We have all heard about corporate social responsibility and we all know how important it is to give back to the community. In fact, there are various initiatives led by large companies such as HSBC, IBM and yes, even American Idol has joined the fray.
One might say that it’s all good for businesses who earn big money to lend a helping hand to the community but should small business owners be exempt from participating in this noble and worthy cause just because we aren’t in the same financial boat? Should social consciousness be calculated based on how much a company is earning per capita?
My answer here is no and I do hope that you all feel the same way too. Corporate social responsibility should be a part of every business, size notwithstanding. You and your company might not be able to help all 925 million hungry people worldwide but every little bit helps. According to the latest statistics, there are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S. alone so if all these small businesses pitch in and join together to stand up for a cause, I bet it would make a whole lot of difference. It may not be enough to solve all the social ills that seem to crop up and multiply in our society, but it would be a good start.
A small donation is a big accomplishment for any struggling business owner but there are other ways to give back to the community without giving monetary gifts. Time is a very precious commodity and this could also be part of what you can give. Small business owners could start helping out in their local communities by offering products and services that would be for the benefit of others and not just sell for the purpose of getting rich.
You could also help out by giving fair wages to your employees, engaging with your local community not only because you want them to do business with you but also because it is the right thing to do, because you care for your community as much as you do your business.
Doing simple things to help alleviate social ills that abound in your local community might not be enough to change the world for everyone on the planet but you certainly did for those people you have managed to help out. A for-profit business should not only be concerned about earnings and statistics. Generating money is important and doing business for business’ sake would probably make you a very rich person but businesses should not only be defined by numbers and sales.
Every business should have a heart and now is as good a time as any to consider cultivating a positive change in your community. What steps have your company taken lately to be socially responsible? Feel free to share it in the comments.