One immediate and obvious consequence of our corporate mission is that we must function as leanly and wisely as we possibly can. Like many non-profit entities, eQuip Collaborative is always seeking ways to maximize resources, minimize unnecessary costs, and enhance efficiency where doing so can be done in reasonable and humane ways. Even as we enact such efforts, however, we are often simultaneously making decisions that may appear counterintuitive to the casual observer. Conventional business wisdom insists that a company should invest the minimal amount of resources necessary to accomplish a given task. Hiring employees, according to such thinking, should be a process intent upon finding the most prepared, efficient, and productive individuals available for a given position. Similarly, business related tasks ought to be stripped of any unnecessary steps, automated whenever possible, and done in ever more efficiently ways. And, of course, all business growth should be guided by the impulse to minimize expense and maximize profitability.
As a for-profit business, eQuip Collaborative is carefully attentive to all manner of details impacting our financial bottom line. That being said, eQuip Collaborative is even more fundamentally committed to enacting our core competencies in the most responsible and productive ways available within the bounds of our corporate conscience. While profitability is an important and oftentimes determining factor in our business decision making processes, maximizing profits is far from our only objective. We view our business as a vehicle for enriching individual and communal lives in all kinds of ways--financial as well as cultural, spiritual, and practical. Maximizing profitability will always remain only one piece of our corporate identity.
Because of our willingness to dethrone the maximization of profitability as the only legitimate function of business, we regularly undertake business practices that may not be entertained by corporations driven only by profits. We consider our willingness to think more broadly about the concept of profit to be a considerable strength and a moral necessity for any responsible corporation. Numerous urban centers are languishing in post-industrial America in large part because of misguided, short-sighted, or apathetic assessments of the role that corporations should play in the life of the city. It is our intention to deepen and enrich understandings of the relationship between work and community through our efforts in Aliquippa. Doing this requires a more holistic and, at times, non-monetary conception of what it means to be engaged in profitable endeavors as a responsible corporation.
An additional consequence of our commitment to responsible stewardship concerns our willing to assume debt. Very often, new businesses borrow considerable sums of money to initiate operations and to address cash flow challenges. Though we have no principled objection to business debt in general, eQuip Collaborative is nevertheless committed to operating in Aliquippa as a debt free business. The reason for this commitment is rooted in our core mission and is intended to ensure that eQuip Collaborative can remain true to that mission throughout the life of our corporation.
For companies whose primary concern is to maximize profits, the assumption of debt at the time of start-up is often the wisest course to the timely growth of the bottom line. However, along with such debt comes the need to orient the affairs of the business primarily around principles of efficiency, immediate improvement, expense minimization, and so on. To be sure, at eQuip Collaborative we are firmly committed to efficiency, improvement, and the minimization of expenses so long as doing so contributes to the furthering of the central mission of the corporation. Nevertheless, we reject the belief that the generation of profit is the only legitimate function of business. We are committed to allowing the daily operations of eQuip Collaborative to provide opportunities for job training that extend beyond the immediate task at hand. We are committed to allowing our business to assist in the generation and development of dispositions that many businesses would insist be in place as a necessary preconditions of employment. We are committed to ensuring that our business provides opportunities for the experimental enactment of human creativity and innovation in the workplace. In short, eQuip Collaborative is committed to a business environment that promotes the nurturing and flourishing of the human will to work. Experience suggests that the assumption of debt generates increased and unnecessary pressure to forestall such developmental processes in favor of generating maximal profit. Though we will indeed be profitable at eQuip Collaborative, we are content to dethrone profit generation as the only legitimate function of business. For these reasons, we will not assume debt in order to grow our business.
To say that we will not take on debt at eQuip Collaborative is not to suggest that we are averse to risk and the contribution of significant resources at the outset of our operations. Initiating resources on Franklin Avenue is possible only because we have already invested deeply in the company. Moving the corporation downtown will involve the allocation of at least the following assets: hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory; tens of thousands of dollars of technology, shipping supplies, and shelving; access to the resources and information made available through the use of Panoptic Media’s proprietary software and resources; nearly a decade of accumulated knowledge and experience in the online commerce industry; and an incredibly valuable collection of intangible resources and relationships that will undoubtedly contribute considerably to the success of eQuip Collaborative. The sum total of such commitments clearly demonstrates that although eQuip Collaborative may be a new business to Aliquippa, we will commence operations on Franklin Avenue with considerable assets on hand. Although unwilling to borrow money to sustain business operations, the leadership of the company has done everything in its power to ensure the immediate success of the business as it opens its doors on Franklin Avenue.