If you’ve had a chance to read many of our featured articles about Top Rated Local® award winners, then you are already familiar with the fact that we always make it a point to ask about a business’ mission and how they give back to the world and their community. While most of what we do is focused on a business’ online reputation, much of that online reputation is forged in their community, and it’s a key part in a business’ success.
Building a strong online reputation starts by building a strong reputation within your community.
Contrary to popular belief, your business’ online reputation is not a separate entity than your business’ reputation within your community. In fact, they are a lot more entwined than you might think. If you take a few minutes to think about all of those people who are writing reviews for your business and those people who are reading reviews about your business, you’ll find that most — if not all of them — are people who, like you, live and work in the community. They are your friends, family and neighbors, and what they think of you will absolutely be reflected in your business’ online reputation.
Because your reputation within your community plays such a vital role in your online reputation, in our last blog, we went over five ways that small businesses can give back to the community. Keep reading to learn about five more.
Five Things Your Business Can do to Give Back to Your Community
#6. Donate your services and skills.
When people think of volunteering, they often imagine themselves dishing out servings at a soup kitchen or building a house with Habitat for Humanity, but volunteering can be a lot more personal than that, especially if you’re in the service industry. In fact, one of the biggest ways you can give back and make a name for yourself as a giving company is to donate your services and skills!
As a professional, you’ve been educated and trained, and you have a very special set of skills that you can offer the world and your community. For example, if you’re a pet groomer, you could donate your skills by grooming animals at a shelter before an adoption event. If you are a roofer, you could donate roof repairs to people in need after a hail storm.
Not only does this apply to service-based businesses; businesses that sell products can also get in on the action by donating excess merchandise or out-of-season items.
#7. Have a collection jar.
As you can see, there are many avenues for giving back and being a more charitable business. Some of them take more time and energy than others, and if you’re looking for an easy, stress-free way to give back, you’ll love the simplicity of a collections jar. In fact, all you have to do is pick a charity/cause, make a sign and set out a jar, and your customers and clients will do the rest.
You may not get a whole lot of publicity by setting out a jar, but this is one of the simplest ways to start giving back, and the beauty of it is how little time and effort it takes on the part of the business owner or management.
#8. Offer up your space.
If you have a brick and mortar shop, warehouse or office, another super-easy way to give back is by simply offering up your space for charitable events. Reserving a venue can be pricey, and when nonprofits host events, you can greatly reduce their costs by offering up your space for free.
By offering up your space, not only are you giving back to a charity or organization without actually having to utilize your resources, but you’re also gaining invaluable visibility for your business.
#9. Go green!
In 2017, Cone conducted a survey to determine the importance of corporate social responsibility, and what they found was astounding:
- 87 percent of respondents said that they view companies more positively when they support environmental or social issues.
- 92 percent of respondents said that they are more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues.
- 68 percent of millennial respondents say that they have bought a product that has a social or environmental benefit.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not consumers actually care about the environment, you’ve got your answer, and it’s a resounding yes. Making it a point to go green within your business is a great way to give back to the world and to your community while also curbing your energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint.
Going green doesn’t have to mean installing solar panels on your roof or investing in electric company vehicles. In fact, there are a ton of small changes you can make that make a huge impact:
- Go paperless
- Invest in company water bottles instead of disposable cups
- Start recycling
- Set your lights on timers
#10. Make giving back a part of your company’s culture.
A lot of people think of giving back as a one-time thing, like a donation or a volunteer way, but if you truly want your business to have a reputation as one that makes your community and the world a better place, it starts with your company culture. To do this, you need volunteerism and charity in your veins and in the DNA of your business.
One of the best ways to instill a sense of community and social responsibility in your company culture is by incentivizing giving back. For example, if one of your employees volunteers at the homeless shelter, allow him or her to dress casually for work or take an extra hour for lunch.
Giving back just makes you feel good, and a lot of times, it will just take a small push from you to encourage your employees to donate their time and/or money to a cause they are passionate about.
Build the kind of reputation you want online and offline.
Your business’ online and offline reputation go hand in hand, and every successful business owner understands the need to have a strong reputation both in their community and online. Making a name for your business as one that gives back and stands behind their community will help to make your local brand unbeatable, and here at Top Rated Local, we can help you make your online reputation one to remember as well.
By helping business owners avoid common pitfalls, like fake reviews, blackmail, competitor reviews and more, we can help you take more ownership of your online reputation and mold it into what you want it to be. In addition to reviews, we utilize five pillars of the customer experience, allowing your clients and customers to highlight what they think is most important, and giving you more valuable feedback than you’d get from reviews alone. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything for you to become a Top Rated Local business!
Are you ready to build a strong reputation both online and in your community? If so, take the first step by listing your business for free with Top Rated Local today! Visit us online now to get started.