What makes a business successful? For each entrepreneur (and each employee), there’s likely a unique answer to that question. Is it year-end profits? Satisfied customers? Or is there more to the picture, like staying true to the core values your company identified and prioritized at the very beginning?
Earlier this month, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City hosted a panel in Detroit called “Paving A Path to Growth.” We were proud not only to be a partner for this event and to be present at it, but to listen to several Detroit-area business owners (and Inner City 100 award winners) discuss how they balanced the growth of their company with their core values, staying true to their communities even as their companies grew beyond their wildest dreams.
Here are just three of the key concepts these community-driven business leaders have taken to heart to grow their values alongside their revenues:
Strive to make a positive economic impact on the community – Tammy Tedesco of catering company Edibles Rex expanded her company’s focus from corporate catering to providing food service to area schools. As part of this expansion, Tedesco turned primarily to the local neighborhood to staff Edibles Rex and worked to change and shape her business model to create greater stability for those same staffers, impacting the local job market and economy in positive ways.
Focus on your employees to create a more stable, unified company – When asked to consider how his company, PTI – Quality Containment Solutions, balanced growth and community, Zafar Iqbar said that focusing on his employees has helped to create stability even in the most turbulent of times. With a focus on internal promotion and investing in the professional growth of employees, PTI has not only survived economic challenges, but thrived through them.
Make your employees ambassadors of your mission – For Perry Mehta of security and infrastructure solutions company FutureNetGroup, the challenge has been in how to stay true to the company’s core value and roots while expanding as far as internationally. With the challenge of employee turnover top of mind for most employers, Mehta found that going beyond the basics of salary and benefits was crucial. “Having your managers buy into your vision… leads to long-term commitment,” he said.