Every year, thousands of small businesses find ways to get involved with their local community.
Why? Because it’s good for business. By taking an active role in the community around you, there is the possibility of improved brand recognition, a stronger reputation, and, of course, increased profits, as customers choose your business over those that do little to help the cause of those around them.
So, what could you do? Here are some ideas if you are lacking in inspiration.
#1: Support those who are disadvantaged
Local charities and individuals such as Cynthia Telles devote their time and resources into helping those people who are disadvantaged in the community. We are thinking of those people who are below the poverty line, the homeless, and any other group of that are marginalised in society. Thinking about the community you work in, could you do something to make a difference to those in greater need than your own? Could you donate money to any good causes that are already working with the disadvantaged? Could you raise funds for local charities? Or could you actively do something to help on a face-to-face level, such as volunteering your team’s time to help at a homeless shelter, or by using a share of your profits to provide food for families living on the poverty line? By getting involved with those in need, you are not only raising your profile, but you are also doing something that could make a real difference to the life of another. And that should be your greatest incentive of all.
#2: Go green within your business
Within your business, you need to consider your environmental impact. You are doing your local community no favours if you pollute the atmosphere with car or chimney fumes. You will get the backs up of potential customers if you rely on business flyers for advertising, especially if the paper comes from unsustainable sources. And if you are adding a lot of waste to local landfills, perhaps because of your mailouts, you are also adding to the earth’s greenhouse gases. Protect your local community then, by taking steps to go green. By finding ways to reduce emissions, recycle your waste, and reduce paper waste, you will both enhance your reputation and make a difference to the health of those living around you.
#3: Share your resources
Do you have unused space within your premises? If so, rent it out or give it freely to local community groups in need of meeting and fundraising areas. Do you have equipment that you rarely use? If so, loan it out to other small businesses, or donate such things as computer equipment to your local school. Could you use your website to promote non-competing businesses, or to raise awareness about community events and local causes? If so, offer advertising space, or use your blog to highlight anything that will aid your community. You are in a prime position to support others with the resources you own, so think: what could you give or loan in service to others?
What could your business do to make a difference to your local community? By figuring out the answer, not only will you raise your profile, but as we suggested earlier, you will also make a positive impact on the lives of those around you. On both a financial and a personal level then, consider what you could do, and put your ideas into action today.