When creating and maintaining a business, it is difficult to think about anything other than getting – getting staff, getting clients, getting revenue, getting bigger. It seems that running a business is a constant process of considering what needs to be gotten next. So much so that it can be tricky to think of the big picture – that we are but one group of people working in a vast complex of groups all striving towards the same goal. However, if 2021 has taught us anything, it is that our unwillingness to work together can be detrimental. While the common idea seems to be that every other business should be viewed as competitors, sometimes it’s better to think of fellow organizations as friends. In fact, giving back to organizations that you believe are putting good into the world can be a very beneficial thing for your business. So, what are the practical advantages of giving back?
- Giving back creates a bond between you and the organization you are helping.
No one should have to go it alone. Luckily, giving back is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t have to. Donating to or promoting a fellow organization or charity builds a bond of trust between you and that organization. This bond is both heartwarming and practical. Building a bond can expose your business to a previously untapped audience, allowing you to reach and help new people with your product or service. This bond can also expose you to different things – new ways to run a business, different types of businesses, different theories on prioritization, etc. Learning from your peers is always a positive thing. Creating bonds with other organizations through selfless acts is an incredible way to kickstart a mutually beneficial relationship.
2. It shows your clients/customers that you have a vision that is bigger than yourself.
There are many things that a customer looks for in a business. First and foremost, they look for a company that is trustworthy. They look for an organization that is interested in contributing to their wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the world overall. They also look for a company that conveys a message of selflessness – a company that cares less about gain and more about what they are putting out into the world. What better way to demonstrate this than by giving back to an organization that has the same selfless motives as you? Donating to other organizations is beneficial from an outward perspective because it encourages your customers to view your company as something larger than just the services you provide, thus encouraging them to think of themselves as something larger than the services they consume. Reaching out and helping other organizations may seem like a small thing, but it can create a ripple effect of mindset changes that can have a large impact.
3. It contributes to a system that promotes mutual benefits as opposed to constant competition.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to get swept up in a self absorbed mindset while running a business, particularly when the industry has trained us to view business as an extremely competitive field. However, if we are to become a more sustainable and less hostile economy in the years to come, we need to change our mindset regarding running a business. Of course, this change will take years to culminate. But change starts at an individual level, and sometimes all that is needed is a few small business owners with a mission to spread cooperation and community. Giving back to an organization that shares your values is the perfect way to set yourself as an example to other businesses that generosity and kindness are not weaknesses in business, but rather that they are assets that can lead to a better economy overall.
In the new year, consider what you truly want your business to contribute to the world. Happy customers and a great product are wonderful things to contribute, but you are capable of so much more than that. 2022 needs to be a year of change, and you have the opportunity to be an active part of it. Try something new. Give back to your community one organization at a time.