Any successful investor in the stock market knows that weathering the ups and downs of Wall Street requires a diverse stock portfolio to create long-term viability.
As with the stock market, diversification in business– more specifically, establishing a diverse external network – is a critical factor in building resilience. No company is an island, and smart organizations weave a web of partners with whom they can collaborate to accomplish objectives and overcome obstacles.
Whether facing regulation changes, financial constraints or environmental influences, businesses that develop strong networks at the local, regional, national and global levels will be better positioned for success. This is a concept that Virginia-based company BandyWorks fully understands and embraces.
This spring, the Darden School Institute for Business in Society hosted the 2015 Business and Economic Resilience Conference to learn from Virginia companies that have demonstrated resilience successfully and to share these lessons with other local businesses. During the conference, BandyWorks CEO Tom Bandy participated in a panel discussion to share his experience and expertise in building a resilient business.
“Our team is serious about giving back to the community and becoming involved in different organizations and causes. We work with local chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations.” — Tom Bandy, CEO, BandyWorks
Petersburg-based BandyWorks provides business intelligence technology to high-growth companies that operate in multiple locations. By analyzing existing data sources to create reports, dashboards and alerts, they enable business owners and managers to achieve high performance while reducing the stress of overwhelming data. BandyWorks utilized the best of its solutions to create its new ‘Quick Data’ product to facilitate companies’ ability to manage key performance indicators.
Despite the rapid pace of change and innovation required to stay competitive in this quickly evolving industry, BandyWorks is located in and continues to prioritize community leadership in the Petersburg region. Company staff and owners are actively involved in local chamber of commerce, university and other nonprofit organizations that help to promote individual job skill creation, as well as economic vitality.
Chair-elect for the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, CEO Tom Bandy also heads the chamber’s Economic Vitality group responsible for encouraging more businesses and visitors to come to Old Towne Petersburg. They work closely with Petersburg administrators to promote local events and raise the area’s profile through social media, and are currently establishing a small-business seed fund to encourage new businesses to launch in Petersburg.
Faculty Insight by Professor Gregory Fairchild
In one sense, BandyWorks is a firm that epitomizes the trend toward globalization. Utilizing staff on two continents, Tom Bandy and his team of software developers create customized solutions for businesses. At the same time, the firm has its roots in the local environment.
Bandy, who has chosen to base his global firm in a transitioning area in the historic center of Petersburg, recognizes that connections with a broad base of institutions — local, regional, national and global — is critical. The firm builds support and engagement through a diverse set of networks. A second element is accountability. The products BandyWorks develops assist their clients in accurately capturing their progress on critical goals and milestones. BandyWorks cascades this accountability mindset into all that its employees do as a team — personally, professionally and institutionally. Broad networks provide the firm with diversification that can help smooth ups and downs of the market. Strong relations and accountability provide a “glue” that holds things together.
Greg Fairchild is the E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and academic director of Darden’s Institute for Business in Society. His research focuses on studying business models and public policy issues in the field of community development finance. His work has been cited by many, including Inc. Magazine, The Economist, National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
To learn more about business resilience, read the full report, Ideas to Action Special Edition: Business and Economic Resilience; What Virginia Businesses Can Teach Us.