As an entrepreneur, the most important asset you can cultivate is goodwill. You can never know who will become a customer or provide a reference that will swing a sizable contract in your direction.
Therefore, it is important to take the time to give back to your community. The holiday season is the perfect time for that, as this is when most people are prepared to be welcoming and accept gifts of time and volunteering and financial contributions.
You do not have to donate a big check. You can use this opportunity to create new connections and form valuable partnerships. Work with an online bookshop to create learning or reading opportunities for young children. Volunteer with an NGO to provide in-kind services.
With a little ingenuity and willingness, the holiday spirit can help you find a way to increase your standing in your community as well as gain great respect for your business.
Mentor Other Entrepreneurs
You can offer to mentor young entrepreneurs who are in the beginning stages. You have been through those stages and have a keen insider’s perspective that can save these young people from many pitfalls. They are likely to have questions that you have the answers to and be facing issues for which you can give them solutions. It is an investment because these young entrepreneurs could become your business partners or vendors in the future.
High school students trying to decide what their future should be and business students in university trying to make plans are just two of the groups who can greatly benefit from your experience and mentoring.
Helping these young people gain insight into your field, and the difficulties and rewards of entrepreneurship will help them make informed choices. It will also make you and your company better known to them and their parents, giving your brand an edge over similar competitors.
In some ways offering services and consultation is preferable to cutting a check. This is because the people at the grassroots level of the charity may not know how to use best practices.
Depending on what you do, you could offer your services to a charity or an NGO. They will be very appreciative of your efforts to improve their marketing strategies, upgrading their computer software, and so much more. Using your expertise to help the charity improve their productivity will be a great showcase of your company’s abilities.
People think that they have to look internationally or make flashy CSR efforts. But this is unnecessary and can be seen as disingenuous. Evaluate the issues facing your local community to see if there is any way you can offer help.
Perhaps you can use your premises to allow a local homeless shelter to have a bigger soup kitchen. Or you could participate along with your employees in a competition to raise money. Or you can organize a gift drive for the underprivileged. Even something that requires little effort and time commitment from you and your employees, such as cleaning up a park, can positively affect your community.
There are a plethora of ways you can give back. As an entrepreneur, it can be very lonely, and you can forget that it takes many people working together to create the environment you need to flourish.
Giving back during the holiday season is a way to get in touch with the spirit of giving and the sense of community that brings people together. It is a grand opportunity for you to show the personal values that drive your business. You will surely benefit from your efforts.