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Giving, Getting Something Back

Robert J. Renteria |

Recently, someone asked me why I was so involved in the community. At first it seemed like a normal question, but then I realized how silly it was for someone to ask why I would be giving something back. Let’s discuss the importance of a laundry owner giving back to the community.It is essential for you to be part of the community, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s also important from a marketing perspective. Remember, you are the face of your business.People buy from people, and I will bet you that no other laundry owner in your area will be actively engaged in either working with your local Chamber of Commerce, talking to the kids at schools, or holding business workshops for young adults wanting to be business owners themselves.By doing these things, you are not only giving back, but are networking, which means a lot more business for you. You also are gaining a competitive edge because people will buy from people who make them feel comfortable and from whom they like.OLD SCHOOL VS. NEW SCHOOLGetting involved in the community is the way new-school owners are going to kick the butts of old-school owners. New-school owners will offer the personal touch by creating relationships with their customers and giving them the feeling that they are appreciated, and that it’s not all about money. Don’t get me wrong, we are all in business to make money, but if you lead with your heart, your customers will develop a loyalty like none other.The majority of old-school owners have become stale and boring, not willing to change and meet the needs and expectations of today’s laundry business. Again, opportunity is knocking if you simply answer the call, leave your comfort zone, and help take care of the community. Taking care of each other is how this country was built.Don’t just be a voice — be a face who will be identified as someone who will better take care of the neighborhood’s families and people. Make a difference!In the end, it all boils down to this:

  • What do you live for?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What would you die for?

I also want you to think about what a champion is, and what makes a champion. I pose these questions because I want you to get involved and be an active member of the community. Who knows, you may even become a civic leader. Every town needs champions, and the good news is that you don’t need anyone’s permission to be one.Seize this opportunity and accept the challenge to become a leader and build your laundry by throwing your heart into the game. Understand that the new way is relationships, relationships, relationships.If you would like some assistance in developing such a plan of attack, just e-mail me. I would love to get you started!

•••

From English to Spanish and now to graphic novel, Little Barrio, a comic book based on the book, From the Barrio to the Board Room by Robert Renteria (as told to Corey Blake) will be released in July by the Writers of the Round Table Press, providing a resource for schools, governments and parents, or anyone who wants to promote education.Renteria has partnered with Smarter Comics™, a company that creates comic books by summarizing and illustrating popular non-fiction books. Little Barrio is the biographical story of Renteria’s life that has taken him from the ghetto of East Los Angeles to being a successful businessman and civic leader.For more information, visit www.fromthebarrio.com.

About the author

Robert J. Renteria

Consultant

Robert J. Renteria is a national consultant based in Chicago. He has more than 23 years of industry experience, having helped develop more than 750 coin laundries nationally and abroad. The author of three books, he was named the 2010 Chicago Latino Professional of the Year and is the sole recipient of the 2011 International Outstanding Humanitarian Award. In 2013, he received two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards for his work in civil rights advocacy and educational reform. He can be reached at 312-933-5619 or robert@fromthebarrio.com.

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