The economic turmoil of the past year or so has elevated this question to a leading place among our “standard” greetings, almost to the equivalent of “How ya doin’?” When we ask, “How’s your business?”, we are really asking “How is your bottom line?”, in light of the struggles many businesses and nonprofits are facing right now. It is no surprise that friends and colleagues would want to know about the financial stability of the company you own or work for and how well you have weathered the economic storms of 2008-2009.
Let me propose perhaps a better question: “How are your relationships?” The cycles of capitalism almost ensure an unpredictable “earnings curve” for most organizations, and often the ups and downs of revenues and profits are dictated by factors over which we do not have much control. But relationships are something else entirely.
Unlike economic ebb and flow, the practice of creating and sustaining good relationships is virtually unrestricted and universally positive. Regardless of how your bottom line looks, you can build new relationships and strengthen existing relationships. Regardless of whether your profitability is positive or negative this year, strong relationships will contribute favorably to your future.
On behalf of all the employee-owners of Keller Schroeder, I want to thank you for the relationships we have with each of you, our clients. We are blessed individually and personally by these relationships, and we have great optimism about today and our future because of these relationships. We value them deeply, and we appreciate your willingness to open your doors to us year after year.
The foundation of a good relationship is trust, and the foundation of trust is simply saying what you’ll do and then doing it. We expect you to hold us accountable for that, and we’ll do our part to continue to earn your trust in the months and years ahead.
Meantime, I wish you and your business a promising and prosperous 2010. We look forward to being part of your success story!
Larry May, President