Business is never just about money. As an entrepreneur, your enterprise has the potential to improve the local quality of life by offering vital services or convenient, useful products to customers throughout your community. This positive impact is likely every bit as important to you as your bottom line, so why not take it a step further through community service? By making efforts to give back to the community, you reinforce your legacy while bringing positive publicity to your company.
One of the most effective ways to boost publicity while making a positive contribution is to donate your company’s products or services to the cause. Say your business makes or sells clothing. You can donate some of these clothes to local homeless shelters, youth centers, or other organizations that offer clothes to people who cannot afford them. Likewise, if you operate delivery vehicles, you can lend them to your local food bank for collecting donations or allow the local library to use one as a bookmobile. Not only will the people you serve and your fellow volunteers see that you are making a positive contribution, but they will also be able to experience the quality of your product or service firsthand.
As an alternative to organizing a single company contribution, give each of your employees the opportunity to contribute to a cause of their choice. You can offer them a monthly bonus if they agree to donate it, or let them take off work if they use the time to volunteer. This expands the scope of your company’s contributions and lets you take advantage of the knowledge and community connections that each employee has.
Charity should never feel like a chore, so why not organize a fun event that contributes to a good cause? One way would be to hold a fundraising event where your employees, their families, and others from your community play competitive sports or games. The winner will receive a lump sum from your company that they can donate to the cause of their choice. Another option would be to hold a barbecue or other event at an outdoor location that is struggling with litter. Participants must pick up a certain amount of litter before they can take part in the festivities.
The next time your town has a parade, put together a float that your company can drive during the event. Ideally, this float should display your name, your logo, and other images that make it clear what your company does. From the float, you can distribute free samples of your product or coupons for your service to the crowds. Try to stick to parades that raise money for or make some other contribution to a charitable cause, as this will most directly associate you with community service.
No matter what kind of legacy you want your company to have, raising brand awareness by contributing to good causes helps your small business and your community!
Check out the video of Epic Exchange, and why they believe in giving back to their community and to learn more about how you too can discover ways to give back as a small business owner.