With Freedom Comes Responsibility; The Independent Dealer
It’s typically a sweltering hot summer day. Maybe yours is full of velvety homemade ice cream, tart lemonade, and fun with family and friends at the cabin or lake. Yes, Independence Day is a time to relax and celebrate our independence as a Nation. Clearly, with that freedom comes responsibility.
Given the 4th of July holiday, I couldn’t help but think about the parallels in our Independent Dealer channel.
As an Independent Dealer pursuing the American Dream, the freedom you enjoy brings many benefits to you, your customers, your employees and your community. And that freedom comes with accountability.
In fact, I’d go so far to say it would be a missed opportunity for an Independent Dealer to NOT consider (and communicate) the value of this independence:
Growth engine for the local economy. The salaries you pay inject money into your economy through the payments of wages and benefits. You pay taxes that fund your schools and public safety departments. Additionally, profits you make also stay in your community. One study concluded that 33.4% of the total revenue of a local independent dealer is recycled into the local economy, while only 11.6% of a national provider’s stays local.
Philanthropy of your business and your employees. Closely tied to your local economic value is the charitable giving of your business and your employees. The generosity of Independent Dealers never cease to amaze me. You show your character by supporting local causes and investing in your employees to support those efforts from Walks/Races for Cancer to fundraisers for children in need. You make a difference! An added perk of having a focus on giving back? Millennials, who now outnumber baby boomers in the U.S. workforce, seek out employers who have a strong emphasis on philanthropy.
Value of leasing technology. By offering a monthly payment to other businesses in your community for their office technology needs, you’re contributing to area economic growth and stability. Those businesses in turn reap the benefits of preserved cash flow and can invest their cash in other strategic areas of their businesses to grow more profitably.
Beyond wages —your employees’ development. As previously mentioned, the salaries you pay have a direct impact on the local community. But the career opportunities you provide are equally important. As job creators, you have choices in how you invest in the training and development of your people. By offering growth opportunities, you make their lives more rewarding and strengthen your business and your local economy.
Your integrity as a small business owner. Your ethical behavior does not go unnoticed, and it has a positive impact on your community as well as your business partners. According to this article in Entrepreneur Magazine, small business owners are much more likely to be seen as honest and ethical. 52% of Americans see small business owners as such, according to the Public Affairs Council survey, whereas only 8% think the CEOs of major corporations are highly ethical. Your leadership and actions are being watched and admired by each of your employees, customers and partners. Keep doing the right thing, it matters.
While you do have freedom as an Independent Dealer, you also have the stress of running a business. On behalf of GreatAmerica, thank you for the “blood, sweat and tears” you have put into growing a successful office technology dealership, and for taking that freedom seriously. Your hard work is meaningful in the lives of your employees, customers, and community and industry partners such as GreatAmerica. Happy Independence Day – I’ll raise my glass of lemonade and toast to you and the freedoms you’ve converted into benefit back to those you impact.
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