Your customers are your greatest salesperson. No one can ever encourage new customers to do business with you than the word-of-mouth of your current customers. Aside from good customer service and product quality, one thing that can encourage customers to market your brand is when they can see that you are not just after sales. These days, consumers appreciate a business with a corporate social responsibility.
Corporate social responsibility is not new in the business industry. Big companies like Starbucks, Disney, Microsoft and Google have started CSR programs years ago. These companies never forget to give back to the community and that’s what most customers, especially Millennials love about them. CSR requires a commitment. Some companies even go an extra mile to reach out to the community.
CSR helps businesses to create better and stronger brand identity by showing their soft side. And here’s how small business startup can start a corporate social responsibility program of their own.
Go Somewhere and Help
Having a community outreach to less fortunate places may seem to be out of the market. If you are in a retail business, for sure, these less fortunate people are not within your target to grow sales. But when the public see your commitment and responsibility in helping and valuing others, they will be attracted to your business and what it stands for.
Planning a community outreach involves community research and tapping into local government unit and authorities. You may also consider partnering with your chosen communities and create a profitable sales program associated in bringing improvement to the community. Take, for example, Starbucks Community Program.
Creating a CSR program needs commitment. If you want help, go somewhere and find a place that really needs help. Community outreach will help your company build work ethics and teamwork within your employees and it can also help you create a positive perception that increases customer satisfaction.
Aside from local philanthropy, CSR programs heading towards environmental concerns are also encouraged for small business owners. From as simple as following the 3Rs of “reduce, reuse and recycle” you can be an eco-warrior. Try some of these going green tips such as reusing scraps, recycling unused packaging and reducing energy use.
If you decide to expand your green programs, joining climate change symposiums and talks and setting up environmental awareness projects are some initiatives you can integrate into your business. A partnership with environmental NGOs can also enhance your initiatives.
Environmental practices do not only give you a positive brand identity but it also provides a positive impact on your operations. Just within your office “green” practices such as recycling or reusing materials and reducing electricity use can reduce overhead cost. Overall, environmental corporate social responsibility has long-term impacts on company success and sustainability.
Educate and Empower
No matter what your focus is, whether it is environmental or philanthropic, it is vital that you educate and empower others. In order to earn the trust of the public and the communities, you should start by doing good business. And good business starts by giving back to these communities.
Focus your efforts on sharing practical ideas and experiences so you can educate people. When you educate, you also empower them to explore greater heights and aspire to greater things. CSR efforts that educate and empower can ensure positive impact on your business in the years to come.
Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz once said, “Companies should not have a singular view of profitability. There needs to be a balance between commerce and social responsibility… The companies that are authentic about it will wind up as the companies that make more money.”
Aside from sales, businesses need to be socially responsible and give back to the community to show value. Now more than ever, customers look for values before engaging to a business. They tend to reward businesses with great CSR programs by being more loyal to them. It is not all about marketing, sales and revenues anymore. These days, corporate social responsibilities also play a crucial role in your business growth. So show the public that you care and they will come to you.