Small- and medium-sized business owners dream of seeing their organization grow and thrive. To achieve success, they give customers value for their money, provide stellar customer service, and leverage technology to save on operating and marketing costs. But there’s often an overlooked component to growing a business: supporting a social cause.
What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
CSR is a business initiative that urges enterprises to engage with ethically oriented processes like philanthropy, charity, or activism. For instance, a coffee company can partner with the community where they source their coffee by training its residents on how to plant, harvest, and process coffee sustainably. They may also donate part of their sales to a charitable organization of their choice.
Here are three ways being socially responsible helps your business.
1. It positively promotes your brand
While having socially relevant advocacy does not directly impact your bottom line, it helps paint your business in a good light. Your business is not just about generating profit like the rest of your competitors — you’re an organization with a heart. This positive image increases public trust, and sometimes, even public interest. With an effective marketing strategy and the help of social media, your CSR campaigns can go viral and reach wider audiences.
Ultimately, supporting a good cause makes your customers feel good about themselves. After all, when they purchase your goods or services, they are supporting a business whose advocacy changes the world for the better.
2. It opens doors to opportunities
Small-business or startup owners can get trapped in the monotonous day-to-day operations of the company. This does not only drain strength, but also inspiration. CSR-related events like planting trees or hosting art therapy sessions for people with trauma can ground business owners and remind them about what’s truly important. It can be a welcome change of scenery that can invigorate their lives.
Moreover, CSR advocacies attract like-minded investors. If you ever need outside funding to grow your business, having a strong stance on social responsibility can win you potential stakeholders. Investors typically don’t want to put their money into businesses that have a bad reputation, especially those that contribute to pollution or have unfair labor practices. By leveraging your social advocacy, you may get a deal that not only benefits your company, but also the cause you support.
Opportunities can also come from customer feedback on your CSR efforts. Monitor the reaction and information clients give when they engage with your CSR campaigns, as these can give you invaluable insights for your next project. By analyzing consumer behavior, you can launch a product or an event that specifically caters to your client base.
3. It attracts and retains talent
Attracting and retaining top talent is crucial if you want a high-performing workforce. Job seekers nowadays don’t look for competitive salaries and healthcare packages only; they want to work for a company whose praxis mirrors their own set of morals.
This synergy of values between company and employee also plays an important role in retaining talent. According to the 2019 Work Satisfaction Report by top human resources agency Aerotek, employees are most satisfied when the business practices of the organizations they work for are in line with their personal values. And when employees are satisfied with how their company does business, they become more engaged and more productive in their work. They are also more likely to stay in your organization than to jump ship and join a competitor.
Rallying around a cause greatly benefits your business, but it shouldn’t be a mere marketing ploy. To truly make a difference, your company should be passionate and authentic about your advocacy. This is the same level of commitment we afford our clients. At Midwest Data Center, we are 100% committed to providing your business with high quality services at a fair price. Schedule a meeting with our IT experts today.