Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Relationship Built by Craig


Never underestimate the power of relationships or new technologies. And when you can link them together...look out.


Recently, a local manufacturer was introduced to Bud's Warehouse by a neighboring business. They were discontinuing a line of composite decking and did not know what to do with 100,000 linear feet of the former product line. A business across the street suggested donating the product to Bud's...a company that was in the business of recycling and had developed a relationship with Bud's over the last five years. With one single recommendation, our job-training program received one of its largest product donations of the year.

It reminded me of the circumstances of the biggest donation in Bud's history. Over a million dollars worth of cabinet doors were rescued from a trip to the landfill by a similar suggestion from someone witnessing the load on its way to the dump. The dirty little secret of the building industry is the large amount of waste. It's safer to over order a product instead of trying to find a match when you discover that you don't have enough. Bud's provides an answer for construction leftovers. And over the years, relationships have been a big part of rescuing materials headed to the landfill and converting them into opportunity for individuals rebuilding lives.

Today, new technologies add to the relationship mix. A few years ago, an expensive classified ad was the best way to find customers for a specific product like composite decking. Now, a simple ad on Craig's list attracts ten times the number of interested customers at the great price of free. Many of these new customers become clients for life because of the relationship built during the first transaction. So technology like Craig's list helps to build relationships that ultimately change lives. A smart faith entrepreneur sees new technologies as opportunities to change the world.

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