Regardless of the nature of your business, considering the impact you have on your local community is paramount. A commitment to social responsibility has contributed to the success of numerous companies in recent years, and studies have shown that a whopping 94% of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that supports a cause.
Social impact can come in the form of a variety of different packages – from how employees are treated to how your product or service affects lives – and everything in between. Making a social impact assessment of your business and finding ways to further create positive social change can be one of the best things you do as a business owner in 2022. If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we have a look at 5 ways you can make a significant social impact as an SME, so read on to find out more.
1. Partner Up With A Non-Profit
Understandably, the idea of partnering up with a non-profit organisation may initially seem intimidating if you are a smaller business. When choosing a non-profit organisation to partner up with, it is extremely important to find an organisation that complements your product/service and fits your company’s mission. Doing so will make it ten times easier to garner the support of your team, business allies and customers. For example, if your team is passionate about humanitarian causes, you may want to consider partnering up with a Save Palestine fundraising scheme that aids in providing healthcare, education, clean water and food to those living in extreme poverty. Passion is a key driving factor towards change, so at the end of the day, we encourage choosing a non-profit that your company and community wholeheartedly cares about.
2. Be Authentic About Your Impact
Corporate philanthropy is not a new concept to any of us. Unfortunately, there are many businesses that utilise philanthropy as a marketing tactic or as a means of boosting sales, gaining publicity or receiving hefty tax deductions. While there is nothing wrong with reaping certain benefits as a result of your social contributions, we highly encourage business owners to do it for the right reasons. In other words, don’t create a social good strategy solely to generate revenue.
As a business owner, you have the power and the means to stand up against human rights violations, poverty, animal abuse and more. Small businesses can make the world a better place — not just by offering amazing products or great services, but by actively collaborating with organisations such as Care, Amnesty International, World Wide Fund For Nature and more.
3. Spread Awareness Via Social Platforms
Realistically, not every small business will have excess funds, products or services to donate to charity. However, a lack of resources doesn’t have to stop you from doing your part in spreading awareness. Thanks to the power of social media, businesses of all sizes are able to encourage others to do good. Using your voice online is a great way to bring awareness to topics and issues you are passionate about. Some strategies you can implement include discussing your favourite charities, raising awareness about topics such as mental health or simply inviting others to join you in aiding the community.
Encouraging positive social change through your social platforms enables you to do good and send a strong message about what your company stands for.
4. Make It A Year Round Affair
Making a positive social impact is more than just one-off marketing campaigns or raising money for the less fortunate during the holiday season. Giving back to the community should be something that is made a part of your company’s everyday business plan. Your social impact as an SME should be a year round affair as a sign of commitment to your cause, and a great way of instilling this value into your employees is to make giving back a part of your company’s core mission.
In your bid to make giving back a year round affair, you may also consider creating a social impact committee within your company. Depending on the size of your business, your committee can consist of anywhere from five to ten people. Your social impact committee should be in charge of finding new ways your business can contribute to society and seek to create the guiding principles that connect company resources with community-based organisations.
5. Donate A Portion Of Your Profits
Last but not least, one of the simplest ways to make a positive social impact is by donating a portion of your profits to a charitable organisation of your choice. A great example that many up and coming businesses stand to learn a lot from is Amazon Smile. When an item is purchased on Amazon Smile, 0.5% of revenue is donated to a range of over 1 million charities that consumers are able to choose from. Other businesses that have successfully adopted this strategy include Cotton On, TOMS, Thrive Market and Ethique.
Similarly, you too can make a positive social impact by choosing to donate some of your business profits to charity. When you make this kind of commitment, consumers are more inclined to purchase from you as it makes them feel like they are part of something bigger.
And there you have it – 5 incredibly simple ways for a small business to create positive, long-lasting social impact within the community. While your business may not be able to single-handedly eradicate world hunger or poverty, it is important to know that even the smallest of contributions can make the biggest difference.
What has your business done to create a positive social impact? Have you seen success with any of these methods? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!