This is a contributed post from Ellie Jo on Small Businesses giving back.
Running your own business can be tough. It can often feel like it’s all work, work, work, and no play. One thing that can really help is using your business for good. Giving back to your local community is something that is a privilege when you are a business owner who is finally seeing success. Giving back also helps you focus on the positives of running a thriving business. It is also an excellent way to improve your brand image too.
If you have reached a point where your small business is doing well and you want to give back and earn a little PR boost, here are some of the best ways to do that. There may also be tax advantages depending on your approach.
Donate Vital Equipment
One of the best ways you can help people is to donate vital equipment to local healthcare facilities. The pandemic has put a strain on budgets across the board in the healthcare industry. That has meant that many hospitals and healthcare facilities have started to run short of vital equipment like masks and even scrubs.
Take Good Care Of Your Employees
As well as giving your employees time off to volunteer, you should look at what else you can do to ensure your employees are as happy, safe and comfortable a work as possible because the happier they are, the happier their families and the local community will be overall, and the more they will sing your praises, which will be good PR.
So, whether you buy the highest quality Uniform Advantage medical uniforms for your healthcare business to keep employees safe and comfortable, arrange for your employees to have more mental health days so they can avoid stress and burnout, or give them more time off to spend with their family, anything you can do to give back to your employees will benefits, not just them, but the people they are closest to, and the effectiveness of your business too.
Donate To A Budding Entrepreneur In Your Community
As a business owner, you know just how hard it is to get a company off the ground. No matter how good your idea is or how much of a need there is for your product or service. So, a really good way to give back, that is sure to bring a smile to your face and theirs is to find a budding new entrepreneur in your area. You can then donate a small grant and/or your time and expertise, to help them get their own company off the ground.
Give Away Free Products And Services
Giving away your products and services might seem like a bad idea if you want to stay in business, but I don’t mean you should give your stuff away to anyone and everyone! Reach out to local charities who you think could use whatever it is you sell and donate your products and services to them.
This will really help them to manage their budget more effectively, and it will also be a really good way of getting your company’s name out there in the press which is never a bad thing. Best of all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the business you started has not only helped you to make a living but that it has also helped people in need to live a better life, even if just in a small way, too.
Run A Marathon
Yes, really. Get together a group of your employees and start training for a local marathon together. Let all of your customers and other local businesses know, and chart our journey on social media.
You should be able to get a decent number of people to sponsor your effort. You can donate whatever you raise to a local charity, whether it be an animal shelter or a local soup kitchen.
The great thing about giving back in this way is, not only do you get to raise much-needed funds for a good cause, but you also get to do some valuable team bonding with your employees. You will really get to know and value each other as you support each other through the trials and tribulations of running a marathon, and that can only make your workplace a happier, healthier, more supportive one overall.
Just make sure you give yourself enough time to actually train for the massive feat. If you are new to running read Beginner Runner Guide: Best Tips For New Runners.
Collect For A Local Food Pantry
A very simple way to give back to your local community via your business is to start collecting canned goods for a local food pantry that helps people who are struggling to afford their own groceries.
Set up a collection station in a prominent area of the office, and if you have a storefront. Place one in a prominent location there too. Encourage your employees and customers (if appropriate) to donate what they can as often as they can. You could even make a competition of it and award a prize to the person who collects the most cans for donation every month.
Give Your Employees Time Off To Volunteer
A really good way of giving back is giving your employees extra time off from work providing that they use that time to volunteer for a cause that is close to their hearts.
Your employees will love having more time off. Plus they will love being able to do something for a cause they really care about even more. Your business earns positive PR by publicizing their achievements too.
Just make sure that you also get involved in volunteering because there is nothing like giving back to show you how grateful you really are. Taking some time to get out of business mode will really help to refresh you ready for the next challenge when you do get back to the office.
Sponsor A Sports Team
Sponsoring a local sports team is not very expensive. You can do it for the cost of their sports kit. It is a good way to boost your reputation in the community because everyone knows the local sports teams. Many people will attend the games and see your logo several times each month. So you might want to call around local little leagues or community teams to see if there are any local groups who are looking for a sponsorship deal at this moment in time.
Hire An Intern
Hiring an intern will help you to get more work done around the office and give a local kid an opportunity to build their skills and knowledge and have something useful to put on their resume. Pay them as generously as you can and ensure that all of your employees treat them well and help them to thrive and it will be a really good thing for them and you all.
Donate Your Expertise
If your small business still doesn’t have a lot of money, you can still give back to the local community, and doing so is an affordable way of boosting your brand image as well as a nice thing to do.
One of the best ways to do so is undoubtedly by donating your expertise.
As an entrepreneur, you will undoubtedly have a lot of valuable skills, from accounting to networking, that other organizations like charities or even young kids looking for their first career break, could benefit from. By donating your time and skills to them, you can make a real difference without spending a single cent.
Donate Your Space
If you really are run off your feet and you don’t have time to donate your skills and expertise, what about donating your office space instead? There are lots of groups including prayer circles, small charities, and addiction support groups that need affordable spaces to meet and work in.
If you own an office space, letting them use the place after ours when your employees have gone home is a very generous gesture that will really help a lot of people out, and it costs you nothing but kindness.
Support Local Businesses
A very easy way to give back to your local community is to support as many local businesses in the course of doing business as you can, So, get your business cards made up at the local print store, stock the canteen with foods from the local deli and get the kid down the street to make your website for you.
Doing this will keep more money in your community, help you to build good relations with the local people who are most likely to use your business, and you will get to see how your business is helping other people to thrive, even in a tiny way, each and every day, which will make life as a busy business owner feel a lot nicer as you will see.
Giving back is good for you as a business owner, great for your community and the people you help, and an excellent way of boosting your brand image and keeping your business name on the lips of as many people as possible. So, what are you waiting for? Time to start giving back today.