Small acts make big differences.
They have an outward rippling effect the same way a tiny pebble does when tossed into an area of still and silent water. It expands in all directions and reaches well beyond its small and seemingly insignificant point of impact.
The easiest way to think about this is, unfortunately, in the negative. We’ve all had those days where one ugly comment hurled in our direction affects the rest of the day. It drags us down. We dwell on it and repeatedly hit replay on the incident over and over in our head.
The negative is memorable because we tend to carry it with us like awkward and cumbersome baggage that we can’t put down. It becomes a black stain in our mental ledger that too often will metastasize into an immoveable grudge.
In business, it’s been well-documented how one bad review can create those waves of doubt and uncertainty in a potential customer base. Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom; the good news is positive experiences produce similar results — and business owners have many more avenues to spread those happy ripples across the pond than they do the poor ones.
Perhaps the widest avenue for spreading good will is the one that runs outside the storefront. It’s that eight-lane luxurious superhighway known as community altruism, where small acts of kindness can reap big rewards in reputation.
Giving back is an important cornerstone for any organization looking to cement a relationship in the community where it does business. It’s said you have to spend money to make money and providing support to local causes and organization gives your business purpose as well as helps raise your profile and, ultimately, boosts your bottom line.
Build Your Brand
Having your business name attached to worthwhile causes and events bonds your brand to things local residents care about and puts your brand top of mind. The result is positive public relations and name recognition.
As noted in Forbes, “People tend to refer business to people they trust and believe will take good care of their family and friends. By giving, you are letting the world know that you care and that you are sharing your wealth and blessings with others. This is crucial to growth and success.”
One of the most powerful tools a business owner wields are the contacts they make. Common ground is fertile soil to grow connections, and what better way to find like-minded people than at a cause or event you already support?
“Networking allows you access to opportunities you might not be able to find on your own. Your network has the potential to provide you with insight into different fields, information on what potential employers look for and advice on how you can improve professionally,” according to an article from Indeed.com.
Increase Employee Engagement
Offering options for your employees to give back to the causes they care about in the communities where they live increases engagement among your workforce. It also contributes to team building and unity among staff members. Younger generations place a high premium on companies that give back and are dedicated warriors in the arena of philanthropy. This can help employee retention as well as make you more appealing to top-tier candidates.
All the above reasons help get your name out in front of the eyes of the public. However, there is another reason for community giving that often goes unstated and may be even more valuable: It’s the right thing to do.
You chose to do business in a particular community. Because of that, you should have a personal stake in seeing your community succeed and becoming a better, friendlier and more thoughtful place to live and work. A lot of times, giving back doesn’t even have to take a lot of thought and planning; it can be almost reflexive.
At SaveOn, for example, our collaboration with the Michigan Renaissance Festival in our Detroit market provided us with an abundance of complimentary festival tickets. It was a no-brainer to take those tickets, bundle them up and send them out to local first responders and front-line workers who have been working diligently to protect the community for more than a year. We didn’t have to think about it, and it didn’t cost a thing. It was just good will to good people.
And that may be the most significant point of giving back. You need to invest in the community if you want them to invest in you. It’s a foundation where not only relationships are established and built, but it also serves as an inspiration for others through leading by example and creating a more caring world.