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It is just a tool

That is all money is

The seminar starts as many have over the years; a postcard given to each attendee with an explanation of how to use the postcard. Attendees hear that those who write what they are going to do as a result of the seminar will have their postcard mailed to them in two weeks.

The explanation continues that additional notes will be added to the postcard; written in green ink – the color of money. It is what we are here to talk about; making money in your business. Sometimes there are additional stories about money told before getting to the content of the session.

A comment on one card was brief and to the point; “you focus too much on money”.

While each of us are entitled to our own opinions and ways of operating our businesses, what was not asked was, “What do you do with the money?”

Money is a tool. It allows an individual to do things. Having watched a lot of small business owners over the years, there is a trait continually seen; these people care about, and appreciate the communities their businesses are a part of.

It can start with sponsoring a youth sports team. Not only have many small business owners sponsored a team, we likely played on a team that was sponsored by another small business when we were much younger. These business owners place advertisements in year books and newspapers of schools and colleges. All you have to do is drive by a school having the changeable letter sign out front to see the thank you messages from the school to local businesses.

Not all of this outpouring is direct contributions; sometimes it starts with money from the business but joined to the efforts of the business owner to get others to contribute for outcomes that benefit the community.

There was a small business owner with a friend that has medical challenges as well as struggling financially. Yet, every time the two are together and pass a donation jar for the children’s hospital, the friend puts in money. It seems that the hospital took good care of him when he struggled after birth.

The business owner, seeing the friend’s appreciation, spent several hundred dollars to create an event in their community that raises over $30,000 every year for the hospital. It is that owner’s way of supporting a good cause and affirming the friendship.

Another business owner takes the concept of Big Brothers and Big Sisters to another level by hiring the youth from this program to work in their business. Granted, many small businesses could only hire one youth, but a difference is made one child at a time.

A small business was approached by a local elementary school. Within the community, a child riding a bicycle to school had been hit by a car. It was not the car, but the child’s head hitting the curb that caused the fatality. The parent’s organization asked the business to help in securing helmets for all the children. Other elementary schools upon hearing of the initial plan asked to join in.

Joining with a helmet manufacturer, police and fire departments, and several other small businesses in the community, over 1,000 students had their bicycles safety checked by a bicycle technician, and went home with a new helmet in the color of their choice that that been properly fitted to each of them.

The business persuaded the manufacturer to provide the helmets for only $5. The parent’s association raised funds for those students that could not afford to pay for their helmet. Snacks were provided by local businesses. The police and fire department gave safety lessons; all of this occurring on the parking lot of the business on a day students were out of school.

Our favorite story is that of a small business owner in the south Florida area. Three Cubans had made their way to South America and into Mexico. At one point the Mexican government was going to deport the three back to Cuba.

The south Florida retailer, along with many other retailers, sold a lot of items that were produced in Mexico. This one owner organized a potential boycott of the items and took this position to the Mexican consulate in Miami. It was a simple negotiation; you deport these men to Cuba and we will no longer sell products from your country.

Imagine the day when three men walked into this owner’s store and asked to see him. “Thank you, sir. You have saved our lives”, was the comment made.

The money, or the “threat of it not being spent”, was a powerful tool dealing with lives, and a country!

What is right, or what is wrong in your community? The wonderful thing about a small business and that focus on money is that you can change things.

The final testimonial is that of a business owner from the Chicago area that heard this story about money being a tool at a convention
in Orlando. After the presentation, the owner came forward, as do many people, to talk about what was said.

Nothing more was thought about it until a few weeks later when an envelope came from this owner. Their comments were that they now see that they can make a difference within their community.

However, they were starting with this writer’s community and an organization that is near and dear to him with a check for $500.

Money is a tool. Are you using the tool? And how so?

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This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.
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PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179