When launching a small business, the usual approach is to build goals around the business’s eventual success. But businesses can keep growth in mind while also pursuing the good of their community.
According to Business Wire, 70% of consumers want to know if the brands they support have certain initiatives that respond to relevant issues. At the same time, consumers are also pretty skeptical of big companies. To earn the trust of the people, brands need to convince the public of their sincere intentions.
This means that a genuine sense of social responsibility for any brand is not anymore just a nice extra. It is now an expectation for businesses to make the pursuit of social good an indispensable part of their business model.
If you are considering starting your own small business, know that you are uniquely positioned to build a successful model that understands its role in the local community.
Building Your Socially Responsible Business
There are key points to think about before launching your business. Reflect on these as you create a concept and build your strategy.
1. Know what your community needs
First, you have to decide what product you are offering to consumers. There are a couple of ways to approach this, but whatever route you take, remember that your product or service should be responding to a need your community has.
One approach is to develop a product that the community lacks. For example, look at the vulnerable members of your neighborhood and the kind of support they will benefit from. A possible response is to create products that promote good health, such as vitamins and supplements, which you need to develop with the help of reputable manufacturers of liquid dietary supplements.
Another approach is to see what unique things your community offers and make products that promote these strengths. For instance, if your local area is an art district, you can build a business that creates personalized merchandise, such as clothing, bags, and even commissioned art pieces.
When you have locked in on a product, take time to do more research about it. Are there businesses in your area that sell a similar product? Where can you get your materials? Understand the competitive landscape and the logistical tasks involved.
2. Search for local organizations to partner with
It helps your business gain more credibility when you find a local organization to partner with. These organizations may have a deeper understanding of the community’s needs, so consult with them on how you can respond. Also, partnerships with local organizations help you grow your connections with people passionate about serving your community.
Partnerships can also take many forms. One way to partner with an organization is to donate a percentage of your profits to a specific project. You can also cross-post promotions on each other’s social media pages to get more traction for your products and their initiatives.
Just remember that when you choose an organization to partner with, make sure that their advocacy matches your company’s. This helps people pay more attention to your efforts.
3. Pursue ethical practices on every level
Since consumers are particular about the brands they choose to support, you must understand what it takes to be considered a trustworthy business. Earn their trust by being responsible about how you conduct every aspect of your business, from managing your employees to how you package your products.
Specifically, when it comes to your packaging, know that customers are looking at brands with more environmentally friendly practices. Explore how you can use better packaging for your products in a way that won’t compromise their quality.
4. Ask for feedback from others
The best way for your business to improve its products, its service, and even its messaging is to take advice from customers. Welcome and even ask them for feedback and suggestions through online forms, whether through social media or your website. Concerns raised by customers will allow you to keep building your business responsibly and sensitively.
Being Socially Responsible Means Prioritizing People
If you market your small business as a socially responsible business, then you have to stand by that and make sure you ultimately prioritize the well-being of people, which are both your workers and your customers. Profits definitely help your business grow, but never lose sight of your passion for supporting the people in your community. Ultimately, your goal is to pursue social good, and you should stay true to that.