic of lasting client relationships; they only suggest providing excellent customer service. What happens when the contracts end but a business owner wants the relationship to continue? Can they last past contract deadlines and duties?

I’m proof they can last as I spend this morning at Anita’s funeral mass. I wouldn’t miss it for the world because in some ways Anita, and clients like her, are my world as a small business owner. The relationships entrepreneurs develop with their clients can go beyond black ink and into depths of our pink heart. I honor this special client relationship today by leaving my desk and business duties to rejoice in Anita’s spirit and friendship which lasted beyond a decade of contractual obligations.

I hope today’s blog post is a reminder to you that being a business owner means more than receiving a payout for work well done; sometimes it means a payment in love and friendship that lasts beyond time.

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