Peter Drucker said the purpose of business “is to create a customer.”

This is true, but it is only a single layer of the truth. Another layer is described by Ogden Nash in Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man:

It is common knowledge to every schoolboy and even every Bachelor of Arts,

That all sin is divided into two parts.

One kind of sin is called a sin of commission, and that is very important,

And it is what you are doing when you are doing something you ortant,

And the other kind of sin is just the opposite and is called a sin of omission and is equally bad in the eyes of all right-thinking people, from Billy Sunday to Buddha,

And it consists of not having done something you shuddha.

Customers are created by commission as well as omission. A great teacher explained it to me this way: what you leave out is just as important as what you leave in. Seems simple when I write it here, but when we are under the gun and families depend on the decisions we are making, it’s difficult not to pucker like you have a mouth full of lemon drops. The temptation is to try to be all things to all people. Customers decide whether or not they will do business with you based on what is included as well as what isn’t.

Will you include the desires of their hearts in 2009? Do you provide them a safe, fun, fresh, fast place to come spend their time and money?

If not, your cost of marketing will skyrocket in the next 24 months. Marketing will not be able to create enough smoke and mirrors to confuse Ms. Jones.

Money is tight, really tight. Combine this with even tighter time and the ability to communicate with lightning speed and deadly accuracy and she’s packing a 1-2 punch capable of bringing you to your knees.

As Paul said, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”