How to Build a Long-Term Business

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A mistress is better off than a prostitute. She gets to have surprise gifts, cash on request, paid rent and few extras thrown in. Anything but a diamond ring. 

From a financial standpoint, a wife is better off than a mistress. She has a ring, cash, gifts, wedding anniversaries, thanksgiving service, birthday parties, clothes and asoebis, the house, kids, a car, monthly upkeep, inclusion in the will, loyalty and the security of always being the Mrs. A prostitute only has what she bargained for. Nothing more... except perhaps an unwanted pregnancy or an STD.

Good businesses operate on building long-term relationships that become more like an ongoing affair or better yet a lasting marriage than a one-night stand. A business doesn't thrive or last long if it only seeks an opportunity to have a one-off transaction with its customers. Great businesses seek to evolve beyond just having transaction and seek to have a lasting interaction with every customer.

Bad businesses operate from a prostitute's mentality and always have to be by the road-side looking for the next customer. With the constant risks of attracting the wrong type. So sit down, put on your thinking cap and figure out a way to ensure that you remain top-of-mind for your customers.

Here are some simple examples, a university will do well to have an alumni to ensure that they keep in constant touch with their graduates. A web development firm will do better if it offers a monthly maintenance service to update their client's website and also a yearly hosting service renewal.

A bank will be a lot better off, if it figures out a way to seduce it's customers to open a "family account" for a customer's spouse and their kids also.

A real estate developer shouldn't just sell houses, but instead sell a lifestyle by offering facility management services for every house and estate sold.

A business consultant would be better off having a blog like www.askebuka.com to ensure that past clients and customers have a way to stay in constant touch. A coach will be better off financially if he figures out how to work out a retainership with customers over the course of several months than having a weekend crash-program.

A software company like Microsoft makes its billions by offering annual updates and new application licenses.

A pastor who wants a national or global church, will thrive by setting up a system where it's members have regular cell group meetings, fellowships, Bible study programs and weekly prayer groups that deepens the bonds of its members.

To increase your profitability and ensure that it is a lot harder for your customers to get seduced away by the competition, figure out a way to ensure that your services aren't just one-off transactions, but on-going affairs and interactions. That way your customers stay married to your brand.

Good luck!

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Ebuka Anichebe

He is the Managing Director of Jean-Paul and Associates Consultancy - a business advisory and training organization. He is passionate about teaching and human capital development. He is a published author, distinguished speaker and business strategist. He also loves rice and beans. Reach him on www.askebuka.com . 

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