Published on June 30th, 2015 | by Ashley Sheets
Bettering Your Business While Helping Others
Part of running an ethical business is being mindful and aware of how your business affects the people around you and the community in which you live. Being successful can be measured in profit, obviously, but how are you helping others? What good is coming from the work that you do? Even if your company or organization isn’t selling an obviously ethical in nature product-such as reusable menstrual cups (like Mooncup) or eco-friendly electric bikes (like Justebikes), solar energy (like Belectric) or green cleaning products (like Ecover)- there are actions that you can take to better your business while still assisting those around you.
Source things locally where possible
No matter what your organization does, it’s nearly always possible to source your products closer to home. Whether that’s ordering a veg box full of fruit from the local farm for office snacks, or using local suppliers to find your office furniture (rather than schlepping to and from Ikea), even buying the office milk from your closest corner shop rather than the supermarket down the road-every little bit helps. Putting your funds back into the local economy helps keep everyone above water.
Discounted products and services for people with less money
If you sell a product or experience that is on the expensive side , think about offering discounts for those with less money to spend. Brighton-based printers Spectrum Photographic offer photography students discounts in an effort to make their products more accessible to a wider audience. As a business tactic, this also builds good feeling around your business, making current users more likely to recommend you (and your lovely discounts) to their mates.
Give to charity
Besides being tax deductible, donations to charity provide you with another opportunity to give back to the community that your business calls home. A 2010 study by Cone Communications found that 85% of consumers have a better opinion of businesses that give back to a charity that they care about. While this information might spur you into tracking down the most popular causes in your area, it is still important to donate to causes that align with your values, whether or not they are the charity du jour in your community.
Encourage community involvement by staff
According to an article in Entrepreneur, companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see a variety of benefits that include loyal customers and happier employees. It doesn’t hurt that this simple act can can help your bottom line. So encourage your staff to raise sponsorship funds by running a half-marathon together, or get involved in a green space clean up in your neighbourhood. Host a skills exchange after hours in your office, or offer up your expertise to other local businesses. There’s a million ways to get involved, so find what works for you.
Support good brands that you love
Word of mouth is a very powerful thing. We all have eco, ethical, and just plain good brands that we love and letting the world know that we love them spreads that goodness around. Whether it be via social media mentions, face to face contact, or some other way, don’t be afraid to share the news. And when you share other brands, you often help yourself-that service or product that you just supported could just have become one of your biggest fans..