Business success: It’s all about customers, relationships

Make customer service your top priority, build relationships with vendors and bankers, and infuse your business with vision and passion.

That was advice panelists and speakers offered on Thursday at The Miami Herald’s annual Small Business Forum, sponsored by Florida International University’s Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship South Florida.

Seasoned entrepreneurs and business experts provided their takes on starting, growing — and sometimes selling — small businesses, as well as how to surmount challenges that often arise “What keeps us going, and I think it’s true for any type of company, is customer service,” said Valerie Holstein, co-founder, president and chief executive of Fort Lauderdale-based CableOrganizer.com. “As long as you are there for your customer, and you have value added, you don’t have to be the most inexpensive.”

The forum encompassed three sessions, with panelists discussing web-based businesses, financing and international business.

“The money will come if you are successful at creating your vision, and making your vision real,” advised Birame N. Sock, who founded Miami Beach-based Third Solutions, a multi-merchant digital receipts service, in 2008.

Read : “Business success: It’s all about customers, relationships” an article by Miami Herald

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