Select a group of three or four successful business people from a specific geographic area (a county, city, town, or village). Grow the group slowly through an application/member voting process, establishing firm guidelines for membership. Meet every Wednesday for networking, breakfast, introductions, and brief presentations by a different member each week. Continue the process for 28 years. After nearly 1,500 meetings, the results will be astounding!
Each week, a different perspective on business values is presented. Members are given a chance to describe their business to the assembled group and in so doing, important business characteristics are shared. An exterminator says, “I won’t accept a job that requires opening up walls, because I’m not a contractor.” The group is reminded of the risks of overreaching. A sales manager says, “I insist that sales people provide a rate card only after the value proposition has been established.” The group is reminded that a quality product/service is more important than a competitive price. A professional marketer says, “Accomplishment is more important than experience.” Sixty businessmen find a new way to measure candidates for employment.
There will be some business people who will subscribe to the values and make them their own. Others will perceive them to be flawed and will reject them completely. Those people will ultimately leave the group in search of something more closely aligned with their business philosophy.
As the group grows, its influence in the community will flourish. Picture 60-70 businesses in any community that all display an American flag in front of their businesses on the 4th of July. Driving through such a community would generate feelings of patriotic pride. Imagine as many businesses sharing beliefs in character, honesty, integrity, fairness, respect… The entire community would benefit from such an image.
Stuart, FL, has always enjoyed a reputation for uniqueness; as a desirable place to do business; as a great place to raise a family. A group like the one described above continues to thrive and grow in Stuart. As Martin County Business Exchange members strive to help each other succeed, the entire community derives benefit.