You started your company because you are good at what you do – maybe even the best! You saw a financial opportunity to capitalise on that. As you progress down the Small Business growth pathway, chasing the dollar can’t remain your only objective. Businesses, both big and small, can have huge impacts on the environment, economy and society around them – and not always in a good way! Behaving unethically in the world in which you operate can have disastrous impacts on your brand. It is for this reason that you should be combining a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy within the very foundations of your business practices.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the idea that corporations have a responsibility to the world to do good. That they work ethical and responsible business practices into every aspect of their business model. While your small business might sometimes seem like the proverbial “island”, you are absolutely an integral part of your local community and are making impacts further than you might be able to see. Does putting profits above ethics seem like a smart business idea to you? You might need re-evaluate what you really know about growing a successful business in 2021. Forbes says that if your brand isn’t helping consumers feel like they are improving their environmental and social footprint when they buy from you, then you’re in danger of losing 88% of them!
To practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a company must vow to limit any adverse impacts it may have on society (including the environment and economy). It also needs to develop a philanthropic program aimed to offset these impacts if they do occur. CSR is self-regulatory by nature, meaning that it is up to the business to listen to feedback, observe their operations, and find ways to be more operationally responsible in order to live up to this agreement. A CSR policy will vary from business-to-business, but common tactics include:
– Supporting infrastructural developments in the local community
– Sponsoring youth education or vocational activities
– Donating resources
– Providing value to community groups / local