One of the best things about running a small business is the platform and ability it gives you to make a difference. Being socially responsible is not only good for your local community and the people who benefit from your actions, but also for your business because good deeds are always going to make for good PR.
Of course, when you run a small business, you don’t always have a huge budget to throw at various good causes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give back in a meaningful way. Below you will find some very effective ways to give back whatever your budget.
1. Hire local people
Follow the example of Richard Spanton Jr and do your best to hire local people or rejuvenate local buildings when you start your small business. Giving local people the opportunity to earn a living might not seem like a heroic act of charity, but it will pump more money back into the local economy and transform the lives of many more people than the ones you employ for the better, and it won’t cost you a cent more than you were already planning on spending anyway, so what’s not to love?
2. Encourage your employees to volunteer
Encouraging your employees to volunteer, and making it easy for them to do so by letting them have time off if it’s for a charitable purpose, or by awarding them bonuses for getting involved in community projects, for example, is a great way for your business to give back, and any money you need to spend to make this happen will be money well spent because your company is sure to get some good press coverage out of it.
3. Use local suppliers
As well as hiring local people, you could try your best to source all of the supplies your business needs from other small businesses in the local area. Depending on where you’re based, you may not be able to do this every time, but at least make an effort to research and see if it’s possible before you go elsewhere.
4. Donate money
Okay, so you might not be making big bucks as a small fledgling business but even if you can only donate a few hundred bucks to the local school or whatever, that money will be greatly received and you will feel good knowing that your business is giving back in any way it can.
5. Pass on skills and expertise
If you really can’t afford to donate any money, why not look at donating your skills and experience instead? As a small business owner, you probably have a wide range of skills that you could pass on to other people in the community who want to improve their career situations, start new businesses or improve their college applications, and all it will take is a few hours of your time. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do!
Giving back is greatest for business and the community, so whatever you do, do something.