Business development is a key factor for sustainability. But what is a good business sustainability definition?

Businesses are the cornerstone that allow for growth and prosperity both socially and economically. When local businesses invest in each other the overall benefit to the community is self-evident. Lower unemployment rates, competitively priced products and services, economic growth, and social engagement are a few aspects of business development and sustainability.

The purpose of business is to provide a product or service in order to generate a profit. This is easier said than done. Any entrepreneur can attest to the overwhelming dedication and time that is involved in getting a company off the ground.  The initial investment of time and money varies from industry to industry; however underlying any sustainable investment is passion. Local businesses are passionate about what they do. They are passionate about their customers and the community. Most importantly they are passionate about success.

Sustainability and business go hand in hand. Business leaders are continually investing in themselves and their product. New and improved processes are developed by collaboration. Creating business networks and utilizing a community filled with knowledgeable business professionals helping each other succeed will continue generating economic growth. Innovative ideas and community partnerships help business leaders “think outside of the box”. Using these business networks creates a peer partnership throughout Lee County. The boom of social media networking has created a whole new landscape for local businesses to work together for success.

Business development is nothing without retention. Creating a long term sustainable business is an on-going process. The initial start up cost is just the beginning. It can take years for a business to become profitable. Any initial profit, is more often than not, immediately reinvested into the business. Continually developing and improving a product or service is paramount for business retention. Creating a customer for life is the ultimate goal. A satisfied customer has unlimited benefits to a business. Each consumer has their own social network that can make or break a business reputation. When businesses use their existing customer base to network with each other they are able to increase the breadth and depth into the community.

Businesses equal jobs. Better businesses equal better jobs. The current unemployment rate of Lee County is at 5.8% as of May 2014.  The opportunity for continued economic development is prevalent in Lee County. National companies are relocating their corporate headquarters in our backyard. Hertz, Gartner, Comcast, and Chico’s are a few such companies. Additionally, Southwest Florida is seeing a rise in regional economic development through the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance. They are continually hiring and expanding their headquarters and workforce.  Jobs are being created or relocated to our community. These jobs have higher average salaries and better benefits. Bringing these jobs to Lee County helps the overall economy, especially the small businesses.

Economic prosperity and stability are a result of sustainable business. Keeping money flowing into our economy through businesses and jobs creates growth. In order for a business to generate a profit, which is their ultimate goal, they will eventually contribute to the overall economy. This stability lowers costs of every day expenses for their customer, as well as creates a foundation for future entrepreneurs. Business owners in SW Florida work together to improve and develop our economy and lifestyle.