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What’s In It For Me?

06/02/2008
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Just this week I’ve heard of two businesses asking “What’s in it for me?” when they were asked to participate in several projects and/or to join an organization.

One business was asked to help sponsor an event at the Amphitheater for this year’s Summer Program. They were asked to join in with several other local businesses to help defray the over-all larger cost if a business sponsored the event by themselves.

The question was “Why should I spend the money?” and “What’s in it for me?” To be fair, they weren’t the only ones to question the expense.

As a former businessman I think the first question would have been, “Does this benefit the Community and thereby benefit my business in the long run?”

Sam Walton built his small business, whether you like Wal-Mart or not, on the philosophy of “loss leaders” and “If you give to the Community, the Community will give back to you!” This today, even after Mr. Sam’s death, is still the corporate “mantra”.

Maybe every business person should be made to read “Made in a America” where Sam Walton gives his “blueprint” to a successful business.

Helping sponsor an event that has nearly 3000 people attending in Downtown Warren has to be good for the Community and in the long run good for business, even if it’s not an immediate return on the investment.

The second statement of “What’s in it (or can do) for me” was made when a business was asked to join the Downtown Business Association. Here again it may not be an immediate return on the investment but as the “old adage” states, “there’s strength in numbers”.

Again, this business was not the only business to question joining the DWBA or even Warren Grows and the “benefits”. This narrow outlook will always be defeating and doesn’t reflect the “bigger picture”.

The “I” survive philosophy needs to be turned to “We” survive outlook for any of the Downtown Businesses to succeed and to confront what has become an uncaring City Administration when it comes to Downtown Businesses. If you don’t believe that statement, just ask any established business about their dealings with the City Building Department.

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