Vote early, Vote often!
Tired of all the election ads, phone calls, texts and talk on the radio and television? I hope not, the truth is we hear and see ads screaming for our votes every day of the year. We also vote every day and usually multiple times per day. I am not talking about our political election voting. I am talking about how we ‘vote’ our values with our dollars.
Votes and Values
We vote our values with our dollars every day. Companies are constantly trying to convince us to vote for them! If you don’t believe they are trying to get you to vote? Why do they call them marketing ‘campaigns?’ They try to appeal to the values or qualities they think we are looking for. Often times they try to convince us that voting for them will impart some special quality or status by purchasing their goods or services. We all know the intent of all these ads is to convince us to vote for them.
It is projected that companies will spend almost $1,000 per year for every man women and child in the United States trying to get your ‘vote!’ To be fair, those companies are actually hoping YOU will be paying $1000 per person by voting for their goods or services with your money!
We all know the purpose of the ad is to influence our ‘votes’. We also know, while we are eating at McDonalds, we will not be “lovin’ it” when it comes to the nutritional value in many of their products. And Walmart will not “Always” have “low prices” on every product. While many elite athletes wear Nike products, Nike produces many of their products in XXXXL sizes. With the exception of fishing, bowling and maybe golf…I have not seen many elite athletes that require those sizes! Even the U.S. Marine Corps have had a few that where less than “Semper Fi.” When you know the motive of the advertisement, can it still be effective? Absolutely! If it didn’t get your vote, they would do something else or go out of business. I am not going to try to convince you to vote for any particular product or service. My hope is to show you how your votes not only impact you and the product manufacturer, but also the business, the people who work in that business and the community they are located in.
Your Dollar and Your Vote
Your dollar is not just a single vote for a product or business, every dollar is 100s or even 1000s of little votes. When you go buy that $1 cup of coffee, it is divided up into 100’s or 1000’s of pieces. Of course, it is really closer to $1.07 when you check out…you have to give a few votes to the city and state in the form of taxes. There has to be a few votes for the employee who took your money. A few more for the person who brewed the coffee and some for the person who handed it out the window. A few more for the power company that provided the power to brew the coffee, some for the franchise owner and of course some for the corporate office located in some other state or country. Don’t forget your votes have to pay for the people who produced the raw products, the cups, the delivery people and, as you can see…the list of who you voted for gets really long! Every dollar you vote with has an impact that can reach around the globe!
While we can’t control where every vote or fraction of a vote is sent, we should consider the impact of these votes and how they match up to our values. In the last few years there has been more and more emphasis on where and how we vote. There have been significant promotions on the importance of keeping your votes in the local community and with small business. But, does it really matter?
Remember when we voted with our $1.07 cup of coffee? Some of those votes have to leave the area, no matter where you bought your morning cup of joe. We can’t grow the beans, we don’t make the equipment, make the cups and the delivery people likely live someplace else. The few votes that went to the franchise owner may be local or they may be miles away. The corporate offices are not here so those votes certainly left. The votes in the form of taxes stayed in the community as did the votes for the people who worked there. What is the value of keeping the votes local?
Voting local by utilizing local business to provide the products and services you need allows more of those votes to remain in the local economy. A local store will keep more votes in the community than a mail order vendor. A local privately owned local business will keep more votes in the community than a national franchise with a local store front that has to send a few of those votes to their corporate offices in another state or even country. A locally manufactured product from a local privately owned business keeps even more votes in the community.
The votes that stay in the local economy will in turn vote again. If those are local, the process begins again and cycle continues. Each time the fraction of the vote that stays local may get smaller, but the compound effect continues with new votes that come from outside the community. These votes allow the local people, businesses and governments to in turn support the local community. The local city will maintain parks, streets, fire protection, libraries and less glamorous things like waste water treatment and jails. Local businesses will hire additional people, support community efforts and purchase other goods and services. People will in turn vote to support other local businesses, community efforts, churches and events.
Value and Values and voting
It is not possible to keep every fraction of every vote in the local economy. However, we can make the choice to start thinking of the impact of our votes. This is where we start to consider our values vs. value of the product. Our values represent our principals, standards of behavior or what we think is important in life. Value represents the worth of something in monetary terms.
How can we align the two?
You might say that while you want to support your local businesses, you can’t justify spending 5%, 10% or even 20% more to purchase it locally. Are you sure? Have you considered how the choice to buy local might actually save money or even make you money? There are some simple things to consider.
A local business will be able to help ensure you chose the right products with local expertise on the local area. This may save you from making a wrong choice that will cost you even more time and money. One time I purchased a wall mounted heater from a mail order company. I installed it on the wall and called the local plumber to install the gas line. When he arrived, he informed me these units are not legal in my area and he could not install it. I had already drilled holes in the unit to mount it on the wall. No way to return it at that point. Did I save money?
A local business will not only have knowledge that can save you money, it can offer support for their products, faster replacement, save time, save travel and more. There are costs associated with every purchase beyond price. The value of your ‘vote’ doesn’t stop here.
Local businesses tend to support local organizations. Did a local business sponsor your child’s little league team so you didn’t have to pay for uniforms out of your pocket? They might support the local food banks that reduce pressure on local agencies and keep tax burdens down. They could hire a few more people to deal with the added business volume. This will reduce the number of employees in the market causing the value of every employee to increase, leading to your next pay raise. Increased wages create the desire for more people to live and work in areas with higher wages. More people in turn can drive the demand for more people to support the market and the cycle continues. In short…voting local will have an impact well beyond the price!
Not every part of your vote will stay in the community. Not every product or service can be accessed in your local community. Sometimes the value of the local vs outside product source is so great that your finite voting power forces you to make choices outside the community. However, the majority of your votes you make on a daily basis can be done locally. I encourage you to look past the costs and consider the real value of your choice and ask yourself it that choice aligns with your values.
Warehouse Supply Local Support
At Warehouse Supply we work hard to make sure you get good value when you trade with us. We offer highly knowledgeable people to ensure you make the right choice for your needs. We offer quality brands like Milwaukee, DeWalt and SK tools. We can deliver the product to your door. Through all of this we are constantly trying to support our local community. We have been active in supporting our local veterans’ groups, schools, community organizations, fire and police departments and even private families in need. Every time you ‘vote’ for Warehouse Supply a larger part of that ‘vote’ remains in our community than any similar business in the area. The ballot box is open and we encourage you to vote early and vote often and most importantly…. vote local!