Infrastructure. People. Partners. Without them, business would involve significantly greater struggle.
We become so accustomed to the infrastructure in our communities, it’s easy to overlook how important they are to business success. If you had to run your business in a society where these services are sporadic, you would quickly discover just how significant they are.
Infrastructure plays a major role in economic growth. Without it, your business would face the same challenges seen in the developing world. As a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta states, “The accessibility and quality of infrastructure in a region help shape domestic firms’ investment decisions.”1
Imagine the impact upon your business if you didn’t have adequate electricity to support your technology? How would it impact customer service if you never knew when power might go out because a power station dropped offline unexpectedly? It’s a minimal concern to us in Puget Sound. When we pay the electric bill, our utility companies deliver power. It takes a major weather event to interrupt the flow.
We pay our taxes and SDOT and WSDOT do more than maintain our streets and highways. Efforts continue to improve traffic flow. Highway improvements receive funds. Yes, we are the fifth worst city for traffic congestion in the the nation, and that isn’t likely to change soon, yet our roads aren’t a continuous chain of poorly patched pot holes.
In addition to the option of driving a personal car to work, we have the Metro system. Light Rail, Rideshare programs and bus routes all give our employees options for how they get to work.
Water and Sewer
You and your employees can depend on clean water. Water-borne illness isn’t likely to keep your workforce home today. If you don’t like the taste, bottled water is easy to acquire.
Even if a drought forced us to conserve, our expectations of turning the tap and water coming out would remain reasonable. We expect the toilet to flush and the effluent to be treated properly.
Phone and Internet
Our options have never been as great. We have cellphone towers broadcasting wireless signals almost everywhere. Cables carry phone and high-speed internet signals across the region. Satellite options fill in any gaps wireless or cable lines might leave.
Every service we depend upon leverages the constancy of our infrastructure. The driver of the UPS truck that delivers our orders used a road to reach us or our customers. The wireless and wired communication options at our disposal empower our call and support centers, and our websites and our data centers.
In addition to our infrastructure, we depend upon others within our community to prosper. What would your business be without the delivery services we use? Whether you use the U.S. Postal Service, Fedex or UPS, if it’s physical, it requires someone to handle its delivery.
Have you ever closed a business deal in a restaurant? They partnered with you in providing a positive experience. Have you ever used an outside venue to market your product or services? The people who you worked with supported your success.
This type of partnership is so common it’s easy to overlook. Instead of thinking, “That’s the least I should expect,” embrace gratitude for the contribution of these partners. Let them know you appreciate them.
Other partners are easier to recognize. Maybe you hire a payroll service to track employee benefits and paychecks. You find your business facing a challenge, so you hire someone with the expertise to help you.
May I suggest you begin looking for someone within your community?someone who is also vested in the well-being of the place you live and work?when you reach out? Your community is already supporting your business. It’s your place. It’s your privilege to nurture it, and let it nurture you.