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By far the most successful way to build most businesses is to concentrate on building up an income stream. This means making sure that customers keep coming back to you.

If instead you concentrate on one off transactions where you need to keep replacing customers the business has no security and is often very difficult to sell. Other disadvantages include the need for high marketing costs and the cost of taking on each new customer.

Two of the most important lessons for achieving the goal of long term customers are:

  • Adapt all your internal procedures and strategic planning to focus on income streams – firstly, this means planning to sell an income stream rather than maximising income from a one off sale. Following on from that you need to make sure that the customer wants to keep on buying from you. However it does not mean trying to tie customers into long term contracts as this will only alienate them
  • Under Promise/ Over Deliver – Only make promises that you can keep. Allow plenty of time to complete assignments so that they are completed early. If you are able to deliver for Wednesday, tell the customer Thursday and give them a pleasant surprise when you deliver early.