Any business has to know who its customers are and what they want. There may be lots of eaters of poultry out there, but preferences vary between and within markets. Some like dark meat, some like white, some simply want convenience, while others focus on price.

There is variety in the demand for chicken, and there is variety in its supply.

Once, however, you know who your customers are and what they want, and you have positioned yourself where you can supply in adequate amounts at the right price, there is another factor that comes into play — consistency.

We all find it difficult when people change their minds from day to day — you simply don’t know where you stand with that individual. Can you depend on them? Probably not. Do they have your interests at heart or their own? Probably the latter. Is this lack of consistency going to result in a healthy relationship that grows with time? Probably not.

Consistency is not only important in our personal relationships, but in our professional and working lives, as well. Make too many promises and let a customer down too many times and they can easily turn their backs and look elsewhere. Offer preferential treatment to one client at the expense of another and you could be on a losing streak.

Lack of consistency is a risky strategy. Losing a client not only results in the loss of income that that client brought, but also incurs costs through having to look for new business. Of course, the old client might return, one day, but once trust has been lost, it can he hard to rebuild.

Staying or going? 

To return to the personal realm, in much of the world, divorce is much quicker and easier than ever before. The needs that resulted in arrangements forcing people to stay together are less important now than they were before and those structures that brought this about have changed.

So it is in the business world. The myriad choices that exist today mean that businesses — and individuals — are free to pick and choose much more freely than in the past. You need to know not only that you will get what is said to be on offer, but also that it will be there each and every time, available to you just as it is to others.

Of course, accidents happen and mistakes are made, but over time we judge the situations we find ourselves in and act accordingly. So ensuring that you have the right product at the right price is probably not enough. Lots of companies can do this. Consistency, and the trust that this can build, are what cements successful — and lasting — relationships, and ultimately lead to more successful businesses.