• Jeff Smith

Purpose or Profits?


If you took the time to click on this article you likely care about the comma(s) and zeros in your bank account, I get it profits matter. A traditional business simply can’t survive without them. The modern business world has changed in 2019 you are not: working for the same reasons, your employees are not showing up each day for the same reasons and equally important, your consumers are not loyal to you for the same reasons as they were even a couple of years ago. Everyone is demanding value now! You should demand value as well. Working strictly for money can become exhausting and is becoming transparent to employees and consumers. Does your business have a purpose?

Size also matters in 2019, The SBA classifies small business depending on the maximum number of employees or total annual receipts, depending on your industry. These “small businesses” can include up to 1,500 employees and nearly $40 million in annual receipts for companies in the manufacturing and construction industries. This doesn’t sound like many of the “small businesses on the Cape that are struggling to keep up with Amazon, Walmart, Target and other “big box” style stores. These companies, which have invested heavily in their marketing, brands and processes to ensure their consumers are continuing to shop in their stores and online. These companies are fairly safe and will continue to be because they have the ability to monitor every aspect of business and adjust with every market change. Every customer makes a difference and it hurts when they don’t click on your site or walk through your door. With in-home ordering systems like the Amazon Echo and the Google equivalent, local companies more than ever need to adjust their business practices or they will be faced with the decision of shutting their doors.

I am sure this next section is going to make some people angry and I will lose some readers here. Cape it Local believes that employees who enjoy showing up to work will: perform better, become better brand ambassadors and be more loyal. This isn’t shocking. Cape it Local also believes that in order to provide these better working conditions local employers should be paying their employees higher wages. Scattered all over social media, continued complaints over the increasing minimum wage in the state of MA to $15/hour. Of course, this article won’t single out any company owner’s comments but there isn’t a shortage to pick from.

Looking at this from a profit standpoint. If you pay your employees less, you can keep your margins down and there are plenty of people who are willing to work for minimum wage so keeping those positions filled won’t be a problem, right? Not exactly. While I understand that argument, I do. Consider the alternative. The purpose method; the reason behind this rambling article. If the minimum wage debate never effected your business in the first place. If your company was known for paying your employees higher wages, because your employees were incredible brand ambassadors for you. If your company had a purpose beyond profits and you weren’t wasting time training new minimum-wage caliber employees monthly because of the inevitable turnover that occurs.

A local landscaping company, that Cape it Local does not represent, is incredibly successful. They continually and publicly recognize their employees for their accomplishments. Without specific knowledge of their compensation, I would wager they are not minimum-wage employees. They give employees trips, gifts and celebrate their accomplishments. This type of atmosphere is an incredible example of value for their employees. When their employees are away from the office, I am sure they represent the company well. This is not to say that there are not issues, and that the owner is not stern or that he does not have high demands for their employees. This is an example of creating an atmosphere for purpose instead of creating an atmosphere for profits. As a result, this is certainly a contributing factor for their success. You can probably guess which landscaping company caught our eye, as an example to follow for local businesses.

Additionally, Cape it Local would encourage your company to find purpose with a cause. In 2018, we were directly involved with three ‘corporate’ social responsibility (CSR) drives that exposed our brand and the brands of at least a dozen other local companies to well over 100,000 Cape Cod residents. These drives included providing backpacks, layaway payoffs & the marketing efforts for John Manoog’s matching donation campaign with Cape Abilities. Our community genuinely cares about supporting each other. Here are a few of the benefits of running your own CSR campaign:

  • Increasing your original donation by combining the community’s efforts

  • Direct benefits to the community you live in

  • You feel the impact of your efforts

  • Your employees perform better with a purpose

  • Higher brand exposure with social media content beyond normal business content

  • Humanize your business

  • Improve the culture within your business

Cape it Local is a marketing firm, so of course this article is an advertisement for our services. If you would like to run a CSR campaign, we would love to help. If you would like to have a discussion regarding our services, please feel free to call 508-737-3325. You can also visit www.capeitlocal.comor email Jeffsmithcapecod@gmail.com


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