Why Doing Good is Good for Business
As entrepreneurs we get inspiration and support for our businesses from the communities where we live and work. Since your local community provides space to create and opportunities to thrive, give something back in return. Using your brand for good will not only give you the warm fuzzies, but will benefit your business by adding to your bottom line.
Here are 10 ways entrepreneurs can change the world…one community at a time:
- Create jobs: As entrepreneurs we are uniquely positioned to stimulate our local economy, so offer jobs to neighborhood residents. Hiring locally allows you to keep more money in your community and improve the quality of life for families in your area. It also gives you a chance to keep your ears to the streets– to better understand the needs of your audience, and to identify new ways to promote your business.
- Offer apprenticeship/job training programs: If you don’t have the resources to hire workers, you can host job training programs to give local residents the skills and experience they need to land jobs elsewhere. Hosting these type of apprenticeship/ job training programs will earn you goodwill in the community, and may help you identify new talent to bring onboard later on.
- Host workshops: Take time to host workshops to share your expertise with people in your neighborhood. Think about the types of information you can share to help them achieve their professional goals. Examples include how to start a business, how to build a personal brand, how to dress for success, etc… Hosting workshops gives you and your employees a chance to strengthen your presentation skills, while solidifying yourselves as experts in your field.
- Sponsor neighborhood activities: Sponsor a job fair, a health clinic, a pet adoption program, a food drive, or some other beneficial event for the community. You can even launch your own events, and recruit other neighborhood businesses to join in. Community events enable you to reach a huge audience at once. Also, local newspapers and TV stations often cover events attached to a good cause. So, your sponsorship may get your brand some great media attention.
- Support activities for kids: Invest in your community by supporting positive activities for children. You can sponsor local little league teams by offering to buy new uniforms, equipment, booster ads, trophies, or whatever else is needed to keep the youth programs running strong. Helping out kids is a reward in itself. But, where there are kids, there are parents who will show their appreciation for your good deeds by supporting your business and telling others about you.
- Donate money to local charities: The easiest way to help your community is through donations to local charities. Investigate different causes that align with your business mission. Identify local organizations that use a large percentage of their donations for actual charity work. And, give what you can. By promoting your cause and showing that you are socially conscious, people will want to support you, and will be pleased to know that you give a portion of your proceeds to a worthy cause.
- Adopt a highway: This is a great way to get advertising space for your business while doing your part to keep your neighborhood roadways clean. In addition to having your name/logo on a highway sign, the opportunity to clean up the community is a great team-building exercise for your staff and partners.
- Create scholarships for students: Encourage teens to go to college by providing scholarships to offset some of their expenses. Any amount you offer could help get a local teen the college education he or she needs. Having your name attached to a scholarship is a great way to build awareness for your brand. As schools, organizations and parents forward information about your scholarship they are showcasing your company’s goodwill, and helping to build affinity around for brand.
- Go Green: Entrepreneurs can do their part to help the environment by preventing unnecessary waste. Recycle any materials that can be used again, and encourage your partners and employees to reduce their carbon footprint as well. Not only is “going green” the smart thing to do, but it will save you money and make you more attractive to environmentally conscious customers.
- Buy local goods for your business: When buying products for your business, shop locally. Instead of purchasing from manufacturers overseas, support your neighbors and use as many homegrown resources as you can. As you get to know your local vendors you may be able to negotiate better prices and explore bartering opportunities where you can swap your services for theirs.
As entrepreneur we have to remain socially conscious and responsible for the neighborhoods we live and work in. Our businesses benefit when we are good to those around us. So, let’s do our part to change the world… one community at a time.
Any other ideas on how entrepreneurs can change the world? Tell us about the great work you do in your community…