We've all had that feeling, stuffed shoulder to shoulder at rush hour on the subway, sitting in a crowded café during our lunch break or navigating the crowded aisles shopping during the holidays.

We can be surrounded by hundreds of people and somehow still feel disconnected and alone. It may be strange, but we need more than proximity to feel connected to others. There's no reason for your customers to feel like that with your business, though.

In fact, you should be doing everything in your power to avoid that sort of disconnect, because it's the thing that inspires customers to give your competition a try, looking for that little something extra.

When it comes down to the simplest of terms, all of your business relationships are also personal relationships. You should look at your business as a living entity, and you are its face. Connecting with your customers isn't anything complicated or esoteric, though.

In fact, it can be as simple as taking the time to welcome customers when they enter your business, and engaging them in friendly conversation. This simple gesture is a great first step and by chatting up your customers you can find out important business information in a casual and unobtrusive way, like what their product interests are and where you can improve your business.

If you want to be even more proactive, you actually have a lot of color printing options available to you that can help bridge the gap between your business and its clientele. Greeting cards are an excellent way to remind customers you appreciate their continued support.

Postcards are an excellent survey tool to find out what your customers needs are or a convenient way to reward return customers with special deals and offers. If you've got a lot to say about your business and how its continued growth benefits your customers, let them know with regular newsletter printing.

Not only will it keep them informed about the changes and what's going on in the industry, it will help make them feel like they are part of the team.

There's no reason for your customers to feel alone or isolated while they are in your place of business or after they've gone home. Whether it's the smile on your face or welcoming post card they pull from their mailbox, you're efforts can make real and lasting connections for your business that will ensure continued growth and profitability.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of developments in color printing industry and how these improvements can benefit small to medium-scale business.