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Engage With Neighbors To Harness Powerful Trends That Can Add Profits

Every business has some level of contact with the communities in which it operates or where its employees live. In some cases the enterprise has a large impact on its local communities through the spending that the firm and its employees do locally, volunteer activities to support local well-being, and sometimes through its own impact on the cleanliness of air and water near factories.

Community relations can be a powerful irresistible force for or against an enterprise. For example, in California’s many congested cities there is a strong tendency to add expensive and time-delaying regulations that make growing one’s business locally slow and costly. As a result, many of California’s fastest growing businesses do much of their expansion outside the state, even when they plan to remain in the United States.

Interestingly, a less prohibitive stance can now often be found now concerning environmental regulation in the United States. Neighbors affected by discharges of pollutants often favor solutions that are much less expensive than those pushed by government legislators and regulators.

This irresistible force of local-relevance has changed the way that pollution problems are solved. Typically, all affected parties now meet to share information and to find a solution that everyone is comfortable with.

Where enterprises have developed trust with their neighbors, the resulting savings in implementing more locally satisfying alternatives can be worth tens of millions of dollars while creating happier neighbors. Chemical companies have been particularly successful with this approach.

Neighbors play a role in other ways. If the local community attracts and retains outstanding people, your enterprise’s ability to have quality employees is enhanced. You’ll have more prospective employees to choose from both by selecting people who already live in the community and by attracting others interested in moving to that community.

Some residential communities are considered so attractive to live in that people will work for less money just to be there. This attractiveness can be an irresistible force in your favor.

In fact, researchers have pointed out that the most successful companies and suppliers in an industry congregate in just a few geographic clusters that are more relevant to their needs. The more companies that move into such clusters, and the more competition there is, the more successful the companies will be.

A breakthrough solution for you is to determine if you are making the most out of having your enterprise operate in the most competitive and effective geographic clusters. Once there, have you engaged with the community to make the most of your neighborly relations?