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The Importance of Community in Business

The Importance of Community in Business

Community in Business

If it takes a village to raise a child, what is the importance of community in business?

The age-old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” describes humanity’s deeply-

ingrained and ancient need for community involvement in the upbringing of the tribe’s children. It

represents a shared responsibility among the people, who knew well that the future of the tribe

fell on everyone’s shoulders and that their very lives depended on that collective future.

Bringing this a little closer to home, American poet Gwendolyn Brooks once wrote, “We are

each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”

Today we see that modern humanity has strayed from the natural inclination to commune,

leading isolated lives in closed-off apartments and walled homes, choosing coexistence over

community. It has become more difficult to forge “village relationships”, but more necessary than

ever - especially to build a community that bolsters business and, in return, build businesses

that impact society.

5 Reasons Why Community is Important for Business

To draw on another old adage, there is strength in numbers. We encourage business owners to

see how true this is for their success. In the same way that a child can only reach the unpicked

apple off the tree when lifted on his peers’ shoulders, many companies might only reach their

greatest heights when leaning on the shoulders of the community around them.

Some of the most significant benefits of community-driven business are:

1 - Professional development

By surrounding yourself with both like-minded and diverse people, you set yourself up to receive

the advice and insight from a wider range of experience. The people around you may have been

exposed to certain elements of business far longer than you have and can offer trade advice

that you’d otherwise have to learn the ‘hard way’ - through trial and error.

Reduce the risk for error in your business by allowing other professionals to give feedback on

your ideas, and offer support where they have the capacity and knowledge to do so.

2 - A Pool of Resources

A “resource” comes in all shapes and forms. It could be knowledge, trade secrets, tools, or

actual products and services.

An isolated business will have to look much farther and work much harder to find these, than a

business that is surrounded by a community that can support, refer or discount the resource in

exchange for mutual support. It is a collective empowerment, where everyone enjoys access to

a deep pool of resources.

3 - Wider Customer Network

A business alone with an initial market of ten potential customers will initially reach ten potential

customers. A business within a community of ten other companies can potentially reach the

markets of each and every one of those companies. Simple math and multiplication.

With network relationships that are carefully fostered, a business community can offer a wealth

of referrals. And as any businessperson knows, word-of-mouth marketing remains the most

affordable and most valuable form of marketing.

4 - A Tribe

Where employment and larger companies offer the support and morale of colleagues, being an

entrepreneur, starting a small business, can be lonely and daunting. The entrepreneur who

makes an effort to connect with his tribe enjoys a sense of belonging, and the confidence that

comes with having a band of people at his back, both when confronting challenges and enjoying


Sharing the uphill journeys and the summit glories with a community of people who are rooting

for you makes for a far more rewarding entrepreneurial adventure.

5 - Development of Trust

Forging and nurturing official connections within the local community shows that a company is

legitimate and invested. This translates to faster development of trust with others who have

invested in the community, as well as the larger community as a whole.

They’d be more likely to secure business than the standalone company who chooses to operate

in isolation.

Social Capital - How Can a Business Impact Community?

Business would not exist, without the people in it, and the people who support it. Consumers

buy what employees produce. Employees use the money that they’ve earned to consume.

While it runs full circle and can have many facets, one thing ultimately remains: people. If

commerce doesn’t serve anyone in any way, it has no real purpose.

A thriving business community usually results in a thriving social community:

1. Lower unemployment rates and more stable income rate for workers.

2. Higher business revenue also results in increased tax revenue, which means improved

government infrastructure and services, and better employment opportunities for civil


3. Companies that are thriving are able to cross over from surviving to innovating, which

not only provides a happier, more creative workforce but also gives the community a

reputation and sense of pride for being societal, cultural and professional pioneers.

4. It’s no secret that productivity and being part of a team boosts morale - thriving

businesses offer a constructive environment that gives its people a sense of belonging

and contentment.

5. With steady incomes, better facilities and more opportunities in the local business

community, crime rates can be expected to drop, with fewer people turning to illegal

activities to make ends meet.

6. A prospering economy with rising opportunities paves the way for a community of

entrepreneurs and small businesses to blossom.

7. Overall, where businesses are thriving, the community also sees new positive social

trends being set, as organizational community standards are gradually raised.

Root Your Business into a Community for Stability and Networking

Scientists have discovered that forest trees form microbial networks beneath the soil,

transferring essential bacterias and fungi to each other through their roots. This is an amazing

analogy for the importance of community in business, where planting roots not only provides

stability to withstand the storms of poor economical times, but also a network that stretches far

and wide, increasing your brand reach and potential.

It can be daunting for new entrepreneurs and small businesses to penetrate an existing market.

Joining a forum or community group remains the fastest way to begin networking with other

businesses and professionals who can offer valuable support and camaraderie as you start out.

This is why we love what we do at the ECC|DC - because we get to witness firsthand the

incredible benefits of business to society, and how community-building as a business can

impact so many, far beyond the entrepreneur’s wildest dreams. We have seen companies reach

new heights and change lives by employing locals and running business-driven causes - feats

that could not have been achieved in isolation.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of joining a chamber of commerce, especially in

the Washington, D.C. metro area, we welcome you to get in touch with us!

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