Small businesses are already of crucial importance to any community, but by adopting a corporate social responsibility stance on your business model, you can do so much more. Giving back is great for your business and can even help boost your community’s economy. In a perfect scenario, this would create a positive feedback loop for your business that will allow everyone to strengthen your home and make it better for future generations.
Small businesses thrive when they are community institutions, and by following this guide you can give back while enjoying a healthy profit margin.
Benefits of Giving Back to Your Community
There are so many benefits to giving back to your community:
- Boosted Reputation
- Greater Visibility
- Improve Your Community
If you want to be able to give back, you need to have the means. If you are struggling to make ends meet, then no one is going to expect you to manage a charity or to donate to a good cause.
That is why the first step is to help reduce costs right at home. You don’t have to do this by cutting down on staff, but instead by using simple tools and strategies to boost productivity of your business at every stage. If work can be done faster and if purchases can be made more efficiently – these will all result in reduced costs for your business and better customer service for your customers.
By Investing in the Right Tools
First things first: you need to get on top of your data. You can glean so much information by using programs and systems to automate your business. From automating simple tasks to compiling reports, here are the top tools to investigate today:
The best simple project management tools can help you generate charts, reports, share documents, budget better, improve communication amongst your employees, manage your resources, invoicing and so much more. If you outsource or if you have a difficult time keeping on top of different projects for your business, then a smart project management tool geared towards your industry or niche is going to be your saving grace.
Automation can do a lot to help your business become more efficient, because at the end of the day, settling employees with mundane data tasks is not helpful. The mind shuts down when dealing with randomized data, so leave the clustering to machines.
By inputting your business’ data into data management software (there are multiple kinds for all industries), you can generate reports and automate different tasks. For example, you can set up a task that will order more products for you if your inventory gets too low automatically.
By Investing in Health and Wellbeing
The reason why automation is beneficial is more than just the fact that humans don’t really need to get involved. It’s that automation covers mundane, boring tasks that the human brain doesn’t do well with. Instead, your employees can work on more creative challenges or provide better customer service.
Some Ideas on How to Give Back
Now that you have theoretically worked to improve your profit margins, it’s time to work out either where to donate some of that money or how to provide a service to your community. Here are three ways you can give back:
Choose a Cause You Believe In
Choose a cause that you can believe in and manage that charitable cause yourself. You could buy coats with a percentage of your profits and donate them to local shelters in your area every winter. You could host a food drive, and so on.
Find Charities to Partner With
Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or means to manage a charity on your own, you can find charities to partner with and sponsor them. Advertise your sponsorship and, if you operate a physical store in your town, advertise any events or fundraising opportunities the charity has set up.
Become a Community Hub
You don’t necessarily have to give to give back. If you operate a café, for example, you can allow people in your community to rent an area of your café for free one day a week to host a variety of events, from poetry readings to a class. It will bring more customers into your café or store and help boost your relationship with the community.
The main element of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is to leave the communities that you work with better than when you found them. You can do this in so many ways, but when choosing how to give back, remember to stay true to your brand and business. This way you can enjoy multiple benefits and see a return beyond goodwill.