It’s better to give than to receive. For small business owners, that’s more than just a holiday expression. It’s good business advice. More than 80 percent of consumers look at how socially responsible a business is before deciding to shop there. So it pays to include community service as part of your holiday marketing plan. Here are some low-cost ways your small business can give back to your community during the holidays.
There are a number of benefits for businesses that give back. It not only gives a human face to your brand, but it helps build customer loyalty. And it makes you feel good. So consider these five ideas to providing service during the holidays:
- Give the Gift of Giving – Rather than giving coupons, try giving charity gift cards instead. TisBest.org is one organization that offers gift cards. They can be redeemed at one of over 300+ charities. The cards can be branded and they’re available in amounts as little as $5. Consider giving them away with purchases over a given amount, during a holiday sale or to your A-list customers.
- Perform Related Community Service – Take on a service project with your employees. Select something you’re passionate about and complements your business. For example, a restaurant might volunteer to stock shelves at a local food bank. Have employees wear company t-shirts during the activity. Then post them to your social media page. It not only demonstrates your community involvement but it can be a morale booster for your staff.
- Round Up – Ask your customers to round up their purchases to the next dollar. Then donate that amount to a local charity. Consider matching the donation for purchases over a certain amount. Make that part of your promotional message during the holidays. Another idea is to give time off to the employee who is able to collect the most donations.
- Orchestrate Some Atmosphere – Invite a school chorus or instrumental ensemble to perform holiday music at your business. Allow them to solicit donations. Offer to match the donations received up to an amount you set. Give discounts to the performers’ parents who attend the event. Remember to post photos of the event on your social media page.
- Take the Holiday Party on the Road – Don’t host the staff holiday party at your business. Consider having it at a charitable organization instead. For example, hold the party at a senior center and invite the residents to join in the fun. Decorate holiday cookies, play nostalgic songs, or share stories of holidays past. Check with the center’s activity director for ideas on what might be appropriate.
The holidays can be an ideal a time for small businesses to give back. You’ll get back even more from customers who seek businesses that make their community a better place to live.