PA-relationshipsTo me, two simple words can be the foundation of long-term business relationships: character and culture. When these values are the same between a buyer and a seller, opportunity for long-term growth exists.

We have always looked to build customer relationships with companies and individuals who have a similar character and culture as ours. Roughly 20 years ago, we formed a strategic partnership with Target Corporation. Since then, they have trusted us to build or remodeled approximately 80 of their stores from Virginia to Florida, to the Carolina Coast and over to Louisiana. In this process, we have formed numerous lasting relationships with the Target Team, which I know have made us a better company. Hopefully we have helped them along the way.

I have found that while there is a contractual association formalized in writing, the personal business relationships motivate me far beyond what’s on paper. You do things for your buddies when they need a hand. In return, you feel comfortable about admitting a mistake and asking for help.

Through trust comes innovation and through innovation, true quality and value evolve.

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Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham, Ala. Contact him via email.
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