Corporate social responsibility lets you combine doing social good with your business model. According to a study by Nielson, 55 per cent of online consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products and services from companies dedicated to having a positive impact on the world. But while owning a business is about more than just profit, it can be hard to stay remain profitable while dedicating time and resources to corporate social responsibly initiatives like investing in green solutions, volunteering or making charitable donations.
Here are four ways you can make a difference in the world while growing your small business.
1. Focus Your Vision
Every business needs a vision so they can prioritize how to use resources and help guide their decisions. Corporate social responsibility is no different. Pick a cause that’s important to you, choose an end goal and then work backwards to strategize how to use your resources to achieve it.
Concentrating your efforts on one cause uses your resources efficiently, increasing the likelihood of accomplishing your goal. Your team can also see how working together leads to positive results, which encourages collaboration and engagement.
2. Be Bold
Make sure your vision is bold. If you spread your resources too thin, you may achieve many small accomplishments, but achieving one extraordinary accomplishment is much more impressive.
Making a big impact on your cause is an excellent marketing opportunity because it gets customers’ attention. Put your name out there by focusing on a single socially conscious statement.
3. Show People You Care
Giving people insight into what’s important to you shows people that you care about more than just profit. By doing social good, you will engage your team and appeal to your customers.
Concentrating on your bottom line is important for expanding your business, but so is creating a positive workplace for your team. Being dedicated to a cause engages employees, motivating them to work harder. In fact, according to Hay Group, offices are up to 43 per cent more productive if they have engaged employees.
An engaged atmosphere is even proven to improve your bottom line. The Hay Group study also revealed that companies with engaged employees have 2.5 times the revenue versus competitors with low engagement levels.
Social responsibility is a major lure for customers. Being committed to making a positive impact differentiates a business’ brand and increases its marketability. Having a cause increases sales and customer loyalty because it aligning your business with customers’ ethics. If they believe you are sincere, they will purchase your product or service.
Many popular businesses have based their brand on this approach, such as The Body Shop and Nature’s Path Foods, Inc.
4. Work Together to Make a Change
Starting out can be intimidating for small business owners, especially when they don’t have any experience in corporate social responsibility. But there are programs that support businesses working together towards a shared cause. For example, Vancouver Economic Development Commission’s The Leverage Lab is a BC program that works businesses to promote sustainability, innovation and collective impact education.
Are you taking advantage of Small Business BC’s wide selection of seminars for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners? Space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to register today.
And get more information about how making a difference helps your business with:
- What is Social Innovation and What Are the Business Opportunities?
- Successful Green Marketing
- Go Green and Save Big in Your Office
- 6 Ways Energy Efficiency Can Improve Your Bottom Line
- Getting Your Business in the Right Light