Nowadays, being a responsible business owner doesn’t just mean that you do right by your employees and your customers. It also means you have to do right within your community. Multiple surveys have shown that consumers are more likely to support brands that have a proven social responsibility program in place.
But while you might think that this is only good for big corporations, local businesses such as yours could actually benefit your community more. You are in the best position to address the issues that your community is facing since you are right in the heart of it.
Start with the Little Things
Sometimes, something as small as allowing your local Little League team to put up flyers in your shop can already make a big impact. The fact that you’re giving them the free space to advertise their games gives more people a chance to see what’s going on in their community. Giving other local events a chance to advertise at your shop or office could turn you into the hub for community events.
Donate a Portion of Your Earnings to a Local Charity
The next thing you can do is introduce a scheme where a portion of your earnings will be donated to a local charity of your choice. Keep in mind that the charitable institution should be one that aligns with your business goals. You can always choose a charity out of a hat but it would mean more to you and your customers if it’s one whose mission aligns with yours.
For example, do you own a sustainable goods store? While there’s nothing wrong if you decided to donate part of your earnings to a breast cancer research foundation, it would resonate with the public more if you chose to go with one whose mission is to save the environment.
Don’t Just Give. Show Up.
Some social responsibility programs tend to fall by the wayside because business owners do not follow through. Some think that throwing money to a good cause is already enough to make them look good in the local community. And they’d be right. It would indeed make them look good, but it won’t sustain people’s interests. Soon, their customers will realize that the giving back is all for show.
To show your sincerity, make an effort to support or volunteer at events organized by the local community. Someone’s holding a block party? Offer to provide free pastries from your bakery. The town’s holding a Fourth of July parade? Offer your auto mechanic services to ensure that all the cars and floats are in good working condition.
Provide Internship or Apprenticeship Positions
This is quite possibly the most charitable thing you can do for your community. Offering to train young people in your field could help improve their chances for a better life in the future. This would be particularly helpful in marginalized communities where not a lot of opportunities come up for the youth.
If you own a local digital marketing agency, training young people in PPC marketing would give them the proper tools they need to future proof their careers. Pay-per-click ads management and SEO training would give them the opportunity to work either with you or big corporations when they’re ready to join the workforce.
You can also partner with your local high school or vocational school to find interns or apprentices or you could create your own foundation and accept applications from people in your community.