Tips for Business Growth

Consumers are increasingly concerned with corporate social responsibility. They want to know that Starbucks is sourcing their coffee from local farmers, that automakers are cutting down on emissions, and that every company from coast to coast is doing something to make the world a little better. If you operate a big company, you might have already thought through your corporate social responsibility approach. Maybe you have a strong PR team to spin your business behavior or maybe you’re making a legitimate investment in the community around you. What if you’re a small business owner? Being responsible becomes a bit more difficult because of budgetary constraints. Here are four ways a small business owner cap tap into the positive power of socially conscious business.

1. Partnering with local non-profit organizations to donate a portion of sales

Across the country, restaurant owners have figured out they can boost their own sales and help the world by giving a percentage of their sales to a deserving charity. One restaurant teamed with Big Brothers Big Sisters to create a special burger that stayed on the menu for one month. Every time a customer purchased the burger, the restaurant gave the proceeds to the charity. This brought in plenty of new business and helped the restaurant craft a solid, socially conscious brand.

2. Taking good care of employees

Corporate social responsibility extends beyond environmental efforts or charity contributions. It also applies to how companies treat the people working for them. Some companies have made the front pages by paying more than minimum wage in an effort to demonstrate care for the local community. This might seem like an untenable cost on the front end, but it may bring in business from individuals who respect your commitment to the people who run your business.

3. Creative waste solutions

There are opportunities to make a different lurking even in your trash. In some American cities, good Samaritans are sourcing materials from the trash to make small houses for homeless people. One man used discarded plastic to create homes that could protect the homeless from the effects of bad weather. Look for a way to use your waste that makes sense. Beyond that, try to ensure that there is no waste. Restaurants can give away extra food and other companies with expiring products can make contributions to organizations that serve the community.

4. Engaging in honest business practices

One of the advantages you have as a small business owner is the ability to control how you do business. While large companies can spin out of control and lose transparency, you can set the tone for your own company. Engage in business in an honest way, ensuring that your model does not discriminate against consumers or otherwise mislead the public. In the age of corporate malfeasance and deception, simply being a good guy in a bad world can be enough to earn recognition.

Small business owners have already won the battle if they’re thinking about their role in the community. To be successful, you have to demonstrate that you’re in the community to do more than just take people’s money. You must also show that you’re doing what it takes to feed positivity into that community. People will reward you with business and their own loyalty.