Every community has unexpected tragedies and people who need a helping hand. We often expect that large corporations will run to the rescue but small businesses can make major impacts on our communities. Local communities benefit greatly from small businesses as employers and partners in the success of the neighborhoods in which they’ve built their foundation. It is important that small businesses have a presence in the community by showing their social responsibility.
What is Social Responsibility? It is when a company not only focuses on the bottom line but also recognizes their responsibility to society and how they can impact it.
As you are growing your business, develop a plan to address ongoing needs in your community. If you are interested in getting your employees involved with your company’s social responsibility efforts, survey your employees on how and where they would like to support the community. Decide as a team. This will build employee engagement, enhance teamwork and build a strong company culture.
Keep it local and personalize your efforts.
There are needs in everyone’s community. Start where you see a need that you can help with. It doesn’t have to be a massive effort but it can change the lives of those in your local area. Personalize your efforts with your business expertise. For example, if you are a dry cleaner, offer to clean clothes for a homeless shelter or launder clothes collected as part of a clothing drive.
What does social responsibility look like for small businesses?
Here are some ideas:
- Create a fundraiser for a deserving person in your community or when local tragedies arise be there for the people in your community.
- Partner with a local charitable organization to reach more people. Remember those organizations have the people and processes in place, which will make your execution even smoother.
- Sponsor a local team or club and it doesn’t have to be just a sports team.
- Remember your employees are an important resource. Your employees are a part of the community and want to support their community, as well. Offer them a half day or full day off to volunteer or go as a group.
- If you don’t have time to leave your business to participate in the community, bring the community to your business… allow local youth or college students who may be interested in your industry to shadow you for a day.
- Do you have promotional items you never used? Donate surplus or unused items and give them new life.
- Donate a portion of your proceeds for a day or a particular product to good cause.
- Implement a recycling program or upcycle items.
Make social responsibility a part of how you do business. It makes for good business. Customers will remember the impact you made on the community when they make their purchase decisions. Social responsibility is good for everyone – your business, your employees, your customers and your community.
Tell us how your business demonstrates its social responsibility.