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
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
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!