When you are in business the one thing on your mind is sales, in order to have sales you need clients.
The last thing on your mind is giving back, whether it’s to your local charity or community. That’s OK, there is a lot to deal with when building your business.
But as time goes on you do realise the many benefits of giving back.
Why Give Back?
This is a great question. As an individual who does not own a small business, might give back to their local charity because they support a cause that is close to their heart. This might be a cancer related charity and the reason is someone has a personal connection to that charity.
Many large corporations are now socially responsible as they like to call it and call upon their employees to give back in many ways, one example might be a bake day where people bake pies, cakes etc and sell them so that the proceeds can be donated to a charity of their choice.
As a new business owner, who is taking the time to build your brand, credibility, and of course clients there are many ways to give back, but the why is simple, you are a part of a community, where you live, where you work. Here are some business related reasons why you would give back:
- You are a community minded person, care about your local community, and know it’s the right thing for you to do.
- Obviously in some cases there are tax benefits when giving back.
- Giving back does mean you gain more exposure for your business, and become well known in your local community.
How to Give Back?
The first thought that pops into our heads when asked if we ‘give back’ is that giving back is centred around donating money to a cause, an event, a charity etc. It does not have to mean you write a cheque to give back or hand over cash as such. You can give your time, which obviously means time is money, but people who give their time don’t really think about that.
You could donate products or services, which obviously does your business no harm, it in fact creates visibility for your brand.
I often donate my time to speak at local events free of charge of donate one of my published books, I give where I live.
I also mentor small business owners, in some cases for free, because I will never forget how I got started in business and the people who helped me.
Here is a short video where I share an example of someone who always gives back.
Richard Branson – Virgin
I have my hero’s as we all do, and one of mine is Richard Branson, Virgin, I am sure all of you know who he is. He inspired me, and when I listened to one of his videos the thing that stuck with me was “Never forget where you came from, and who helped you, and always give back to others”.
Richard is quite right, we have all needed help at some time in our lives. In my case where my health is concerned I have been admitted to hospital many times, and the wonderful health professionals have given their time and care to me, and that’s why I am here today. I have many people in my life who have helped me, and without those people I would not have been in the position to grow my two businesses.
Whether you arrange charity events, which I have done in the past, and one of my good friends, Craig Herner, who is a business owner himself donates an awful lot of his time to the charity Hockey Helps The Homeless. Craig is Vice-Chair & Head of Marketing for the volunteer HHTH K-W committee. Craig’s quote when asked why he volunteers his time “I do it because I think everyone in the position to give back to your community should.”
He invites local people, business owners and suchlike to get involved and he works tirelessly to ensure the local event runs smoothly. Obviously Craig believes in the cause, but it has definitely created a platform for his business brand to be showcased even more.
Above all do it for the right reasons. You might be at a local coffee shop and see someone struggling to find the change to pay for their coffee, and decide to Pay it Forward and pay for that persons coffee. It’s all for a good cause and if you can make someones day a bit brighter it’s all worthwhile.