Mixing religious and business isn’t uncommon as you may think in the US. There are many who believe that it’s essential to mix religion and business because they want to express their faith. You may have thought that a limited liability company is a smart move and you want to bring your personal faith into the product.
But can it come to affect your profits?
The Position of Religion
Sometimes you may decide that you want your products and services to include your religion. Sometimes this can be a blessing because the religious are your target audience. You know your target audience better than anyone, therefore you are best placed to meet their needs and expectations.
On the other hand, there are situations where some people feel threatened due to religion, such as the cake maker who was sued because they refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
You have to think about how you want to incorporate your faith into your company.
Reduce Your Target Audience
It’s true that religion can narrow your target audience. There are many people with an extreme reaction against religion. And they will purposely go out of their way to avoid companies that include it in their business. Depending on where you are operating, using religion can turn people away.
This tends to be more of a problem in the north-east and in places like California, though. Religious companies in the Deep South can use their religion to actually boost their profits because that’s where their target audience is.
What about the Talent Pool?
You may want to bring religion into your business because that’s what you believe in. But modern businesses are actually moving to become more secular and more inclusive of all religions. You may think that you would never exclude anyone from working for your business because they don’t believe the same things do you.
By definition, many people feel excluded if an organization is heavily Christian and they are not involved in that world. It can feel intimidating to be the only person in the room not displaying their faith.
It’s a subtle difference that you may think doesn’t matter, but there’s a reason why practically every major company has decided to make a secular office. They want everyone to feel included, while at the same time having the chance to practice their personal beliefs in private.
Religious companies can become the victim of failing to land the top talent.
Can Religion Create Conflict?
Unfortunately, religion has a polarizing effect on people. They could be part of the same religion and yet they still have great disagreements on certain issues. Like it or not, religion can lead to acrimony. In the case of many companies, it’s simply easier to restrict all talk of politics and religion.
Conflict can hit your productivity hard. If your team is not fully connected to each other, you are going to run into a situation where they won’t work with each other, and if they do they’re not performing at the highest levels.
What about Discrimination?
The US has stringent anti-discrimination laws. Hiring someone based on religion, or making religion the dominant factor in a private business, is a roadblock to talent acquisition and can open you up to being sued. There have been many instances of this actually working and small businesses having to pay out thousands.
It could well bring your business down. There’s already a precedent set for religious discrimination, and for those who want to display their faith it isn’t good news.
So What’s the Verdict?
Religion does have the power to help and heal. If everyone thinks the same way, it can be a strong influence that can take your company to the next level. But making sure that everyone is on the same page is difficult, and it isn’t really practical.
If you want to get the most out of your company, a secular office is the way to go. It’s no coincidence that all the major brands think the same way. It may be difficult to accept this, but if you want to put profit as your main driving force, it’s time to leave the religion at home and concentrate on getting things done.