What goes around comes around, including good things. Representing your company through community involvement accomplishes multiple goals. Something hopefully has been made better. In return, your and your company’s reputations possibly have been raised, even to the point of gaining access to a network of valuable contacts and prospects.
The term “community involvement” sounds great but is not always possible to perform. If you wanted, you could find an event every day. But your volunteer time is limited. You can’t say yes to everything. That’s understandable, especially for owners and managers of small machine shops. However, if you can and are willing to give your time, benefits to your business are likely to follow.
One can become involved in a lot of ways, many of which are industry-related and contribute to the success of a company. A few years ago, I participated in a job fair at a school at the request of a friend. I discussed manufacturing careers, machining and related subjects with students. I’ve also assisted our local community college system by participating in curriculum development panels. My participation allowed me to meet prospective customers, eventually getting business from a fellow participant.
Soon after that, a friend informed me of another such panel the college was assembling for a machining program and asked if I’d be willing to contribute. The problem was, it was a four-hour commitment in the middle of the week, and my free time was limited. My initial thought was, “It’s someone else’s turn, and I’m too busy.” Then, I noticed the many names and email addresses of the other invited panelists and discovered they were largely a who’s who of potential customers and interesting colleagues. Upon further consideration, I realized that it was a good time to get involved again. I would help with a worthy project and at the same time get something in return through new relationships with key people.
Your company might be noticed for its positive involvement, and you may share a table or conversation with an important person or a new prospect. Maybe you will meet a newly needed supplier or a college professor who will direct skilled job candidates your way after successful completion of training programs, all at no cost to your company. If people ask for your input, you might as well give it to them. Your involvement will be respected and appreciated. The bottom line is that a few hours of effort can open doors.
Many similar examples could help your industry, community and company. Maybe sponsor a team, host a fundraiser, allow employees to volunteer for a worthy cause or donate parts or engineering time to an organization, as my company did with a high school robotics team. You can’t say yes to every request, but the knowledge, expertise and desire for goodness shared among you and your team are very valuable. Harness those passions, and make a name for your company.
Related Glossary Terms
Discipline involving self-actuating and self-operating devices. Robots frequently imitate human capabilities, including the ability to manipulate physical objects while evaluating and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. See industrial robot; robot.