Should your business have a social conscience?
After all, you’re not there to save the world. You’re there to build a company, make profits, provide employment and be successful. What does a social conscience have to do with all that?
Businesses are made up of people and we all form part of the community. We’re not a separate entity that can exist in isolation and we’re not just there to do what business do, make profits. Ask one of your employees whether your company should support a charity and the majority will nod and say yes. That’s a good idea. It’s the right thing to do. Ask them if you should help people achieve their full potential, you’ll no doubt get the same response.
The Business Benefits of a Social Conscience
Okay, being a small business owner is rather hectic as it is, why on earth would you give yourself more to do? Here are some of the reasons why companies give back to the community. In other words, how working with a charity benefits your business and you as the owner:
- It builds your reputation and creates a reason for consumers and potential customers to respect your business. You contribute beyond the normal providing jobs for people and boosting prosperity and they like that.
- You’re helping to make your community a better place to live in which can only benefit your world in general.
- Your team morale will sky rocket, there is nothing like supporting a local worthy cause to get the gang motivated which in turn will increase productivity in other areas. Most employees like to work for companies who have a social conscience.
- Get your wider network involved, your charity fundraising results will be higher and so will your profile among your peers.
- And on a personal note, never under estimate how much you will benefit personally from the warm fuzzy feelings you get from helping others.
Don’t forget, other companies and bosses are doing a same thing. Most, however, do it not because of this but because it brings them personal satisfaction and they want to give back. Rarely is the reason making the business money or improving brand reputation.
Here’s The Last Hurdle gives back to the community. First of all, we support a local charity by donating our marketing services each year. The Lighthouse Centre provides holistic therapies to people with long term health conditions and helps local people get over some pretty difficult times in their lives. I also take time out to give talks to the Northampton Saints Hitz, which helps out young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We also offer work placements for participants as well as for other organisations such as the College and The Princes Trust.
While these efforts undoubtedly help those directly affected, even if only on a small scale, they also make our staff feel involved. They enjoy providing support for young people, taking part in our annual charity event and generally contributing outside of the day to day business to the world we live in. In short, we want to give back and we enjoy doing ‘our bit’ for the community and we have a lot of fun doing it!
Businesses can often do a lot more than individuals on their own, helping to raise awareness, taking time to provide assistance and training, not to mention an opportunity, to those who need it. I think taking steps to create a better world isn’t some higher cause or way to boost profits, it’s actually an obligation we all have.
Should your business have a Social Conscience? The definitive answer is yes. Of course, it should. It’s good for business, good for team morale, good for your community and good for you…. Perhaps the question should be why wouldn’t you promote a social conscience?