Business Branding and Mission Statements:
With information at everyone’s fingertips, being a transparent organization is more important than ever. In order to succeed you need to make sure you have a socially conscious initiative incorporated into your brand. Integrating social change and intertwining it with the profits generated by the company is the future of business. The new generation wants to know that the organization they represent makes a positive impact on the world. According to Cone Communications:
- 60% of Americans hope businesses will drive social and environmental change in the absence of government regulation.
- 90% of the consumers surveyed said they would purchase a product because a company supported an issue they care about.
- 75% said they would refuse to buy from a company if they learned the company supported an issue contrary to their own beliefs.
This is not limited to consumers! The best employees also seem to be concerned with a business’ mission statement and corporate strategy for sustainability. This is often a major factor in where the majority of employees choose to work.
Apart from a better image, sustainable business practices can be profitable! Some examples of sustainable practices that can save money would be reducing packaging and production costs, as well as conserving energy and resources which in turn will save on utility costs.
CSR Initiatives You Can Integrate:
Incorporating socially responsible efforts are essential to all stakeholders, employees and consumers alike! Here are some broad examples for corporate responsibility:
- Philanthropic Actions: Typically this can be defined in a through donations of capital, products, or services to social causes and nonprofits. As a small business, your efforts can make a huge difference. Try to reach out to different organizations and identify their needs and whether donating money, time or products could help them most.
- Fair Labor Practices: With fair and ethical practices, companies display strong morals and a healthy business.
- Volunteer: Participating in local causes or volunteering time and energy shows the sincerity of a corporation and hands on initiative. Being on the forefront of altruistic causes shows that your business supports local communities.
Tips to Build a Socially Responsible Business
- Start Small: Although small businesses may not have the same financial resources as larger public corporations, they can still create significant change in their communities: Begin by incorporating a small percentage of profits and committing it to philanthropic activities. A good amount to start with is 5%. While this may not seem a lot, it can add up over time to create a significant impact on the local community.
- Be Inclusive: When beginning an initiative, make sure to include employees in the decision making process. They may have bright ideas of where efforts can be best utilized and they may find social causes that align with your business. It also ensures that there will be increased engagement in the activity and it can boost company morale since your employees know that their opinions have been considered.
- Be Heard: While you don’t want to make this solely a marketing campaign, it is important to be vocal and let your community know that you stand in solidarity with them. Being involved is important and it will help to grow your business and community simultaneously.
As the social landscapes change, businesses need to continue developing their economic models and contributing to society. By embedding these values and initiatives into your company you will able to promote the welfare of the local communities and ecosystems. Remember that your business has a large effect on the world and practicing corporate responsibility can make your business even more profitable!