In an ever more ‘woke’ society, that values ethics over profitability, it is important that companies start to recognize the value in Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s tempting to treat the idea with a little disdain, to pass it off as a marketing or PR gimmick, and that the real work is creating a profitable business model. However, customers are starting to engage more thoroughly with the ethics of a business than they were perhaps ten years ago.
As consumers, the brands we consume are part of our lifestyle. With a large globalized market at our disposal, we can, for the most part, afford to be picky about who we choose to buy from. As part of our lifestyle, we need to know that the brands we buy fit in with our personal morals or ethics.
Though it can seem expensive and time-consuming, companies should start to recognize the role social responsibility has to play in commerce in the modern world.
Here are 3 areas of CSR that you should consider when running a small business.
The first encounter many businesses have with CSR, in some countries at least, is through their environmental policies. Climate and global environmental concerns are an increasingly large concern for both governments and large companies. For corporations, it has meant an unending headache, and it’s no wonder that efforts are underway to subvert climate science.
“For a small business, it might be tempting to believe that we cannot possibly make the same difference a larger company might,” writes Patricia H Deleon, author at My writing way and Writing populist. “But in fact, local infrastructure across the globe is getting ever better at supporting small companies conduct their business in a sustainable way.“
It requires only a simple understanding of your local recycling practices and willingness to reduce your waste. In turn, this will help to reduce cost. Whilst having a sustainability policy is common practice these days, it doesn’t mean you can’t shout about it. Ensure that if you do, you get certifications from local governing bodies. This will build trust in your client base.
Charity is always a safe bet in generating great PR for your company. In any given area or industry, there are corresponding charities that are actively looking for your support. Aside from the obvious social benefits of supporting charities, you should take advantage of the opportunities for cross-promotion.
Of course, it’s important to try and not be too cynical about it, but if you choose a charity you genuinely care about, you will come off well to both the charity you are supporting and the general public. One way of showcasing this is to hold fundraising events. These can be grand, glamorous events or, if you are not in a position to make such a gesture, simply sponsored runs or themed office days.
However you choose to support your charity, you should ensure that you shout about it. This may seem disingenuous, but remember that the charity needs exposure just as much as you do, and a company that doesn’t actively promote a charity is likely to lose its affiliation.
“One of the big benefits of running a small business is the fact that your customers are predisposed to accept you as part of the community,” says Robert P Carroll, regular contributor to Ukwritings and Essayroo. “In these days of monolithic corporations buying retail property across the globe, small business are banding together and finding ways to engage with their local communities.”
The phrase ‘Buy Local’ has become a key term for small businesses, but you can also offer discounts to those community members who buy your products or services. This cements the idea that you are committed to investing in your area, and, in turn, you may find your community investing in you.
Nora Mork is a business journalist and writer at Academized and Grade on fire. She helps brands get latest news on business trends, create successful business marketing strateiges, and contributes posts to Rated writing blog.