“Great things come in small packages” is a line often used as a caveat for speaking of diamonds—typically an engagement ring. But, I think it also applies to businesses. The heart, soul and diamond of the U.S. economy come in a small package—the small business. The manner in which 23 million small businesses engage in commerce is the very foundation of our economic vitality. And, the king of diamonds is Jim Blasingame.

The news every evening loudly highlights big business…GM closes a plant; Apple launches a new product, or Google buys another company. But, the real story of American enterprise is the small business.  Want proof? Since 1990, big business has eliminated four million jobs while small businesses have added double that number. More than half of all workers in the U.S. today are employed by a small business.  And, two-thirds of all new jobs are with a small business, not the big guys! Bottom line, as small business goes, so goes our nation’s economy!  So, we desperately need a strong advocate like Jim.

Jim Blasingame keeps his finger on the pulse of small business, not as a casual observer but as their champion and cheerleader. His work as a speaker, writer, consultant, and radio host enables him to be a clarion truth-teller for the diamond of our economy. And his keen insight has surfaced a profound certainty:  we are in the age of the customer. Wisdom in how to serve comes from knowing customers’ aspirations, not just their needs; understanding their emotions, not just their expectations. Success lies in delivering relevance to today’s customers, not just a cool spin or colorful show.

The Age of the Customer is not a warmed over entree you have been served before. Granted, there are a lot of books about the customer. But, this one is chock-full of fresh concepts, spicy warnings, infused with cutting-edge discoveries all mixed with a deliciously compelling style. The new book will make you rethink what you thought you knew about customers. More importantly, it will leave you with a practical recipe for how to remain competitive in an economy that rises or falls on the whims and wishes of customers.