Business and the Community

Assured Angel By Assured Angel, 31st May 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

Business is more than making a profit and managing staff. It has a role to play in the community. By taking advantage of this and forging links with the locals, your business as well as the cimmunuity can benefit.

Business and the Community

In the last year, businesses, banks and individuals have taken a financial battering. Organisational strategy and profit margins have been hit. Reevaluation has been the order of the day. There is still some residual anger at the banks and financial institutions' role in the downturn but by and large people are looking forward and trying to get on with the rest of their lives. As a business, this a time to think outside the corporate box, go beyond the four walls of the headquarters to the potential of the community; that is, see what the people around you have to offer you and your business. This article will give an insight into this area and the benefits for both you and the community.

Depending on your business and your needs, consider hiring people as apprentices or providing work experience for those interested in what you do. Even if someone has not considered your line of work, if you are proactive and passionate about what you do, then there is no telling what could happen. If possible, find out if you could speak in schools in your free time and even organise an open day so that people can get a feel for your company. Obviously, there are legal implications if you want to take on an employee, so you have to do your research on this area. At the present time, there are many people looking to get back on the job ladder and you could help them to do so. Quite apart from the fresh perspective that they could bring to your organisation, you will be helping the community by providing work for those who desperately need it.

Find out what the local charitable causes are and see if you can contribute to them. This could vary from sending them products that they could use as prizes in their raffles to spending a day helping them out. Even if you cannot do either of those things, then you can donate money to them. They will appreciate it and so will your business.

If you are a small business and just starting out, find out if there are local organisations that have the same interests that you do. Professional and/or volunteer organisations as well as Chambers of Commerce are a great way to start. By doing this, you could establish contact and connections within and without the local community that enable you and your business in the future.

Nowadays, one of the key areas that politics and businesses are focusing on is the environment and reducing the carbon footprint. This is an area where your company can help the local community. For example, if you have a lot of waste paper, why not donate it to the local kindergarten or primary school so that the kids can use it to draw? Or if you are upgrading your systems and have a lot of computers that are perfectly functional, why not donate them to local schools or training centres? In the United Kingdom, companies that are seen to be, and demonstrate that they invest in their community are awarded the Community Mark, which is a national standard awarded by the organisation Business in the Community (BITC). If you want to know about this, click here. By helping your community, whether you are a large or small business, you can:

· Help to boost awareness of what your organisation does

· Attract new customers and employees

· Build relationships with other like-minded businesses

· Become an integral part of the social landscape, making it more difficult for rivals to muscle in

· Help increase morale within and outside of your organisation

If this has spurred you on, then there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. Helping your community should be something that every business does. There is too much on the news about the negative side of big business--e.g the use of sweatshops to make garments, and the 'invasion' of huge department stores in small towns. Surely, the time has come to change the people's perceptions and help them whilst doing so. Here are some things to get the "little grey cells" (as per Hercule Poirot) going:

· Take things slowly - be careful not to over-commit, which can have long-term negative consequences for your business. Being involved in the community can take a lot of time, so make sure you can do what you say you can. Every journey begins with a small step and this certainly applies here.

· If you know the times of the year when there is a lull, then use consider that time or season to get involved with the community.

· Consider using the media if possible, especially when there is a local event. This will not only mean good PR for your company but will help boost the morale of the people too--both employees and outsiders alike.

· Make sure that your company literature reflects what you do in the community, but be subtle. The idea is not to blow your own trumpet (ok, maybe just a little) but to be an example and role model for others to do the same.

Times have changed and hopefully lessons have been learned for all of us. Let's take them on board and start moving forward.

Tags

Business, Charity, Communication, Community, Interaction, Small Business

Meet the author

author avatar Assured Angel
Talented and experienced freelance writer/ businesswoman with a legal background whose engaging, confident but professional attitude is reflected in her writing.
I have also written extensively (over 100 articles) and continue to do soon many subj...(more)

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