Companies exist to make a profit, right? Sure. But should that be the only reason? Lots of business books and great industry speakers will tell you to “focus on the bottom line”, because without it, there is no business. And that is very true. Businesses need to be concerned with their finances and bringing in more money than they shell out. However, if money is the only reason a business exists, the joy and energy within and around that businsss will eventually flame out. People need something more. It’s no longer good enough just punch in, get paid, and punch out.
The idea of community isn’t a new idea, but it has become more popular within the past decade. A business should make money, but it should also be a participant in the surrounding community. After all, the business sells products or services to members of this community. It employs citizens from this community and its money directly or indirectly gets spent within the community. So shouldn’t it be important to be a community participant?
This past spring at LRI, we had a focus group meet multiple times over the course of several weeks to come up with our “core values”. We came up with 8 that are essential to our business, but one of the best was this:
“To be an active participant in the Iowa communities where we serve and live.”
It’s so true. We work, serve, and live here! The business also “lives” here, so it should work and serve central Iowa. Whether that means we are smashing printers for Iowa children with life-threatening illnesses, or supporting area high school athletics with donations, we all have been challenged to step up to the plate. Our individual employees have met this challenge by joining area chambers of commerce, Rotary clubs, and the Young Professionals Connection. Some have also taken on leadership positions at Lutheran Church of Hope, Knights of Columbus, and Youth Homes of Mid-America. But there is always more than can be done, and we look forward to getting more involved as a business in this fantastic community.
The point here is that a business is more than revenues, expenses, and profits. Those things are important, but a business is also responsible for making its community a better place to live and work. It should raise the quality of life in the community and it should take an active role in supporting other businesses do the same. Along with being personally rewarding, being a community participant will also yield new connections and new business opportunities as well, which helps your business grow. We are proud to serve central Iowa, and your business should take action to become more involved in your own communities, whether that be right here or elsewhere.
What does your company focus on to get involved in your community? What do you personally like to contribute? We’d love to hear about it! Leave your thoughts in our comments section.
For any of you in the Urbandale community, LRI is hosting a fun AM Exchange with the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 7:30-8:30. No RSVP necessary, just come get some breakfast and meet other great business people in your area! Here’s our location.