Social responsibility (SR) is not just for the big end of the town. It's about behaving ethically as a person and as a business.

 

From the phone and electricity providers you use to the food and clothes you buy to the airline you fly with. Each choice has an impact, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

 Business-wise, being socially responsible can be some of the best advertising you can do. However, for it to be effective your social responsibility action has to actually connect to your solo business. It's really no different to the approach large corporations take; it's just on a smaller scale.

 The trick is to take actions which aren’t only socially responsible, but which help to reinforce your brand/Marketing Instrument for Sells/. So before agreeing to sponsor a local school event or donating to a fundraiser, assess what good it will do for your brand.

 If you are a florist, consider starting an initiative that brings light into peoples lives. If you are a gift shop yours could be 'give the gift of friendship' - something for the lonely of the community. Initiatives like this reinforce what you do more than sponsoring a local fair, unless of course you run a hot dog caravan.

Are you getting the gist of what is and isn’t brand reinforcing? Here are some more examples.

 If a solo personal trainer donated to the Red Cross, he wouldn’t notice as much brand reinforcing growth as if he were to hold free fitness session at a local park once a week for people with illnesses.

 If a proof reader volunteers at a food bank every month, she wouldn’t notice as much brand reinforcing growth as if she volunteered to teach reading to kids with special needs.

 Beyond the feelgood factor, studies prove that businesses that are SR achieve higher profits than those that don't. Maybe it’s from having a happy conscience!

 It's not just about charity - it's about realising that as humans we need to create the kind of world we want - not sit around hoping that crime, war, poverty and global warming will fix themselves.

Getting out there for the good of the world will give you the opportunity to talk, think, act and be socially responsible

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