Financial benchmarks are no longer the only means of measuring the success of a business. Shared values and causes can attract customers, and a philosophy of doing good boosts team morale.
For small businesses, being a good citizen makes good business sense. Your own community is where visibility and reputation matter the most—and because you live and work there, you have a vested interest in seeing your community and neighbors thrive.
Hiring from within the community, buying from area businesses, incorporating green business practices, and providing opportunities to young people such as internships and job shadowing are great ways to make a difference. Giving back also can come in the form of donations or providing goods or services at cost—but even better is getting out there and having hands-on involvement.
Many Fortune 500 companies use volunteering to support their reputation, morale and skill-development goals, according to research by Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship. “Service sabbaticals” and “team-building volunteering” are becoming common ways these businesses serve communities and themselves.
Several experts actually claim that incorporating volunteering into the corporate culture is the management tool of the 21st century.
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