Social Responsibility Programs Benefit Small Businesses Too
A few blog posts ago we learned that small businesses can benefit from having a ‘corporate garden.’ Even if they didn’t have a football-sized campus to do so on. Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t effect change through a structured corporate social responsibility program.
Why Should A Small Business Invest in Such a Program
A growing number of customers and employees are requiring it from those they do business with and work for. Small businesses that answer that call are seeing a return on that investment according to FrontStream. Small businesses typically run lean and the thought of adding another program can be stressful. But small business owners can be reassured that consumers take notice of companies that are socially responsible, and reward those businesses with their dollars, accolades, and loyalty.
The Benefits Are Good For Your Business
When your business is doing good stuff in the community, that’s not the time to be modest. You let your employees, customers and potential customers know! These benefits only work if you’re sharing the good you’re doing.
Here are just a few of the ways FrontStream says your small business can benefit from a social responsibility program:
- Improved name recognition – Individuals will start to attach your brand or name with a cause. If they also support that cause, they’ll be more likely to buy your product, even if it costs a bit more.
- Boost brand reputation among consumers – Social media is huge right now, and as consumers talk about the brands they prefer, those that value socially responsible businesses with socially responsible services will discuss your brand and recommend it to others.
- Increased sales and positive consumer sentiment – A satisfied customer is one who is likely to return again to your storefront for purchases.
- Assist in efforts to recruit and retain talented employees for your company – Because we all know good help can be hard to find right? Are you discussing your social responsibility campaigns in your advertisements for new hires? If not, you may be missing an exceptional opportunity to recruit people who believe strongly in giving back to the environment or certain charitable organizations.
- Improved quality of life in communities where you do business – The stronger you can help your community become, the more revenue your business will see. It’s the reason that so many local stores add a budget line for sponsorships and charitable donations. They know that when their neighbors are doing better and feeling better, they’ll be more open to making purchases.
Social Responsibility and Higher-Priced Goods
If you’re a product-based business, having higher-priced items that support a worthy cause is not the death of a business. A 2014 Nielsen survey stated that more than half of online consumers said they would pay more for products and services from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible.
Being Good Citizens Locally
After Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast, small businesses that survived pitched in to help those who weren’t as fortunate. There are countless stories of small companies helping out employees and fellow business owners who were stuck in their homes or needed help gutting homes. Small businesses raised funds and collected food and clothing, gave out gift cards. These businesses truly rose to the occasion. This is being a good neighbor. No structured program needed. It simply boiled down to neighbors-helping-neighbors. In the words of volunteer Jerry Barrington, “it just feels good to do good.”
Setting up a Structured Socially Responsible Program
As a small business owner, you can create a structured program for your company that benefits both local and global communities. Again you can take advantage of a ‘corporate garden’ and help care for the hungry in your community. You can certainly choose a cause based on your business values and find causes to support based on those values. You can choose to do something as a group on a monthly or quarterly basis. Or you can implement volunteer days and let employees choose how and where they serve. There are a number of ways to implement your program. Just be true to your values, look for ways to serve and don’t be afraid to innovate or try something new. We’re small business owners; innovation is something we do well.