Make an Impact With Corporate Social Responsibility
As a small business owner, it’s important to incorporate corporate social responsibility early on. Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is a self-regulating practice to ensure that your business is positively affecting social, economic, and environmental aspects of society. Typically reserved for large C-level corporations, any size business can and should give back in whatever way is deemed financially appropriate. When done correctly, your business will attract those with the same ethos and you can rest easy knowing you’re “doing the right thing.” When done incorrectly, or ignored, your business can cause mass hysteria that your PR team will need to clean up later. Once you incorporate CSR into your daily business practices it will benefit both you and your community.
Donate to a non-profit or charity that represents your business’ core values. Being a woman-owned company with a passion for supporting environmental startups, Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club were a no-brainer for us. Before settling on a charitable cause, do your research and check the organizations report card on Charity Navigator. If you’re unable to donate money, organizations in your area are surely looking for volunteers. Websites like Volunteer Match are a great place to find organizations looking for help. Money isn’t the only way to give back!
Depending on the type of business you own, there are numerous ways that you can lessen your environmental impact. Product-based businesses can work to create a closed-loop system to limit the amount of waste going into our already over impacted landfills. Agencies and corporate businesses can look at their office supplies and how they are disposed of. No matter what kind of business you’re running, switching to energy-conserving light bulbs, using recyclable materials, forming carpool programs, and looking at solar powered energy solutions can contribute to a healthier environment. And don’t forget to use the power of social media to inspire environmental change in your consumers/clients daily lives.
The simplest way to practice corporate social responsibility is through the implementation of ethical practices in your workplace. Create business ethics early on to avoid any mishaps that could end in loss of trust, an employee or client, or legal issues. Your business ethics should include things such as honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, equal opportunity initiatives, and so forth. By having yourself and others review these ethics it sets a president for how others can and will be treated. In turn, employees who feel respected have been shown to produce higher levels of creativity, productivity, and overall better work.
By implementing corporate social responsibility practices early on, you establish your business as an entity that cares about more than just profit. Your initiatives to help others will help your business in return.