It’s safe to say that in our lifetime, we have never had a year like 2020. Along with its challenges, this year has also brought room and opportunities for growth – professional and personal. With the holidays fast approaching, we are reminded about what really matters. Here are 3 ways giving back this holiday season is good for business.
It is Better to Give than Receive
At first thought, making money and giving to charity seem as opposite as hot and cold. Yet, some of the most successful franchise companies marry business with giving and have fantastic results. On average, companies that give to charity are more respected by their customers than those that do not. What’s more, employees are more likely to have a better opinion of their company if corporate charitable giving or volunteerism is encouraged or even sponsored. If increased customer satisfaction and boosted employee morale sound like something you want, now’s the time to get into the giving spirit.
In fact, the power of giving is so potent that a new initiative has sprung up to recognize charitable leaders in business. The International Franchise Association (IFA)’s new initiative ‘Franchising Gives Back’ highlights the importance of franchisees as community leaders.
According to a founding sponsor of the initiative, Steve Romaniello (Roark Capital Group),
“The purpose of Franchising Gives Back is not only to recognize these businesses, but to encourage others to ‘give back’. The economic footprint of franchising is very big, providing millions of jobs and billions of dollars to the U.S. GDP, but our social footprint, in our communities, touching the lives of our customers and neighbors in very personal ways is even bigger.”
Make a Difference in Your Community
Actively improving your community through canned food and toy drives, collections of box tops for education, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, etcetera. serves to enhance your business’s presence in the community. Make your business known for more than the services you offer, but also for what you believe in. This can be especially useful if you are a franchisee in a popular franchise. Stand out and be known as that location that does good things. Building up your community as a local business owner sets you apart from the businesses that seem to only care about making a buck during the holidays – although, there’s nothing wrong with that.
As with everything, balance is key. Remember what you set out to do in the first place as a business owner – make an impact in your community. Initially, that might’ve meant owning a place where your friends and neighbors would spend their money. That’s a fine goal to have. But like everything in 2020, you’ve had to grow and adapt, and your business is no different. Evolve your goal. Make your business one that inspires. Maybe you have always hoped the neighborhood kids or those in your city would look up to you. This holiday season is a great time to make that goal a reality.
Pay it Forward
Inadvertently, customers often have an emotional response to businesses. This is why many folks have favorite grocery stores, restaurants, and even gas stations. Research shows that consumers are more likely to back something they feel a connection to. The most successful businesses know this. Whether you make it a once-a-year holiday tradition or decide to do things throughout the year – don’t stop giving. Your charity is not going unnoticed, so make it count. Customers remember your community impact and how your business makes them feel, perhaps even more than they remember their purchases. By making charitable acts part of your business’s DNA, you are showing your customers that they can feel good about where they are spending their money.
2020 has taught us that we are all in this together. Giving back and making an impact in our communities reminds us of that. Use your position as a business owner to spread joy and peace. That’s what this season is all about.