Here at Business Connect, we are all about being part of the solution to the water crisis, so it’s only fitting for us to acknowledge World Water Day. Today, we wanted to share on our heart behind our distributors. While any individual here at Business Connect can speak for our team, a person at the core of our business, Jereme Lambert, our CEO/Co-Owner, shares our heart the best.
A Q&A With Jereme Lambert, CEO/Co-Owner
We were able to take a moment to interview Jereme to share our heart for our international team and why they’re so important to us.
How is Business Connect different from other water businesses/charities?
JL: For years NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) have talked about bringing the private and public sector together to bring a difference. There’s lots of public sectors like the government and NGO’s, but we are working globally from a private perspective bringing business to the water crisis.
It goes back to our name, Business Connect. While we are about bringing clean and safe water to the world, it’s more than that—it’s about connecting and empowering businesses to solve that problem. We don’t just go and fix the water solution, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to empower our international distributors to be part of the solution but through business.
What’s the heart behind focusing on international distributors?
JL: The heart behind that is to bring economic change while solving the problem of the global water crisis. Bringing water to countries is important – we all know that’s important. However, doing that through local independent distributors and empowering them is a way to also bring economic advancement. It creates business development, it creates companies, jobs, and ultimately brings economic change.
The reason why we do international distributors instead of doing it all ourselves is to empower them to be self-sustaining.
(Starting from scratch) How do you mentor your international distributors?
JL: The steps for mentoring are very relational. Sometimes someone reaches out to us or sometimes we look at the water status of a place and reach out to them.
After that connection is made, whether we’re starting from scratch or are working with people who have established a company in the area, the next step is our team traveling to that place. We go to build a better relationship while finding people who have the heart to help others. After that relationship is built, we then help train by talking about how to better manage their company. We then introduce them to the network those doing the same as them; to NGOs, and stores that would sell their products.
To break it down simpler we 1.) let people watch us do it, 2.) we do it alongside them, and 3.) they’ll go out and do it by themselves. Our goal isn’t to just fix the problem but empower them to help be the solution. It’s also during these steps where there’s a lot of Q & A and discussion.
What characteristics best describe the international team you work with?
JL: Because we work with so many people around the world whose backgrounds are so varied, there are so many different characteristics. However, despite working with contrasting people, we’ve found the common characteristics being love and compassion for those in their community.
A couple examples are a man in Honduras who is an expat and a man in Madagascar who is a professional musician. While both come from different backgrounds, both saw their people struggling with water, and wanted to start businesses to solve the problem.
It’s that heart, love, and compassion for others that drives them to take action to create change. It’s that drive to help solve the water issue but through entrepreneurship.
What’s a new idea that the business has been working on/developing for our distributors?
JL: Over the last 12 months, we’ve created the Distributor Resource Center. In recent years we’ve physically gone to our distributors and have given them thumb drives that contain resources. However, when COVID19 hit, it changed everything; like everyone, we had to go virtually. The Distributor Database allows our distributors to access everything we would have given them on the thumb drive and more. It includes sales sheets, test reports, networks, connections, and everything they might need to move forward and be successful.
What goals do you hope to achieve in the next 3 years for our international team?
JL: Some of the goals for our international team is to build a bigger network, hire more staff, enhance our training, and resources that we provide them. We feel the responsibility to empower them by giving them tools to do better.
Another goal, truthfully, is to be in more countries. As of now, we have an impact list of 78 countries and we’d like to be in the mid 80’s; some of those being Francophone countries. While we do a small amount of work in the Francophone countries, we don’t have any distributors there yet; it’s a realm that I’d really like to see us venturing into in the next three years.
How do you measure success in these relationships? What do you enjoy the most about working with our international distributors?
JL: This is where I’m a little different than others. I measure the success of these distributors by the depth of our relationships. I think about last year – how a few distributors struggled with the loss of loved ones due to the virus. Those distributors called me and I was able to walk alongside them in their grief. That, to me, is success.
I also think about the times I get to have dinner with our distributors in their home. I meet their families, children; we talk and bond. I meet their families, kids – we talk and bond. It’s also my favorite thing and brings me the most joy.
Yes of course we have metrics, sales, and all of those things, but relational depth is really the catalyst of change.
Business Connect’s Focus for World Water Day
As we move into World Water Day, we wanted to take part and focus on our heart for our international distributors. While we work to empower them to be self-sustaining economically to help to solve the water crisis, we celebrate them. As remember and bring awareness to the importance of freshwater, we remember and bring awareness to the importance of our international team.
We want to take this time to say thank you to everyone who has followed our journey.
We also invite you to answer the invitation to take action to help sustainable water development by staying connected. You can follow us on our social media or apply to be a Distributor. Another way is connecting us with a community you know that is in need of water. Our heart is with those we connect with and that means you!