Oxford Dictionaries defines community-minded as “interested in helping the wider community; socially concerned.” It would be great to say that all businesses are community-minded, but the truth is some businesses are more concerned with increasing profits, time management, and employee productivity to make room for socially concerned activities. In reality, though, there are many benefits of being a community-minded business—and almost every reason that might be keeping you from being more socially responsible is a reason why you should be.
Gain a social conscience.
It is important to get involved in the community in order to make yourself aware and responsible for what is going on in society. When you gain a social conscience, you will want to become more involved in the community to help make a difference. The community that you live or work in should be important to you, not only as a business, but as an individual as well. Making your community a safer, better place attracts a broader range of potential customers and employees—benefiting your business in a variety of ways.
Increase your reputation.
Every year the top 50 companies that are rated highly community-minded are recognized for their use of time, talent, and resources in their community. These companies are known as the Civic 50. Companies on the list from 2013 include AT&T, Campbell Soup, Hershey, and Wal-Mart. You can probably guess that this recognition highly affects the reputation of the brand—and it can for yours, too! While you may not make the top 50 list, you can use your community involvement as a PR opportunity for you brand—gaining exposure for your company and your cause.
Generate more business.
Companies that believe they don’t have the time or resources to put into community involvement really don’t realize the return they are missing out on. Research shows that people are more likely to purchase from a company that is more socially responsible. Think of it this way, if you keep the community in your mind, then they’ll keep you in theirs.
Also, by being more involved in the community and aware of others involved, too, you’ll make more contacts and meet potential customers on a regular basis. Spread the word about what you do when you meet new people, and if they don’t need your business, maybe they know someone who does.
Make better leaders.
Companies have reported that employees who are involved in the community take away valuable lessons that have made them better leaders. When you get out and work with people that you normally wouldn’t come in contact with, you learn to interact with different populations and become a better communicator. It is easy to see why being a community-minded business can have a great effect on employees.
If you think your company doesn’t have the time or budget to get involved in the community, take a look at the many benefits of doing so. Community-minded businesses not only have the opportunity to increase their reputation and profits, but they are also making better leaders of their employees and making a difference in a community that matters.