I saw a news story yesterday about how being thrifty is "the new black." In other words, it is no longer en vogue to show off material possessions in such a brutal economy. And this morning I heard that Americans are saving more now than they used to - a definite shift in mindset.
Again, being the eternal optimist, I think these and other philosophical changes are the upside to the downturn. And yet another example of this is that formerly secure, high-earning corporate soldiers who have suddenly found themselves joining a group to which they never aspired to be members, are changing their focus from being 9 to 5'ers to becoming entrepreneurial spirits. A former electrical engineer is now a beauty salon owner, happy as can be, having fun at work, and learning to live within the smaller paycheck she now receives. She now says that losing her job was the best thing that ever happened to her.
The reason I point these things out is that I believe, in the long run, that this recession will give all of us a greater appreciation of the things we have, including good customers. Really, where would we be without our customers? The best investment of time and money we can possibly make is in solidifying those relationships so that we don't lose sleep for fear of losing customers. Great customer relationships are the foundation upon which companies achieve great success.